Firewood, like people, can be different and have their own character. Most firewood is made from broadleaf species, but conifers such as pine and spruce can also be used for firewood.
The smell of wood and the crackle of sparks in the stove or fireplace will warm not only the room, but also the heart, and the wood fills the room with a pleasant fragrance. Sparks jump from spruce and pine wood, so make sure the fireplace has protective glass or a screen to catch the sparks.
The heat output of wood depends on the species of wood, the humidity and where the wood is grown. Oak and ash are the densest woods, but birch, rock and maple also have good heat values. Oak, ash, birch, aspen and pine are considered to be the best quality firewood.
Aspen wood is difficult to kindle, so aspen logs are usually added after kindling with other wood.
Spruce for cosy sparkle
If you like to listen as well as look at the flames, resinous spruce wood is the best choice. Spruce wood has a very high heat output and crackles and sparks as it burns.
Spruce wood can be burned in the fireplace as a single log, but it is recommended to mix it with leafwood in a 3:4 ratio in the oven.
Pine and linden firewood is the most fragrant.
Freshly split pine wood and linden wood will give a stronger aroma. The most fragrant firewood comes from the upper part of the trunk, or the thin end, where the young branches grow most and where there is more resin. Pine wood does not necessarily have to be burned to produce a pleasant aroma. It will also give a long-lasting scent if the firewood is just stacked next to the oven.
Remember that pine wood is very resinous and is best stored in a firewood box or basket at home to avoid staining the floor and walls. Pine wood gives more heat when burnt than spruce wood.
Linden wood is difficult to ignite. It burns slowly, but the heat afterwards is long and persistent. It is not recommended to store linden wood for more than 2 years.
Firewood from beech trees crackles and sparks, so it is not suitable for open fires.
Maple, Oak, Ash, Apple, Cherry, Plum and Pear - for a long and slow flame
Thanks to its high density, firewood from maple, oak, ash, apple, cherry, plum and pear trees burns with a hot and calm flame and forms charcoal that glows and gives off heat for a long time. This wood has no strong smell, does not smoke and does not crackle.
This wood is suitable for fireplaces, but because of its heat it is not recommended for metal, brick and pot-bellied ovens, as its burning temperature is very high and the heat can deform the oven. Lighter wood, with a very small admixture of hardwood, will be more suitable for such ovens.
Oak has the highest heat output of the most common woods in Latvia.
Juniper - for a festive scent
In addition to getting rid of bad energy and viruses, smelling a juniper twig in your home can also create a pleasant scent. Christmas time is a particularly good time to scent your home with a smouldering juniper twig. And when added to firewood, it will also crackle cosily in the flames.
If you have a juniper tree near your house, you can dry the twigs and burn them in winter to spruce up the house.
Juniper populations in Latvia are not large, so they should not be cut down in forests and their branches should not be broken.
Birch wood for fragrance and beauty
Birch wood is the most common. It does not spark, but burns with a steady, long flame. The calorific value (heat energy given off) is higher than for softwood. Compared to other firewoods, birch wood produces more soot and ash. Burning wood produces the most soot; even the glass in the fireplace door can remain black. The solution is to tear it off or burn it with aspen, ash or oak wood in a 4:1 ratio. As ash firewood burns, its smoke cleans the flue of soot.
Birch firewood with its tassels looks beautiful stacked by the stove or fireplace. It burns for a long time with a steady flame. The smell of birch wood lasts up to two years.
Alder wood gives a lot of heat when burning and hardly smokes.
As the alder wood dries, the ends of the logs turn a beautiful red-brown colour over time. It gives a lot of heat when burning and hardly smokes. The aroma of alder wood persists even after three generations.
Alder is suitable for any solid wood based heating appliance.