Does Birch Make Good Firewood

Summary – What makes Birch Good for Firewood

Yellow and Black Birch are the better varieties of Birch for firewood due to their elevated MBTU output, all Birch is highly flammable.
Black Birch has the greatest heat value / cord of all the Birch varieties, and it seasons the fastest.
The bark from white birch will make a great fire starter, although white birch is the least favorable variety for firewood.
Birch has a high moisture content will take a full season or more to dry properly.
Birch has a low sap content and produces little smoke and sparks with a mild aroma when burning.


Common Name: Birch

Scientific Name: Birch, Black (Betula lenta); Birch, Gray (Betula populifolia); Birch, Paper (Betula papyrifera); Birch, Yellow (Betula alleghaniensis).

Identification: Medium sized tree. Leaves can be oval or elliptical shape, with either single or (as per North American) double serrated edges. Bark peels easily into layers.

Black Birch Tree
Black Birch Leaf

Location: Asia, Europe and North America. Preferring the cooler climates of North America, Birch species are wide spread through US Hardiness zone 3 to 7.

Location: Asia, Europe and North America. Preferring the cooler climates of North America, Birch species are wide spread through US Hardiness zone 3 to 7.

Hard / Soft: Hard.

US Plant Hardiness Zones

Average Dry Weight / Cord: 3156 – 3895 lbs. (Mid – heaviest 25% to heaviest 25%).
Average Green Weight / Cord: 4312 lbs.
Comparative Seasoning / Drying Time: 9 to 12 months depending on variety

Average MBTU / Pound: 20 – 26.
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: Easy.
Split-ability: Easy.

Smoke: Low smoke.
Sparks: Low sparks.
Scent: Pleasant slightly sweet scent.


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