Does Ash Make Good Firewood

Summary – What makes Ash Good for Firewood

Ash will take a full season to dry properly, upon which time it will become easy to split.
Ash produces low smoke and sparks with a mild aroma when burning
Ash gives off a relatively high MBTU making it a great firewood for hot burns, and good for overnight burning in a wood stove.
Ash provides good heat value / cord.
In general terms, Ash is a good choice for firewood.


Common Name: Ash (Black, Green, Oregon, White)

Scientific Name: Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra), Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia), White Ash (Fraxinus americana).

Identification: Medium to large sized tree with diamond-shaped bark ridges on mature trees. Compound leaves with 5 to 9 leaflets, where buds and branches grow directly opposite each another

Typical Ash Tree
Typical North American Ash Leaves

Black Ash (Fraxinus nigra)

Black Ash is a moderate to fast growing, medium sized tree reaching a mature size of between 1 to 2 feet in trunk diameter and up to 70 feet tall. Foliage can reach as wide as 70 feet.
Black Ash leaves contain between 7 and 13 leaflets. Leaflets are between 3 to 5 inches long with serrated edges. Leaflets are attached opposed to each other, directly to the leaf branch without stalks.

Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

Green Ash is a moderate to fast growing, medium sized tree reaching a mature size of between 1 to 2 feet in diameter and slightly taller than Black Ash at up to 80 feet tall. Foliage can reach as wide as 70 feet.
Green Ash leaves contain between 5 and 9 leaflets. The leaflets are long-pointed at the tip with a tapering base. Leaflets are between 10 to 12 inches long, with very slight serations. Leaflets are attached to the leaf branch, opposed to each other via a short stalk.

White Ash (Fraxinus americana)

White Ash is a moderate to fast growing, medium sized tree reaching a mature size of between 1 to 2 feet in diameter and up to 80 feet tall. Foliage can reach as wide as 70 feet.
White Ash leaves contain between 5 and 9 leaflets. Leaflets are between 2 to 6 inches long, without or with slight serrations. Leaflets are attached to the leaf branch via a short stalk.

Location: Widespread across much of Europe, Asia, and North America (abundant in Eastern and Central states). US Hardiness zone 3 to 9.

Hard / Soft: Hard.

US Plant Hardiness Zones

Ash puts out an average amount of MBTU per pound, with White Ash putting out more heat than Green Ash, and Black Ash the least heat of these varieties.

Dry Weight / Cord MBTU / Pound
Black Ash approx. 2941 lbs. approx. 19
Green Ash approx. 3145 lbs. approx. 21
White Ash approx. 3539 lbs. approx. 23

Comparative Seasoning / Drying Time: 6 to 12 months or more.
Average Dry Weight / Cord: Heaviest 25%.
MBTU / Pound Percentile: Mid – Bottom 25% to Mid – Upper 25%.
This is a comparison measure of MBTU compared to common fire wood varieties as per this best firewood to burn chart.

Cut-ability: Moderate.
Split-ability: Easy (when dry).

Smoke: Low smoke.
Sparks: Low sparks.
Scent: Mild scent.


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