Wood is a commonly used resource for building a fire. But many homeowners are often confused about which type of wood is the best firewood. While almost everyone is aware that hardwood makes a slow-growing tree that’s denser, burns for longer, and produces more heat than softwood, several myths revolve around the use of softwood as firewood.
In this post, we delve in deep to separate softwood firewood burning facts from fiction. But before we get into the details, it’s a good idea to get an insight into what softwood is and why it makes a good choice for burning wood.
What is Softwood?
Softwood is a versatile wood option that comes from coniferous trees. These are the type of trees that do not have pores. Instead, they have tracheid and medullary ray that aids in water transportation. Given the structural difference, softwood is characterized as a low-density wood. However, it is widely available as it grows quickly.
Given that softwood grows faster, it is used in several types of manufacturing, including paper manufacturing, and is widely used as firewood.
Some of the most common softwoods widely used in various industries are conifers. The most commonly burned softwood includes pine, cedar, and spruce.
Why Softwood Can Be A Good Choice for Burning Wood?
Softwood makes a great choice for burning wood, especially outdoors, for several reasons. Softwood grows much faster compared to most hardwoods. Moreover, they also season much faster than hardwood, making them a great choice for burning.
Apart from plentiful growth, there are many other reasons to choose softwood. Since it is abundant and fast-growing, it makes a pocket-friendly choice. Moreover, it lights easily and is good for camp fires, fire pits, and to supplement hardwood firewood for indoor heating.
Burning Softwood Firewood: Separating Fact from Fiction
Now that you know what softwood is and why it can be a great choice for burning wood let’s bust the myths and find out the facts.
Myth # 1: Softwood Burns Too Fast
One of the most popular myths that revolve around the use of softwood as firewood is that it burns too quickly. Let’s dissect this myth and find out the fact.
Fact – Softwood is Great for Burning
The structure of softwood is different from that of hardwood. Hardwood is porous, which gives it a denser structure, whereas softwood has medullary rays and tracheids, which gives the wood a less dense structure.
Given the lower density of the wood, it is easier to burn softwood, which makes it a great burning wood. While it is easier to light it up, it doesn’t necessarily burn too quickly. To ensure that your softwood doesn’t burn off too quickly, always go for properly dried and seasoned softwood, so that all of the wood is being consumed, and not just the outermost portion of the wood.
Myth # 2: Softwood Produces Too Much Smoke
Another popular fiction that revolves around burning softwood as firewood is that it produces a lot of smoke. Here’s the fact about this myth.
Fact – Dried Softwood Produces Only As Much Smoke As Any Other Type of Wood
Wood burning almost always produces smoke, and if you think that burning softwood as firewood produces more smoke, you need to think again as that’s not always the case.
Softwood that is properly dried and seasoned produces about the same amount of smoke as any other type of wood when burned. Hence, if you intend to use softwood for burning, make sure you opt for dried and seasoned softwood. Plus, some dried softwoods such as pine and cedar give off a very pleasant smell when burned.
Myth # 3: Since Softwood Burns More Quickly, It Can Turn Out to be More Expensive
Many homeowners who are looking for firewood believe that softwood makes an expensive choice. While it is cheaper than hardwood, since it burns more quickly, you need to invest in a lot more softwood which can turn out to be an expensive choice.
Let’s take a closer look at this idea.
Fact – Softwood Burning is Money Saving
Softwood may be easy to burn but it is less costly compared to hardwood, so even if you need to buy more of this type of wood, you will end up saving money. The winning strategy is to supplement hardwood with softwood, since hardwood burns longer, but softwood burns so easily that it can help get hardwood burning hotter faster.
Ready To Try It Out?
If you are looking for seasoned firewood for burning, whether it’s hardwood or softwood, look no further as William A. Day Jr. & Sons is there to meet all your firewood needs. To learn more about what we do and how we can help you with seasoned, kiln-dried, or green firewood, call us today at 207-625-8181.