Are you struggling to find the perfect timber to burn in your wood heater, well here’s a guide on picking the best wood to burn.
Australia is a big country. Much of it is vast countryside from east to west, hinterland to the outback, rain forests in the northeast Daintree, to large native Karri forests in the Great Southern.
This diversity of timber makes for a great abundance of firewood, no matter where in the country you reside.
If you are thinking about installing an Ultimate Fires wood heater, and therein thinking about what type of firewood to burn - well, it really depends on whereabouts in Australia you live.
Wood For Wood Heaters
Considering most of the firewood types stem from the Eucalyptus/Myrtle family, some will be localised while others such as the River Red Gum are prolific, and can be found right across Australia, though usually close to a major water source, like the Murray-Darling River system and up through the Channel country.
However, what might be popular and in abundance in Western Australia might be in short to zero supply elsewhere across the nation, mostly because certain Eucalyptus varieties are indigenous to that state or region.
The same applies to all the other states; each will have their own native variety of timber suitable for combustion burning.
Most local firewood suppliers will be able to make recommendations to the customer, based on their wood heater type, and will have their own preferred types of timber for burning purposes, usually based on several criteria, such as:
The firewood is locally available and in good supply.
Good yield for the customer when buying by the trailer load, when comparing with other timber.
The timber is identified as being suitable for a combustion wood heater, especially a combination of slow/long burn and high heat.
Sometimes a mix of fast burning and slow burning firewood might be a solution in helping to get your wood heater up and running quickly.
List Of Best Wood To Burn
So, on that basis, let's look at what is typically available and popular around the country and you (as the customer) can decide what is the most appropriate timber/firewood for your wood heater.
Jarrah - Jarrah is a common and well sought-after Eucalyptus hardwood for home heating in Western Australia. Both traces of smoke and ash are minimal, making it an ideal solution. Jarrah is readily available in the Perth metro area as well as the South West.
White Gum- Also known as wandoo, is a dense and heavier hardwood, and is also a common Eucalyptus firewood variety in Western Australia. Because of its density, it burns slower and hotter. Using it in a mixed capacity with Jarrah might be worth considering.
Sugar Gum - Is mostly a plantation derived hardwood originating from South Australia and is endemic throughout Victoria too, but it is grown elsewhere around Australia. It is ideal for building, joinery and furniture making, but is slow-growing, dense and heavy to handle. In the past, rural farms have used this eucalyptus variety for firewood and fencing, but nowadays good quality Sugar Gum is used mostly for decorative projects, such as polished floors, doors and cabinetry. It would have to be a very low grade if committed to the firewood category.
River Red Gum - As mentioned, a prolific tree found right across Australia with concentrations in South Australia, Northern Victoria (Murray River), outback New South Wales and up into Western Queensland, as it follows the Darling River system. Since colonial times, it has proved to be a versatile timber with many applications. As a firewood, it is ideal for combustion wood heaters, but because of its low flame output, it may not be as effective on an open fire. However it is a very common firewood and in abundance.
Ironbark - Not so much a single Eucalyptus variant as such, but a family with numerous types generally associated with the term. The common varieties are the Red and Gray Ironbark. Found mostly in New South Wales, Southern Queensland, down into Victoria and over into Tasmania, this is another excellent combustion type firewood, and should be in abundant supply for those of you living in those regions listed above.
Grey Box - Another hard wood with several Eucalypt varieties and names. It is found mostly in New South Wales and Queensland but also in Victoria and South Australia. Another popular choice of firewood for your wood heater.
Extra Wood Heating Tips
There are a few other things to consider other than the type of firewood you buy.
Buying it 'dry' (or seasoned) means that it's been curing naturally for the best part of a year. Buying it 'green' (or wet) means the firewood still has some moisture content in it. You can usually tell when you split a log, and look for colour variation between the outer and inner parts of the wood. If it's dark on the inside, it still has some drying to do. There may also be a price difference, green might be cheaper but you may have to leave it to dry a bit longer before using it.
Shop around locally, compare the cost of volume (say per tonne), or per trailer and delivery.
Don't leave it too late prior to Winter, as supply and demand could create unavailability or increase the price.
It's not compulsory to check, but if you do have concerns about the environment and whether the firewood comes from legal and sustainable sources, then all you need to do is ask the supplier.
The type of wood heater you have, Freestanding wood heater or in-built wood heater, size, heating space, fan-forced or not.
Enjoy the warmth of your Ultimate Fires wood heater and your selecting Australian firewood.