Birch firewood is a great alternative to other hardwoods like Oak and Hickory. Black birch has the same BTUs per cord, but burns a little faster than oak or hickory. This makes it easier to get your fire going quickly in cold climates. It's also relatively inexpensive, which means you can spend more of your budget on high-quality wood rather than fuel for your fireside.
On top of that, birch is an attractive wood with a light color and excellent burning properties. All these factors make birch a fantastic choice when you want to save money while still enjoying a warm fire by the hearth.
Is Birch Good Firewood - Where to Find It
Birch firewood is available in most places where you can source firewood. It's most easily found in the northern half of the US and Canada, but you can find it across North America and Europe. If you live in a wooded area, you might be able to source birch firewood for free by "foraging" or looking around in your own backyard.
Otherwise, you can always look for a reputable supplier near you.
What Birch Firewood Should Look Like
Birch firewood should be light in color with few or no cracks. The bark shouldn't be too hard to remove when you are splitting the wood, but it shouldn't come off in large chunks either. If your birch is on the larger side, you may find that it has some imperfections.
The biggest thing you want to avoid is rot. Birch wood is known to rot quickly. If it is rotten, then it is no good as firewood.
How Much Birch Firewood Should I Stock?
If you live in a cold area where firewood is used in the home and not just for camping or emergencies, we recommend at least two cords of wood. This will last most people through winter and into early spring, especially if you are diligent about splitting wood every month or so. You can always buy more if you feel you need it.
How Long Does Birch Firewood Last?
Birch firewood in rounds will last for around four months if stored properly. Split birch seasoned in a dry area will stay good for use for a few years, which means you can get away with buying two or three cords of wood per year. You don't have to re-season your firewood each year, but it's best if you buy two cords during your first purchase and then just rotate them out as you use the wood.
Is Birch Firewood Difficult to Burn?
No. Because birch tends to burn faster than other types of wood, it can be used in stoves or fireplaces where the wood will be burned in short periods of time. It's especially great for fire pits because its fast-burning nature means it can't smolder too long before you toss on another log.
Does Birch Firewood Spark?
Birch firewood does tend to spark a little, though not as much as other woods like pine or willow. This isn't a huge problem for most people, because your fireplace or stove will probably have a screen that keeps sparks from sending embers into the air. It's also fine to enjoy a fire in a pit or even outside if you live where there is no danger of wildfires, but just be aware that birch can spark some.
Does Birch Firewood Smoke?
Birch smoke is similar to birch spark, in that it tends to be a little more smoky than firewood from other species. If you are used to burning birch, this probably won't bother you very much. It's also not really noticeable when there are several logs from other hardwoods burning at once. If you are burning birch alone, however, you might find that it smokes.
Is Birch Firewood Good for Indoor Use?
You can burn birch firewood in your home. Just be sure that you have a screen to protect from embers being blown into your house. Also, check the chimney periodically for soot buildup.
Does Birch Firewood Smell Good?
Birch does not have a particularly strong smell. Most people find that it has almost no smell at all, though some folks say they can detect a very light scent of vanilla.
Is Birch Firewood Expensive?
Birch firewood is not very expensive, but can be on the more pricey side if you are burning it as your main firewood in the winter. This is because it doesn't last as long as other types of wood. If you have long, cold winters you may want to burn other hardwoods like hickory, maple, ash, or oak. It may be best to invest in those types of wood because each piece will last longer.
Is Birch Firewood Good for Cooking?
Yes! Birch firewood can contribute great flavor when cooking over an open flame. It is best used for cooking fish. If you are looking for one of the best woods to cook fish with, birch is an excellent choice.
How Difficult Is It to Split Birch Firewood?
Birch is relatively easy to split. It can give you some difficulty if you are dealing with large pieces. You should be able to split small to medium pieces with an axe. For larger pieces, you may need a splitter.
Does Birch Firewood Have Good Heat Value?
Yes! Birch firewood has excellent heat value, which means it burns very hot. This is great if you want to reduce emissions from your home, because you will get maximum heat for the wood that you burn.
There is a broad spectrum between different types of birch firewood. Black birch has the highest heat output. It is very similar to oak. Black birch outputs about 27 BTUs per cord.
How Much Does Birch Firewood Cost?
Birch firewood prices can vary based on several factors, including your location and the time of year. If it's in-season, birch tends to be cheaper than other types of hardwood.
Is Birch Firewood Good for Camping?
Yes. Birch firewood can be great for camping because it burns fairly quickly and has a decent heat value. The smoky nature of birch can be a bit irritating, especially when you are surrounded by tall trees.
Wood smoke is particularly bad to breathe in when camping out under tall and there is a lot of brush surrounding you. You should try to make sure there is ample air flow through the fire and away from you when burning birch firewood.
Where Can You Find Birch Firewood?
You can find birch firewood most often at home improvement stores or local lumberyards. It's also sold in bundles at grocery stores, though it's usually smaller pieces meant for outdoor fireplaces. If you are looking to cut your own wood, be sure to check with your local forestry service to see if they have any recommendations.
If you live in an area where birch trees are abundant, you may be able to pick up some from another landowner that just wants it removed from their property.
Is Birch Good Firewood Summary
Birch is a type of wood that has been used for centuries as fuel. It burns clean, is lightweight, and smells great when you are burning it. Birch firewood makes excellent kindling because the bark peels off in long thin strips which will ignite quickly on contact with an open flame. This is one of the best types of wood to burn indoors or outdoors if you have access to birch trees nearby. The cost of this type of firewood varies depending on where you live but can be cheaper than other hardwoods like oak or maple.