Is Ash Good Firewood? Guide To Season and Burn It

Ash firewood is a great fire starter and burns well. Ash firewood has been used for centuries because it is easy to find, easy to cut and the wood burns quickly with an even heat.

Ash is so versatile, you can use it for almost any fire application. If you are making a campfire, fire in your fire pit, or heating your home in your fireplace or stove, ash firewood should be a wood you reach for every time if it is available.

Ash: Hardwood or softwood

Ash is a light-colored hardwood. Ash is similar in hardness to oak, beech, and birch. Its hardness rating is 1320 pounds-force on the Janka Hardness Scale.

Ash is a dense wood. Its density is close to oak's density. It is often used in place of oak in construction. Some refer to it as golden oak.

Ash's high density makes ash a high heat, long burning wood. It will produce warmth in the cold for many hours.

Depending on the type of ash tree, the height can vary between velvet ash at 50 ft and white ash at 80 ft. Ash trees generally grow to a max of 24" in diameter.

Ash BTU's

White ash is denser than other ash wood so it burns the hottest of all the ash firewoods. White ash's BTU rating is 24.2 million BTUs per cord.

Blue ash is also very dense and comes in just a little behind white ash in the amount of heat it produces. Blue ash has a BTU rating of 23.8 million BTUs per cord.

Green ash weighs more than white ash when it is green. But when green ash is dry, it weighs significantly less than white ash. This is because green ash contains more moisture than white ash. Green ash is less dense than either white ash or blue ash. It also has a lower BTU rating of 20.0 million BTUs per cord.

Splitting/Seasoning (drying)

Ash wood is not hard to split. Some ash firewood is easier to split than others. Green ash is probably the easiest to split. White ash is a little bit harder. The rest of the ash trees fall between green and white ash.

Overall all species of ash have a low moisture content when compared to many other types of wood. Some ash can be burned green without drying it at all. White ash is said to have such a low moisture content that it can be thrown right into the fire as soon as it is cut. Black ash has one of the highest moisture contents and should be seasoned before being burned.

All ash firewood will benefit from some sort of drying. Ash takes between 6 and 12 months to season properly.

Ash trees grow well in the north, central, and eastern parts of the United States. You should harvest them in the early spring if you want to burn the wood in the coming winter.

If you sell firewood, ash is a good firewood to add to your inventory. Because it dries so fast, you can cut and sell it every year. When you are using short drying times for ash, you should use a moisture meter to confirm the firewood is dry.

Burning ash firewood

Ash is a fairly dense wood and burns hot. It is a moderately slow-burning wood. It can be used as your main firewood during winter. It can also be mixed with inferior wood to produce a nice heat during the cool and cold months.

One exception is black ash. Black ash is less dense than many other types of ash. It doesn't burn as hot either. Black ash, while potentially can be used as your cold-weather firewood, would better serve you as a shoulder wood unless you are in the south where there are mild winters.

Ash produces good heat and nice coals. It will keep a house warm during the winter when burned in your wood-burning stove.

Burning one cord of white ash is equivalent to burning 250 gallons of heating oil. If you can get white ash, or any ash, at a good price, it could significantly reduce your cost to heat your home during the winter.

Ash: Sparks

A great thing about ash is its inherent low moisture content. Because ash has such a low moisture content, it doesn't produce many sparks. This is true even if you burn ash when it is green.

If you burn ash when it is seasoned properly, it will have almost no popping at all.

Cost of ash firewood

Ash is very inexpensive firewood to burn. Many times you can find it in your local area being sold by a local business that processes it themselves. Ash should run you somewhere between $300 and $400 per cord.

Is ash good to burn in a fireplace, firepit, stove, or campfire

Ash firewood is truly one of those good all-around products you can use anywhere. Burn it in your fireplace, firepit, stove, or campfire. You will not be disappointed with its performance.

Smell of ash when it's burning

Ash doesn't put off a big smell when it is burned. The smell is a pleasant, very mild scent. It isn't something that is either good or bad. This means you won't really notice the smell unless you are thinking about it.

Is smoke produced when ash is burned

Ash doesn't produce a lot of smoke when it's burning. This is due, again, to its low moisture content. This is one of the reasons ash is so good for burning in any of your fires; indoors or outdoors.

Black ash will produce more smoke than white ash and other ash species.

Conclusion

Ash is a very good firewood that you can use in any season. It gives off very good heat and burns for a long time. Ash has a very low moisture content. It is easy to dry and makes little smoke. Most species can even be burned when they are green.

Black ash is an exception. Black ash is good firewood. It just isn't as good as other types of ash.