Pennsylvania Firewood

by Don
(Erie Co. PA)

Having access to many breeds of hardwood here in northern Pennsylvania and some mediums and having burned wood for heat for over 50 years, I have a system.


In the early winter or late fall when we need heat but not an incredible amount of 24/7 heat, I use silver maple and ash split 4" squared or less. It is good for an a.m. fire. If seasoned, it makes very little or no creosote. It won't burn more than a few hours so the heat is not overwhelming.

Once into the "teeth" of winter I shift to the hardwoods, the heavier the better an it's hard to outweigh hickory. A chunk of hickory with some sugar maple, beech, cherry, or oak overnight will almost ensure there will be coals in the morning and a good draft from a warm chimney.

Once mid March and into May arrives I go back onto the silver maple and ash.

My wood shed will hold 7 cords and it is stocked so that access to all varieties are available at a given time. I don't pack it full and tight. I can walk down the center to access which ever I need.

I have had issues with oak firewood in the past. The dense inner core of bigger logs seem to take a lot longer to season. I have heard one year old stacked and split oak hissing in the stove and that lends itself to build up.

If I want to be sure I have coals in the morning I will go to my "loser" pile and get the pieces that gave the splitter trouble. The ones that are non typical that don't stack well. This is usually from a branch, large pop knot, or Y. These tuffies are good and dense and take longer to burn.

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Hickory Firewood

by Addie

I really love hickory because it burns a long time and makes a lot of heat.

Ash firewood is also good, but hickory is better. Hickory has a dense compact material which is great for firewood, or for wood projects.

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Honey Locust Firewood

by Karl
(Central New York)

I like to burn any one of our local hardwoods, but I am partial to Honey Locust. It is stubborn about giving up its water but once dry it can burn for a long time. It isn't native here but has been planted.

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