What Kinds Of Wood Are Best For Splitting?

There are many different kinds of wood – in both softwood and hardwood categories. However, when it comes to hardness, diameter, and thickness, they are not all created equal. There are some species of wood that are very challenging to work with, and therefore should be avoided. Woods all have different characteristics, and it is critical to consider them.

Which Woods Should Be Avoided For Log Splitting?

The tree species that are easy to split include ash, hard maple and oaks. However, you need to avoid logs that have interlocking grains, which include the elm, gum, and sycamore. They are difficult to split even when a log splitter is used. Green wood is also easier to break compared to dry wood. On the other hand, is is much easier to split softwoods than it is to split many hardwoods.

Which Woods Burn The Best?

It depends on the wood’s burning potential, which relies on the density of the wood. This can be figured out by determining what the tree species is. For example, usually dense and heavy woods contain high heating values of BTUs (which stands for British thermal units) on a per unit volume basis compared to lighter species of wood.

So what does British thermal unit mean? This is a measure of the amount of heat that is needed to increase the temperature 1 degree Fahrenheit on one pound of water. For instance, air-dried wood is able to produce nearly 7000 BTUs/pound. No matter what species, woods all have the same value.

To illustrate this, in terms of BTU, one unit of oak is able to produce nearly the same amount of heat as two cottonwood units. However, that also means that a higher volume of a lighter wood species is needed in order to emit the same amount of heat that can be produced by a hardwood such as oak.

How to Select the Best Wood for Log Splitting Purposes

For hardwoods

Red or white oak can burn at high heat levels. Compared to other firewood like white ash, they burn less easily. They do not emit as much smoke and spark. However, these woods are difficult to split. However, oak is an excellent choice if you want a great firewood.

Under high levels of heat, hickory and hard maple are quite easy to burn. For instance, hickory, is the hottest burning wood among the most common firewood choices. However, it is difficult to split both hickory and maple.

Another leading option for high heating levels is beech, since it doesn’t emit a lot of smoke and spark. It is an easier wood to split compared to oak, but doesn’t burn as easily. This is another recommended firewood to consider.

Birch does not burn easily and burns from a medium through high heat level. This species of wood is easy to split and makes a great firewood choice since it doesn’t create a lot of smoke and spark.

Black and white ash is easily burned and burns from a medium through high heat. They don’t give out a lot of spark and smoke. They are easy to split, and can also be used as firewood.

For Softwoods

Cypress and redwood are great sources of fuel. They are easy to burn and burn at a medium heat level.

Southern yellow pine: pine makes good firewood even though it emits smoke and sparks, it burns at various heat levels, and is easy to split.

Cedar: This wood is easy to burn including at low heat levels. Although it does emit some serious sparks and smoke, it isn’t hard to split.

Tamarack or larch: This both burn at a medium heat level. Those woods are easy to burn and split. However, they both emit some smoke and smoke. Also, they aren’t the best softwoods to split, but are decent fuel sources, if available in your local area.

Final Thoughts

It isn’t easy to split wood, but it can definitely help when you choose the right wood for the job. Find the right logs for splitting by reviewing the above information and keep your firewood burning! To achieve the best results, make sure to select the right log splitter for your task based on the species or type of wood you need to cut. Hopefully your found this information useful on how to choose the right wood for splitting.