When choosing the best type of wood to burn in your fireplace there are several factors to consider. Some examples are the heat output, the length of the burn, the amount of smoke and sparks, and the ease of splitting, to name a few. It is best to use seasoned firewood. This is wood that has been left out to dry for an extended period of time. Green wood, which has recently been cut from a tree and wet wood are more difficult to burn. They will also create more smoke and generate less heat.

Hardwoods are considered the best firewood because they are very dense and have a higher heat output as they burn. However, they are more difficult to ignite. Use softwoods, such as spruce or pine, as kindling to get your fire started. Softwoods are less dense and more resinous, causing them to ignite and burn much faster. Softwoods may also be used if you would like a short fire that will burn out before you leave the house or go to bed. Be sure that your fire is out before doing either of these.

Following is a list of 10 of the best types of wood to burn in your fireplace.

* Ash is perhaps the best wood for the fireplace. It splits very easily and lights very easily. It usually dries out quicker than other wood species, but will burn very well even if a bit wet or green. There is no heavy smoke and few sparks. Some other woods may have a higher heating value, but overall ash is the best.

* Oak is one of the best types of firewood. It is a slow burning wood that generates lots of heat with a small flame. It does, however, require a long seasoning period. If it is not fully seasoned it can create a smoke smoke. Oak can be difficult to split but its high heating value makes it worth the effort.

* Shagbark Hickory is a very dense and heavy wood that burns very long and has a high heating value. As a bonus, when burning it emits a strong, somewhat sweet aroma. It is, however, more difficult to split.

* Sugar Maple and Black Maple are excellent for use as firewood. Their heating value is high and splitting is not overly difficult. Red Maple and Norway Maple do not burn as hot, but splitting is easier. They are also more abundant species in North America. Silver Maple does not have a good heating value.

* Apple wood is excellent for the fireplace. It has a high heating value and emits a pleasantly sweet aroma when burning. Ease of splitting is not an issue since apple trees are not large.

* Beech wood has an above average heating value and is an excellent choice for the fireplace. It does not create heavy smoke or excessive sparks.

* Birch wood is another excellent choice for the fireplace. Yellow and Black Birch will burn long and hot. White and Gray Birch tend to burn faster. Birch splits easily, but be careful of sparks when burning.

* Pecan has a high heating value. In addition it emits a pleasant aroma while burning. It is easy to split and is not prone to excess smoke or sparks.

* Dogwood is another top choice for the fireplace. It has a high heating value and is easy to burn. It is also reliably easy to split.

* Ironwood (Hornbeam) has a very high heating value. It is a very dense wood and can, therefore, be difficult to split. Sparks may also be an issue.

Regardless which wood you choose to burn in your fireplace make sure that safety is a priority. Use proper tools when splitting wood or tending to the fire. Always use a fireplace screen. Any wood species can spark and send out flying embers. Never leave the house or go to bed with a fire still burning. Enjoy your fireplace but keep yourself and your family safe.

Source by Michael B Wall