Wood Types

If you are having a fireplace or flue designed and would like information about wood burning times, or to find out which woods burn the best, use our table below. For more information about fireplace design or flue design and installation, contact us on 020 3819 7770

Common
Name
Botanical
Name
Comments
Alder Alnus A low quality firewood. Grade:1
Apple Malus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well
with a pleasant smell and without sparking/spitting. Grade:3
Ash Fraxinus Considered to be one of the best woods
for firewood. It has a low water content (approx. 50%) and can be split
very easily with an axe. It can be burned green but like all wood is best
when seasoned. Burns at a steady rate and not too fast. Grade:4
Beech Fagus Beech has a high water content (approx.
90%) so only burns well when seasoned well. Not as good as
Oak. Grade:3
Birch Betula Birch is an excellent firewood and will
burn unseasoned. However, it does burn very fast so is best mixed with
slower burning wood such as Elm or Oak. Grade:3-4
Cedar Cedrus A good firewood which burns well with a
pleasant smell. Gives off a good, lasting heat. Doesn’t spit too much and
small pieces can be burned unseasoned. Grade:2-3
Cherry Prunus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well
with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade:2-3
Elm Ulmus A good firewood but due to its high water
content of approximately 140% (more water than wood!) it must be seasoned
very well. It may need assistance from another faster burning wood such as
Birch to keep it burning well. However it gives off a good, lasting heat
and burns very slowly. Dutch Elm Disease is producing a constant &
plentiful supply of small dead hedgerow Elm trees of a small diameter.
Larger pieces of wood will prove difficult to split. Grade:2-3
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Allow to season well since the wood is
very wet (sappy) when fresh. Can be difficult to split due to stringy wood
fibre. Best method is to slice into rings and allow to season during the
summer, the rings will start to split themselves. Burns fast with a
pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade:2-3
Hawthorn Crataegus Good firewood. Burns well. Grade:3-4
Hazel Corylus Excellent firewood. Allow to season.
Burns fast but without spitting. Grade:4
Holly Ilex Can be burnt green. A good firewood. Grade:3
Hornbeam Carpinus Good firewood. Burns well. Grade:3
Horse Chestnut Aesculus A low quality firewood. Grade:2
Larch Larix Needs to be seasoned well. Spits
excessively while it burns and forms an oily soot within
chimneys. Grade:1
Lime Tilia A low quality firewood. Grade:2
Mulberry Morus Hardwood. Haven’t tried this myself but
am told that it is an excellent fire wood. Grade:3-4
Oak Quercus One of the best firewoods. When seasoned
well, it gives off a good, lasting heat. Burns reasonably
slowly. Grade:4
Pear Pyrus Needs to be seasoned well. Burns well
with a pleasant smell and without spitting. Grade:3
Pine Pinus Needs to be seasoned well. Spits while it
burns and forms an oily soot within chimneys. Grade:1
Plane Platanus A usable firewood. Grade:3
Poplar Populus Considered a poorer firewood (see
comments below). Grade:1
Rowan Sorbus aucuparia Good firewood. Burns well. Grade:3
Spruce Picea A low quality firewood. Grade:2
Sweet Chestnut Castanea Burns when seasoned but spits
continuously and excessively. Not for use on an open fire and make sure
wood-burning stoves have a good door catch! Grade:1-2
Sycamore (Maples) Acer pseudoplatanus Good firewood. Burns well. Grade:3
Walnut Juglans A low quality firewood. Grade:2
Wellingtonia Sequoiadendron Poor for use as a
firewood. Grade:1
Willow Salix Willow has a high water content so only
burns really well when seasoned well. Grade:2-3
Yew Taxus A usable firewood. Grade:2-3

different kinds of wood

An Old Wood Burning Rhyme

Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for long ’tis laid away.
But Ash new or Ash old
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.

Birch and fir logs bum too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last.
It is by the Irish said
Hawthom bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E ‘ en the very flames are cold.
But Ash green or Ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown.

Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense like perfume.
Oaken logs. if dry and old.
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But Ash wet or Ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by.

Facts about Stone

Common Stone Types

Stones, and the minerals of which they are composed, have been studied with keen interest in the earth science fields for centuries. Geology is the study of the formation and history of the earth, while petrography is the study of rocks and the minerals of which they’re made. Geologists and petrographers worldwide have defined hundreds of different rock types, based on their mineral composition, texture, and method of formation. Commercially, the use of the exact scientific rock definition would be a cumbersome and unnecessarily complicated practice. Furthermore, there are many rocks which are not clearly within one definition or another, but rather “straddling the fence” between two definitions. This point is further elaborated by the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS)1, Department of the Interior: “Scientific and commercial descriptions of various dimension stone types overlap. The scientific description of dimension stone types is focused primarily on the stone’s geographic locality and mineralogical composition, whereas the commercial description is focused primarily on the locality and colour of the stone”.

It has been commercial practice to group stones within performance and behavioural groups as opposed to true scientific definition. While scientifically there are hundreds of rock type identifications, only nine groups are commonly acknowledged commercially: Granite, Limestone, Marble, Onyx, Quartzite, Sandstone, Serpentine, Slate, Soapstone, and Travertine. This means that some rocks are included in groups which are not perfectly coincident with their scientific definition. High density and/or partially metamorphosed limestones, especially those capable of taking a polish, are oftentimes included in the marble group, because they appear, behave and perform more similarly to marble than to limestone. Most igneous rocks, such as gabbro, diabase, anorthosite, sodalite, gneiss, basalt, and many others are included in the granite group because they behave and perform similarly to granite. There are even a few non-igneous rocks (e.g. silicate-based conglomerates) that are commercially grouped with granites. Therefore, if you purchase a Crema Marfil “marble” vanity top, don’t be surprised if a geologist insists that it is limestone, because scientifically it is. Likewise, don’t be surprised if the same geologist informs you that a Paradisio “granite” bar top and an Absolute Black “granite” kitchen island are really gneiss and gabbro respectively, because scientifically that’s what they are. The key is performance. If a rock is sold within the granite group, the rock should be expected to have performance in that application that is similar, or in some cases superior, to that of a true granite.