A fireplace needs firewood. Yep, go ahead and call me Captain Obvious.
Still, some types of wood can burn hotter and more brightly than others.
Some can burn with smoke so filled with resinous sap, that they can gunge up your chimney. While others can burn and release a smoke so toxic, they can fill your home with lung-searing smoke.
Suddenly, choosing firewood doesn’t seem straightforward anymore.
Yet, what about Redwood? Coast Redwood (also referred to as California Redwood), is a giant of a Softwood. In fact, it is the tallest tree species in the world. And it grows abundantly on the Oregon Coast, USA.
But, when it comes to firewood, does Redwood burn cleanly and hot enough to heat up your home?
Well, in this post, you’ll discover what type of wood you should (and shouldn’t) be putting into that firepit. You’ll also discover the type of wood you can safely burn indoors.
And we explain why Redwood is better off used as a ‘Firestarter‘ than as ‘Firewood‘.
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What Type Of Wood Burns The Cleanest (And Is Healthiest To Burn In An Indoor Fireplace)?
For safety, you’ll want a wood type that isn’t going to smoke up a storm, (and won’t release toxic fumes into the air).
So, woods that have very little sap, will minimize the risk of toxicity. Which is why woods such as Oak and Birch are great clean burning lumbers. They’re dense enough to burn hot for a good long while.
And What’s The Best Firewood To Burn, If You Want To Minimize Smoke?
As long as that firewood is dry, before you begin to burn it, it won’t release much smoke. Also, logs that have little sap in them (like Oak and Birch) will produce less smoke than woods filled with sap (such as Pine and Fir).
And What Kind Of Wood Should You Not Burn In A Fire Pit?
For your own safety: Avoid burning wood from trees that contain poisonous compounds, such as the Yew tree.
For fireplace safety: Avoid burning trees that contain a lot of pitch like tree resins, such as Pine and Cedar. You see, those tree resins can contribute to chimney blockages. And all of that resinous build-up in your chimney flue, can start a chimney fire.
Related Post: Is Aspen Wood Really Any Good As Firewood? (Revealed!)
Will Redwood Logs Burn In A Fire Pit?
Coast Redwood will burn just as easily as any other firewood. However, this softwood doesn’t have much density to it.
Low-density woods don’t burn for as long as high-density wood. So, Redwood is better off used as kindling, rather than as house-heating firewood.
But Does Redwood Burn Hot Enough For Firewood?
Yes it does. Actually, according to its BTU (British Thermal Unit) rating, it releases only around 20% less energy than Oak or Black Birch.
However, Coast Redwood is much less dense than Oak or Black Birch, so it doesn’t burn hot for as long as either one of them.
What Is That BTU Rating All About? The BTU rating measures the energy required to burn a piece of wood.
To Sum Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways…
- 1). Redwood makes for good kindling. But, it is not dense enough to truly heat up your home.
- 2). Oak and Birch wood are much, much better options (than Redwood) for clean burning firewood.
- 3). And, for health and home safety, avoid using any sap-filled lumber or poisonous woods in your fireplace.
Firewood BTU Ratings | World Forest Industries
Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) | Forest Research and Outreach