When it comes to outdoor camping firewood, your needs will differ compared to what you need when burning indoors. We believe it’s important for clients to understand their products and where they come from to get the best value from their premium firewood. This is the key to having an amazing burning experience. This blog is the first of a series that will cover different types of firewood available in the local market, the features and benefits of each type of wood, and how to utilize wood products effectively. With this knowledge, we hope that firewood users will feel confident using the products they purchase. Let’s dive right into the first part of this series covering Alberta Lodgepole Pine Firewood.
Softwood Firewood Utilization
When burning firewood, it is essential to understand the difference between firewood species and how fiber density affects burning. Compared to hardwood, softwood is lower in density, produces less heat, burns faster, and does not burn relatively as clean. In Alberta, the overall forestry density is significantly higher for softwood, which evergreen-type trees can generally distinguish. Since there is significant access to softwood in Alberta, it becomes a cost-effective solution for wood burning requirements.
Typically, we use low-mid quality softwood for recreation such as outdoor camping firewood, or heating outdoor spaces during events. When utilizing softwood, you’ll receive a low to moderate amount of heat, some popping and cracking, moderate to high smoke, and a moderate to high amount of ash. We recommend most softwood firewood for outdoor use; however, select types of softwood that are more premium can be used for indoor burning.
Types of Softwood Firewood
Low-Quality Softwood for Outdoor Camping Firewood:
Poplar can be distinguishable from a few different species, such as balsam, aspen and wild poplar. These trees are frequently considered a form of a tree that acts similar to a weed. They have fast growth cycles, hold a significant amount of water and maintain a moderate wood density. As firewood poplar is considered low grade. This is because of the quantity of water it holds, the aroma released, and overall burning characteristics. Poplar firewood can take up to 2 years to season correctly for burning. By that time, the fibers of the tree tend to break down and experience a significant amount of rot. This drying cycle is not conducive to firewood because it releases a pungent aroma when burned and doesn’t burn very hot. Most people steer clear of poplar because it is uncommon to find a quality firewood suitable for premium wood burning.
Spruce is a type of evergreen tree widely accessible across North America. As firewood, low-mid quality spruce can be used as adequate firewood for outdoor burning. When seasoning spruce firewood, it will take between 6 months to 18 months to be ready. By the time it is dry, it will be a suitable type of wood to burn for recreation. We consider it to be low-mid quality because the BTUs produced from spruce are not significant, and you will experience a high quantity of smoke, crackling, popping, and ash. Spruce works as an outdoor camping firewood or backyard firewood but is not great if you are looking for a cleaner, hotter burning experience.
Mid-Quality Softwood Firewood:
Pine is another form of evergreen tree and a standard mid-quality firewood. This is often the baseline that we use to ensure that you still achieve a good burning experience even when burning slightly lower quality wood. However, it has a higher density and holds less sap & moisture than spruce firewood. Lodgepole pine has a very straight and dense wood grain that makes it ideal for outdoor or recreation wood burning. When you burn pine, you’ll notice it has a moderate amount of smoke, average burn time, and a moderate amount of heat. We recommend using pine as the minimum standard to have the best results with your firewood experience.
Premium Softwood Firewood:
The three types of trees in this section are all forms of evergreens that create premium quality firewood suitable for indoor burning and outdoor camping firewood. When comparing these types of wood to lower quality wood like spruce, you will notice that you get about 1.5X the heat and burn time out of the wood with significantly better burning qualities. The difference in burning characteristics is mainly because these types of wood have increased density in the wood grain and can dry out better than alternative firewoods. This firewood makes for great outdoor burning that is family-friendly, or you can take it indoors and enjoy a fire in your fireplace with a little more character than hardwoods.
Our Lodgepole Pine Firewood
We process our lodgepole pine to 15-16” in length. Cut from dead standing trees then put through the kiln to ensure optimal moisture, this wood is ready to burn. Lodgepole pine can be utilized for indoor or outdoor burning; however, it is generally better for outdoor and recreational burning. As mid-grade firewood, we give lodgepole pine a 2.5-star rating. Most clients will be sufficiently happy with the firewood as long as they are not significantly picky with the highest wood quality. This value purchase will provide good burning characteristics for the respective price.
Purchasing with Timber Ridge Firewood
At Timber Ridge Firewood, we guarantee our products for quality, dryness, and the quantity you receive. We believe in providing a product and service the promises premium quality, fine attention to detail, and amazing customer service. We work hard to build relationships with our clients and want our products and accessories to create the best firewood experience possible for all of our clients.