Hawthorn Firewood

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Wondering whether hawthorn firewood is any good for your fireplace or woodstove?

You have come to the right place. 

Choosing firewood is a complicated business - probably more complicated than you think.

The type of firewood you choose will be integral to the performance and longevity of your stove and your fire. 

When considering the best kind of firewood to use, you’ll always want to think about its efficiency, appearance, reliability, and safety.

Although some of the best firewood types you can use include oak, maple and ash, there are many other suitable kinds of firewood - and hawthorn is a top contender.

Here’s what you need to know. 

Can You Use Hawthorn As Firewood?

When you are looking for firewood for your wood stove or fire pit, chances are you are looking for a wood that will put off warm, cozy heat that burns slowly.

After all, you don’t want to have to get up from your comfortable spot to have to constantly tend to your fire. 

If you want a low-maintenance wood for your fire, you may want to consider using hawthorn.

It presents all kinds of benefits for easygoing fire tending.

What Is Hawthorn?

Hawthorn is a small species of trees that grow to only 49 feet tall at their highest.

These trees have branches that are thorny along with small, delicate fruits

These trees are known to provide shelter and food for a variety of mammals and birds.

The flowers, on the other hand, are prized for their value in feeding insects that consume their nectar

Hawthorn has a variety of uses in the modern world, many of them medicinal or culinary in nature.

It is often used as a landscaping or ornamental tree, too.

Hawthorn is frequently used as rootstock in grafting, often used in grafting applications with pear trees.

It can even be cultivated as a bonsai tree!

Most importantly, though, hawthorn has several characteristics that make it a suitable candidate for firewood and for building.

It is hard and resistant to rot, prized as a material to make things like fence posts and handles. 

Where To Find Hawthorn Firewood

You can find hawthorn growing all over the world, although the best types for using as firewood will be found in temperate regions of North America.

There are various cultivars and species of this tree, some of which are found in Europe, North Africa and Asia, too. 

Closely related to plum, apple, pear, and cherry trees, this species is dense and fine-textured.

It has thorns that can grow up to three inches long and is found all over large portions of the midwest and eastern United States. 

Splitting Hawthorn

The one downside to using hawthorn as firewood is a minor one.....it can be somewhat difficult to split.

It’s hard to find straight lengths of hawthorn so splitting can be a challenge.

Hawthorn is an exceptionally hard hardwood. It is also quite dense.

While its wood has superior quality, it can be a pain to split because of its uneven lengths as well as its thorns.

It tends to be knotted and filled with twists and turns. 

Fiskars X27 Super (36") Splitting Axe

If you’re cutting a hawthorn tree, you’ll need to be careful due to the thorns.

Once you get the tree down, it’s going to take you some time to split your firewood with your splitting axe because of all the curves and bends in the wood, too.

This is where a hydraulic wood splitter will come in handy if you have access to one.

It will make splitting the wood a lot easier.

You will need to be careful when you are cutting and handling your hawthorn firewood.

The thorns can easily dig into your skin and won’t feel great when you try to handle the wood.  

Latex dipped gloves work great when handling the wood.  

The latex dip offers great protection from getting stabbed by the thorns.......and they're also lightweight allowing you too easily handle the wood.

Seasoning Hawthorn Firewood

The secret to a great fire is using firewood that was dried for at least a year.

Seasoned wood will always burn better than fresh-cut, or green wood, since it produces more heat with less creosote build-up in your fireplace.

Green wood will not only be difficult to light, but it will be difficult to keep it burning, since there's more liquid inside.

You can tell if your hawthorn firewood is seasoned simply by taking a quick look at it.

On the surface, well-seasoned wood will appear dusty and gray from sitting around for quite some time.

The inside will be lighter in color than the outside

Hawthorn firewood seasons reasonably well.

It doesn’t take quite as long as some other firewood types, like oak to dry out, but you’ll experience good results if you let it sit for at least six months or so before using it.

Burning The Wood

Hawthorn burns slow and hot, making it a great choice for a wintertime fire.

It burns well with a high heat output and very little smoke.

Because it is so dense, there are a lot of benefits to burning it

It will burn much longer and much hotter than firewood of other types. You’ll need less firewood to produce the same amount of heat.

It produces few creosote deposits and also minimal ash.

You won't have to do as much cleaning of your chimney, nor will you have to worry about the potential safety hazards of creosote build-up.

It isn’t known for throwing a lot of sparks either, which makes hawthorn ideal for both heating and cooking

The only disadvantage to using hawthorn is that the trees tend to be somewhat small. However, you’ll make up for it since the fires you make with your hawthorn firewood will burn exceptionally hot.

Its heat output in BTUs is comparable to that of apple, cherry, and other similar tree species that are commonly used for firewood.

Hawthorn Firewood - Overall

If you have lots of hawthorn growing on your property, you’re in luck.

This tree is a fantastic firewood species that will burn hot, slow, and beautifully for you.

Just make sure you wear gloves and other protective clothing whenever you are handling it.

The thorns can be quite vicious - and you might need medical attention if you happen to get one lodged in your skin.

Otherwise, burn away - hawthorn firewood is one of the best firewood types you will ever find. 


About the Author

Nick Greenway

Obsessed with firewood, Nick is behind over 350+ of Firewood For Life's articles, as well as countless reviews, guides and YouTube videos to help readers like you reduce heating costs and create the perfect fire.