Baby, It’s Cold Outside

October 28, 2020 · 2 minute read
Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Well, not really, but it’s finally getting cooler. My favorite time of year — autumn!

Our family just enjoyed our first fire together this season — the sound, the subtle aroma, and perfect temperature from the fireplace made for the perfect evening for our family in the living room.

Shortly before our wonderful evening at home, we conversed with our neighbors as they were having an outdoor gathering with their family around their campfire. ‘Tis the season.

Whether inside or outside, there are many safe ways to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a fire with your family and friends. In the event you enjoy this as much as we do, here are a few guidelines I’ve found helpful over the years:

Firewood Selection

Quantity:  A full cord is 4’ high x 4’ wide x 8’ long stacked. That means a “pickup load” will be closer to a half cord than a full one. You may also run into the terms “face cord” or “rick cord.” These both refer to a stack of wood that is 4′ high by 8′ long and roughly 16 inches wide because firewood pieces that are 4′ long don’t fit in many fireplaces.

Seasoning:  Seasoning generally refers to moisture content. Seasoned wood will burn at a higher BTU rate, burn cleaner, and produce less creosote and smoke. It is, therefore, safer and more environmentally friendly. It’s always a good idea to give your firewood a full Virginia summer (or more) to season.

Species:  In Virginia, we are blessed with an abundance of hardwood trees, so these are what I tend to use, almost exclusively. Surprisingly, dogwood has an incredible BTU rate. So do many fruit trees. However, the most common in our area to be utilized on a larger scale are oak and hickory. Maple and locust are useful as well. While softwoods, such as poplar, for example, can be used, I typically only use this to get the fire started as it burns very quickly. Click here for a chart on which trees produce the most BTUs when turned into firewood.

Mentioned above are guidelines I like to keep in mind when splitting my own or purchasing firewood. If you’d like to keep some of the wood from a Truetimber project, please let us know. Otherwise, check out Riverside Firewood for split firewood from our sister company, Riverside Outfitters. Or, you want to split your own, go to Truetimber Backyard.