Often we are contacted by customers asking what the differences are between birch vs ash logs, primarily interested in the facts regarding the heat output and burn characteristics of the two species.
It’s worth mentioning that both birch and ash are both hardwoods, albeit that birch is softer than ash, and when kiln dried to a sufficiently low moisture content both make excellent firewood, however there are a few key differences which are important to consider when buying your firewood:
Birch logs burn faster and provide heat faster
Being slightly less dense than ash, birch logs provide slightly more heat upfront, therefore are great if you only use your stove for a few hours in the evening or at the weekends; your stove gets hotter quicker and the space you’re trying to heat will get up to temperature very quickly.
Ash logs offer a longer sustained burn and are more suitable for medium usage – 5-6 hours per night, for example.
Birch logs produce slightly more smoke
The only other real difference in burning characteristics other than heat output and burn time is that birch produces slightly more smoke than ash – nothing significant, but a fact none the less.
If you are a very casual user of your stove, birch is probably the best option, however if you use your stove more regular than we would recommend either ash or oak for very intensive use.
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