Is Birch A Good Choice For Firewood In Your Home?

When lighting a fireplace in your home, you must pick the right type of firewood.

This is because different forms of firewood have different characteristics, which will impact the quality of the fire. For instance, some firewood will catch fire more rapidly than others.

Is Birch a Good Choice for Firewood in Your Home?

There are a few different types of firewood that you should consider using, such as oak, maple, cherry, ash, and birch. But is birch a good choice for firewood?

Birch is a heavy and tough wood. Additionally, birch is a flexible wood, making it ideal for woodworking. It is quite comparable to maple, as many of its qualities are similar to this wood.  

Pros And Cons Of Burning Birch Firewood

Compared to other woods, birch is fairly budget-friendly.Birch is perishable and is likely to rot rapidly.
The scent of burning birch is enjoyable.It can burn too quickly. 
Birch is simple to light, as it quickly catches fire.
It will create large flames and burn rather intensely. 

Characteristics Of Birch Wood

Birch is a hardwood that offers decent strength and flexibility. This wood is renowned for its luxurious scent, which is both smoky and sweet. Birch is also reasonably simple to split. 

The moisture content of this wood will vary depending on the species. However, the moisture count of birch is usually around 20%. However, the wood will quickly dry after it has been split. The density of birch is roughly 0.65 g/cm3. 

Reasons To Burn Birch Firewood

Birch firewood has become popular for burning both indoors and outdoors. There are several reasons for the popularity of birch firewood, including:

Easy To Light

Perhaps the most important reason why birch has become such a popular firewood is that it is simple to light. It will catch fire much more rapidly than denser types of wood.


The burning of birch appears across Scandinavia culture. In Norwegian culture, birch would be used to construct Nordland, a traditional type of fishing boat.

Silver birch is found throughout Europe, in places such as Norway and Sweden. 

A type of Swedish birch, named the Ornäs birch, is Sweden’s national tree. As a result, birch has historically been one of the most popular types of firewood to burn in Scandinavian countries.

Birch also has cultural significance. According to Celtic culture, birch symbolizes renewal and new beginnings. It could also represent love.

Birch played an important role in the Celtic celebration of Samhain, during which birch would be used to fend off old spirits from the previous year.

Burns Passionately

Another major benefit of birch firewood is that it will burn passionately once it has caught fire. As a result, it will generate intense heat, which will ensure that your home is warm and cozy.

This benefit will be particularly valuable during the winter.

This fierce burn will also give your birch a strong aesthetic value. 

Super Scent

Birch offers a lovely scent when it is burned. The fragrance of burning birch is an intoxicating combination of smoky, sweet, and woody. This gorgeous scent is bound to make your home a relaxing and welcoming environment. 


Birch is one of the most budget-friendly firewoods on the market. Its price is usually similar to maple. 

Aesthetically Pleasing

Finally, birch is an aesthetically desirable wood. The wood is incredibly light, with a white or silver tint.

By stacking this wood when you store it, you can make a charming feature that will add to the aesthetic value of your home.

This handsome wood will match a range of different decor styles, meaning that it is bound to look good in your home.

Comparing Birch To Other Types Of Firewood

One of the most popular forms of firewood is ash. Though ash offers good heat, the heat input of birch is slightly higher. 

However, ash is perhaps the better option if you want a flame that lasts for a long time. Moreover, birch is between when it comes to the amount of smoke produced.

If you want to produce minimal smoke, ash, maple, and oak are superior options. 

Sustainability Of Burning Birch Firewood

Many homeowners will be concerned about using certain types of wood based on their sustainability and environmental impact. Luckily, birch is considered a relatively sustainable type of wood. 

Birch grows relatively quickly, particularly when they are young. A year of growth will amount to approximately 24 inches/ 2 feet. As a result, birch is renewable and convenient to replace.

Moreover, Birch can also be classified as a sustainable firewood thanks to its potential for carbon sequestration.

This sequestration refers to the process of seizing and storing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Carbon sequestration is essential for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide found in the atmosphere, thus preventing climate change. 

Another reason why birch trees are considered sustainable is that they are abundant. They are particularly common throughout Europe, the USA, and Canada.

The abundance of birch wood means that it can be maintained without depleting this natural resource.

Unfortunately, burning wood will never be an entirely sustainable and environmentally-friendly practice. To obtain this birch, trees will need to be cut down.

Deforestation leads to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

In addition, this deforestation will cause animals to lose their habitats. Birch trees are not only home for certain animals, but they also act as a source of food.

For instance, deers use birch trees as a browse plant.

The burning of wood has also been linked to PM emissions. Standing for particulate matter, PM emissions are liquid or solid matter in the air.

If inhaled, these particles can be harmful to the respiratory system. Not to mention, they can irritate the nose and eyes. 

Aside from the human impact of PM, these particles are also believed to have a detrimental effect on the earth’s climate. The main impact of PM emissions is that they can impact solar radiation levels.

PM emissions are caused by a range of different sources, including coal fires, power plants, and wood burning.

If you want to obtain and harvest your birch firewood sustainably, you should use a source that employs sustainable forest management (SFM) techniques.

The technique aims to use ethical foresting practices that preserve wildlife and natural ecosystems.

You may also want to purchase wood that has been recognized by The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). This non-profit organization encourages responsible forest management.

If you find birch that has been stamped with the FSC logo, this indicates that it has come from a sustainable source.

Safety Precautions When Burning Birch Firewood

Using a fireplace can be a dangerous task. When burning birch, you must ensure that you have taken adequate precautions to stop some of the largest risks associated with fireplaces, namely chimney fires and sparks.

When using birch as firewood, it’s best to wear gloves to protect your hands. Splinters are common when handling firewood. To protect the skin on your arms, it’s advised that you wear long sleeves. 

Another important safety tip is to refrain from using gasoline or lighter fluid. These accelerants are hard to control and can cause fireballs. 

Chimney Fires

Chimney fires are a serious concern when lighting a fire using birch in the home. These chimney fires occur when creosote builds up on the side of a chimney. Alternatively, it could be a result of a blockage in this structure.

If you have a fireplace, you must take steps to avoid this risk. This byproduct comes from the burning of wood. 

Limit Creosote Buildup

The most obvious way of preventing this issue is to stop creosote buildup. One way that you can stop this problem is by using seasoned firewood. This wood has been dried to limit the moisture content so that it is below 20%.

Is Birch a Good Choice for Firewood in Your Home? (1)

Clean Your Chimney

If you regularly use your fireplace, it’s recommended that you have your chimney cleaned frequently. Professional chimney cleaning services will have the tools and expertise to ensure that your chimney is as clean as possible. 

It is recommended that you clean your chimney approximately 4 times a year when burning wood. However, this figure will fluctuate depending on how regularly you use the fireplace.

Inspect Your Chimney

Chimneys should be inspected annually by a certified chimney sweep, as recommended by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA). These experts can look for problems that will increase the likelihood of chimney fires occurring. 

Ensure That Your Chimney Is Lined

Chimney liners are key to the safety of your home. They create a pathway that will safely direct fire from your home. These liners enhance the performance of a fireplace, thus making it safer.


Chimney sparks are a symptom of chimney fires. Many of the ways you can prevent sparks are the same as the techniques used for preventing chimney fires.

Simply by regularly cleaning and annually inspecting a chimney, you can significantly reduce the risk of chimney sparks. 

Using Birch Firewood For Cooking

Birch is a versatile wood that can also be used in outdoor cooking and grilling. Birch firewood works particularly well when grilled meat and poultry, as it offers extra flavor.

As a hardwood, birch makes a great option for a pizza oven. This is because it tends to last significantly longer than many softwoods. 

When using birch firewood for cooking, it’s vital that you correctly store the wood. You should opt for a dry storage area that has good ventilation. 

You should also elevate the birch firewood so that it is above the ground. This will prevent moisture from seeping into the wood.

As mentioned, birch has dismal water resistance, meaning that it is prone to rot when exposed to moisture. To prevent water from coming into contact with your birch firewood, it is best to store it indoors.

If you intend to store it outdoors, ensure that you cover the birch. 

The main issue with storing firewood indoors is that it can be difficult to find a well-ventilated spot.

Furthermore, firewood can attract a range of different insects, such as termites and ants. Stacking the wood is a good method of fending off these irritating insects. 

Firewood racks are a suitable storage option for your birch, as they will keep it elevated from the ground.


Ultimately, birch is an excellent choice for firewood in the home. It is quick to light, will burn intensely, and is a budget-friendly option. Not to mention, this aesthetically-pleasing wood is relatively sustainable. 

If you plan on using birch in your home fireplace, you must take adequate safety precautions. For instance, regularly cleaning and inspecting your chimney is essential when using birch.
Stevie Morris