Firewood Comparison Chart


BTUs, or British Thermal Units, measure the heat of combustion. Even among the same species, different chunks of firewood are going to burn hotter than others, depending on how dry they are and the conditions under which they grew. These numbers are intended as a rough comparison.
It’s good to know that moisture content is more important than tree species when planning for wood heat. Wood that has dried properly will almost always burn hotter than wood that still has moisture in it, because much of the heat energy is used to evaporate the remaining water. Try to stack your firewood about a year in advance so that it has time to completely dry. You’ll get more heat out of your investment if you do.



  • Jamie Burston on said:

    You should really mention the risk of Dutch Elm Disease, if dead wood is left the bark/tree is a risk for infection which could then act as material for the bark beetle to breed and spread the disease, which kills elm. All Elm is precious as it’s supports the nationally threatened White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly, of which exclusively breeds on Elm.

  • Steven Kan on said:

    Is that second, larger table available as text, instead of as just a graphic?

    I’d love to get that into a sortable table.

  • Dee Morris on said:

    Osage orange, also called Bois’darc? and locust is the BEST to burn in wood heaters, IMO. If cured, it burns longer and and hotter than oak, I believe. We heated a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with it in the Midwest for a few years..

  • Mike James on said:

    Very interesting article here. Wood burning is a great alternative to conventional heating if you’re willing to put in the work.

  • jon muray on said:

    My limited experience in wood burning has been near exact opposite of what I read on this chart. Whoever the idiot was that put this together wasn’t even keen enough to put the btus on there. I would suggest finding info elsewhere.

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