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Have Your Say: The Community Poll

As you may know, at Logs Direct we run a community poll regularly. The current question? Your favourite species of wood to burn. Currently Ash is easily leading the field with over half of the vote, while Oak has a little over a quarter and Alder brings up the rear. If you haven’t already voted, there’s still time – but are you prepared for the vote?

Putting them to the Test

You can order one of our speciality Kiln Dried Hardwood Crates  – this would come to you as a specific wood type including Oak, Ash, Birch, and Alder. You could also order a certain type and ask for a sample to be put on top so you can try two different types in one load. Instead, you could order a Dumpy Bag of seasoned hardwood logs in 25cm or 37cm length, which will contain a mix of seasoned ash, alder, and birch or other quality hardwoods of equal density. Which of these is best for you depends on how much storage space you have, how quickly you get through the wood you burn – and if you prefer your wood seasoned or kiln dried “ready to burn”. There’s no better reason to vote than because you’ve had a chance to properly sample all three and come to a decision. Take your time.

Why Choose Alder?

As a fast-growing hardwood tree, (perhaps the fastest in the UK) alder wood isn’t as dense as many other hardwoods, and you may find yourself using one or two more  logs, especially on older, less efficient stoves – but it’s  a really good firewood to get alight and a beautiful fragrant burn, and it’s generally agreed that it’s one of the best flame picture fires available from wood. Alder’s also fantastic for making into charcoal, and coupled with that aromatic smoke it’s a favourite with many barbecue fans and with anyone who smokes fish or chicken. Over the past few years there has been substantial growth in the market for pizza oven wood, again many manufacturers have searched diligently for the best wood, there is number of differing opinions on the subject but we have continued to supply many restaurants and now domestic homes across the UK with wood for these outdoor ovens and Alder has always been the firm favourite amongst the woods as there is so little smoke when cooking and the wood can get to temperature as quick if not quicker than using gas. Why choose Birch? For many years both in the UK and Europe Birch has been one of the most popular woods for people to burn. The birch family of trees can be sub-divided into a number of different types but most of them burn in a similar manner, so what are the advantages of burning Birch? Birch needs to be dried as quick as possible wet green birch left out in the open will very quickly start to go rotten and break down, fantastic for little insects but not much use for the wood burning stove, so if the wood is immediately kiln dried (so the breakdown process is halted indefinitely) or left to season in the correct conditions then what you get is a great log to light up and a really beautiful blue flame pattern with lots of heat and a reasonable length of burn. When the bark of the birch dries it very quickly can peel off the log, many people then use this as kindle wood for lighting the fire or as a decorative piece in the home. Birch is also one of the greatest woods for making into a decorative display for the home, the importance of kiln drying the wood first is paramount so that all life organisms have been destroyed before entering the house, it then can become a beautiful display of white grains of wood either as a table top display with candles inserted or as a wall side display with round wood grain been shown off  and when you need a change of display you can simply take the logs down and replace with a new set. We don’t advice that Birch is used for a pizza oven or in cooking on a BBQ.

Why Choose Oak?

A hard, strong timber, oak burns very slowly and produces a small flame – but that small flame is a very hot one, and it will burn steady for a long period of time. Because of its very dense nature it requires a larger stove space and usually burns better on larger capacity 6-12kw stoves. We normally have Oak available in 25 and 37cm lengths. Historically, the Yule Log was often cut from oak, set aside, and specially seasoned to be a treat for Christmas – and that tells you a lot about how prized oak can be as firewood!

Why Choose Ash?

So with those woods having strong arguments in their favour, why is ash such a popular choice? The answer is simple; ash is more dense but can burn to a high temperature quickly, Many people say that Ash can be burnt  “green” i.e. when it has just been chopped down but in reality you can try to burn any wood whilst it is green and the same principle will apply the tree will contains up to 75% water depending on the time of year you chop it down, so cooking or boiling water is best left to the kettle or pan and then dry the wood properly to a moisture of less than 20% and the fire will be amazing, the glass on the stove will be clean and the chimney will not have lots of nasty tars etc that are cause of many chimney fires because wood has been burnt green. The only problem with Ash is that due to its popularity over the past few years stocks of the product are fast diminishing both in the UK and Europe and over the coming months and years we will all need to get used to the fact that ash will become much more expensive as demand continues but stocks of raw material are becoming much less available so perhaps we need to start thinking of chasing the most popular type to another wood species. Given all that there is no wonder that this is the wood leading our poll – but do you agree? There’s time to have your say and set the record straight.
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