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Why Choosing Firewood is An Artform

Lots of fairy tales talk about children going into the forest in search of firewood, and in many parts of the world, kids still do this as part of their daily chores. For most Aussies, firewood isn’t a primary fuel source (YET). We use them in artisanal boutiques, or to power wood heaters, home fireplaces, or wood fired pizza ovens.

If your firewood is for commercial use, you need a reliable, consistent supply. Here at Ample Firewood, we have a delivery service, and we are known for our reliable services and last-minute rescues so you never have to worry about running out of wood. Just give us your requirements and we’ll find the right wood for you.

Of course, if you’d prefer to choose your own firewood – Sydney hosts our lumberyard and you’re welcome to come over. Our main depot is in Homebush. For some customers, choosing logs is an important part of their firewood experience, and we always welcome walk-ins.

If you’re new to wood collecting, here are a few tips to get you started. First, ignore your instincts. Usually, when anyone is looking at trees, they veer towards the bright, green, fresh-looking ones. Moisture and succulence implies energy and life, so you’ll probably be drawn to bright brown logs for your firewood bag. Quash that reflex. Kill it with fire.

Why? Because firewood is … dead wood. If it looks alive, it’s not going to burn well. Moist wood will only fill your kitchen with dense smoke and choking smells. You need to go for the oldest, greyest, deadest looking bits of wood. They will give a long, strong, crisp, high-heat burn. Reach for the back of the log stack, not the front.

Wood needs proper ventilation to dry it out completely, so if your wood supplier has it in a careless pile, run. Piled wood will easily get mouldy, especially the pieces near the bottom, which will absorb and retain moisture. So, if you must pick wood out of a haphazard pile, use the opposite approach and grab from the top. We don’t advise this though, since piled wood is likely to be low quality by-product from excavators or tree loppers.

If you’re picking your wood out in the wild, you’ll be more likely to encounter softwood, because it’s the most common form of natural forestry. Soft wood kindles faster, but it doesn’t burn for very long, so pick hardwood logs instead. Don’t chop branches off trees, because they still contain sap and natural moisture.

Instead, collect the twigs that have already fallen off the tree and seem to have been on the ground for a while. They’ll be drier. Check that they haven’t absorbed dew or ground moisture though. You can evade this by doing your wood forays during the day, or in the evening, when the dew has evaporated.

In terms of wood species, fir is good for a living room fire, because it smells great and catches fire quickly, but it burns out in minutes. Pine fires can be oily and sooty, and the smell is overpowering, so avoid it indoors. Other softwoods for domestic hearths are cedar and spruce. They give off a rich comforting crackle and minimal smoke.

For cooking and log-burning heaters, go for hardwoods instead. Some good choices include oak, ironbark, blood wood, and red gum. We offer stacking services within six feet from the point of delivery, to keep your wood dry and ready-to-burn. For good firewood that is expertly selected and responsibly sourced, call Ample Firewood today on 1800 677 918.

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