Burning Ash Trees in a Fireplace

Written by kaye wagner
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Burning Ash Trees in a Fireplace
Use ash wood for less smoke and fewer sparks. (David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Having a fireplace in your home can add elegance and tradition to a room. The dancing flames in the fireplace can help add an interesting element to a dinner party or help you to enjoy a cold winter night. You can burn a wide variety of wood in a fireplace. Some types of wood create more heat, while others make it easier to start a fire. Some types of ash tree, such as white ash, have a high heat value and are efficient for fires.

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Ash wood creates a very hot flame. Thus, you need to burn less of it to heat a room. This efficiency can help you save money if you are using a fire made with ash wood as the primary source of heat for your home. Ash creates 24.2 million BTUs of heat per cord of wood, as compared to cedar, which creates 13 million BTUs per cord.


Ash wood is highly flammable. Because of this quality, it is simpler for a beginner to ignite a fire with ash wood than other types of wood. Most types of wood will only burn when they are mature. However, even green ash wood will burn, although it has a higher moisture content.


Ash wood is lightweight, making for an easier trip from the woodpile to the fireplace. Ash is also is a less dense wood. This makes it easier to split, but it also means that it burns quickly. Choose another type of wood if you want a slow-burning fire. White ash wood is slightly more dense than green ash wood.

Sparks and Smoke

Ash wood does not produce a lot of sparks or smoke. This produces a comfortable fire for outdoor fires and a safe fire for indoor fireplaces. Other types of wood, including Douglas fir, produce a lot of sparks and smoke.

Use Restrictions

Some types of ash wood are susceptible to fungal or bacterial infections, as well as insect infestations, which spreads quickly from tree to tree. If a fungal or bacterial infection or an insect infestation is moving throughout ash trees in your area, your state agricultural department might quarantine ash firewood. This will help prevent the wood from spreading disease throughout the area. Such a ban may affect your ability to purchase ash firewood.

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