At National Firewood we always source our timber from sustainable forests and well-managed woodland.
But what exactly is the concept of managed woodland?
The idea behind woodland is to maintain the biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and potential to fulfill; of a forest or woodland. More simply the aims are to achieve a balance or equilibrium whereby the forest or woodland is allowed to retain a healthy and diverse balance of trees whilst enabling the demand for timber to be met.
The challenge for forest management is to control how it is used today and how today’s actions affect the future of the forest tomorrow.
Types of Firewood
There are two main types of firewood; green firewood and seasoned firewood.
Green firewood is effectively logs thas have been cut down in the preceding 12 months, as it is defined as wood that contains at least 50% moisture. Burning green firewood is therefore very ineffective due to this moisture as the potential energy from the wood is lost in turning this moisture into steam – rather than generating the heat that is required.
Seasoned firewood is wood that is ready to be burned as it has a moisture content of less than 20% which can only realistically be achieved by keeping the wood for more than 12 months. But this isn’t enough, you need to split the wood and store it properly to allow the moisture to evaporate over time. The optimal moisture content is between 10% and 20%, any lower and the wood will typically burn too quickly. Any higher and the wood will not burn efficiently.
However, different species of wood will burn differently depending on how much moisture they retain.
Once you have bought your firewood, you need to ensure that it is kept in the right conditions. You should use the oldest firewood first so when you replenish your wood stock, ensure that the new wood is stacked at the back, or that the older wood is brought forward to be used first. Firewood should be stored in airy conditions and protected from the rain, but not completely covered as this will restrict airflow and encourage mould to develop.
You should ideally store your firewood in a dedicated building or structure, such as a wood shed or bunker. The firewood must be protected from the rain as much as possible, whilst still being exposed to wind and sunlight, which will help to maintain the correct moisture content.
So the wood store needs to have a roof or top covering. It can be left open at the sides but if there is a “windy side” this may need a bit of cover to prevent the rain from blowing onto the wood. Or if the area is very exposed then the sides will need some protection from the elements whilst maintaining an air flow. Above all, the wood needs to be stacked on a dry surface, ideally 10 centimetres off the ground so that there is ventilation underneath.
If you can, it is a good idea to organise your firewood into new and old stock – so that you can rotate your firewood that is ready to be burned, so as to prevent old stocks laying at the back of the store for years, attracting woodworm.