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Best wood for Fireplace

Q: What wood is best for burning in fireplace and what should we avoid?

We usually pick up any oak that we can get in the subdivision when we see it. Someone wants to give us some cedar. Is that ok to burn if it has dried out for say next year?

Oh, by the way, we are not using to heat, just ambiance, sometimes to heat the great room as we live in the south where it doesn't get too cold.

A: Oak is an excellent wood for burning, as is hickory, ash, hard maple and sycamore. Cedar is OK, too, as long as it's seasoned long enough.

Being a softer wood, cedar will burn faster than your hard woods. It will also catch fire quicker, so I would use it to get the fire started, then add your harder woods after you've gotten some cedar logs going.

You might also want to contact an arborist in your area. He or she will be more familiar with the various types of southern trees, and what makes a good firewood.

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Tom Mugridge

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