It goes without saying that a wood-burning stove can be used to burn wood (the clue is in the name). But what isn’t immediately apparent is that there are some woods that you shouldn’t burn on a woodburner.
For a variety of reasons, there are woods that are best avoided when you are choosing the fuel for your stove. Here are some types of wood we would advise you not to burn on a woodburner.
This one might come as a surprise given that it is readily available, but pine is not a good choice of fuel for a woodburner. Pine has a high resin content and, when burnt, that resin is going to seep out and clog up various parts of your stove system.
Like pine, larch has high levels of resin and is liable to coat the inside of your stove and flue with sticky deposits.
Poplar gives off a thick, black smoke and burns poorly, so it doesn’t have a great deal going in its favour.
Laburnum is poisonous, so you do not want its fumes getting in your home or your lungs. It produces a horrible smell when burnt, so please avoid.
Those are the main woods that should be avoided for the well-being of your or your stove. Of course, any other poisonous woods are best avoided.
Now, here are some woods that you shouldn’t burn if you have a choice simply because they are not very good.
Alder burns quickly while producing very little heat, which is not what you want for a woodburner.
All forms of chestnut are just okay burners, but they also tend to spit a lot. This can make them unpredictable when you open the stove door.
Cypress burns very quickly.
Spurce produces little heat but lots of smoke, and can spark and spit.
Willow burns poorly and gives an unimpressive flame.
A final rule of thumb: don’t burn softwoods if there are hardwoods available. Softwoods are less dense and so burn more quickly.