Wood information - burning firewood

Firewood is stored and seasoned outside

All our firewood is seasoned and stored outside in the open air, and therefore subject to weather conditions. Wood that is periodically wetted down on the surface will season more quickly than wood stored in a dry environment, as the surface water keeps cellular pathways open for moisture to move to the surface and evaporate. This process will continue until the wood moisture content is in equilibrium with the humidity of the surrounding air. This is known as the Equilibrium Moisture Content.

What is dry firewood?

First let us clarify what ‘dry’ wood is. When people say ‘dry firewood’ what they really mean is ‘seasoned firewood’. Seasoned firewood has had the sap dried out of it. Depending on the type of wood this can take up to 2 years to achieve.

Different wood, different burning

Gum & Manuka: Hardwoods, long burning time with maximum heat output. Both are clean burning.

Gum can be difficult to start a fire.  The easiest way to identify gum is to look at the end, it is smooth and often has cracks this happens during the seasoning process. Even though Gum is a hardwood it will  absorb rain, this will usually dry after a couple of weeks if stored correctly.

Douglas-Fir & Macrocarpa: Medium woods, good heat output and reasonably long burning, easier to start fire with. Very clean burning woods. Identify both woods by looking at the end of the wood, they should be rippled, a bit like orange peel.

Douglas-Fir has the unique ability to shed water, this makes it suitable for purchase and burning during long periods of rain.

NB: It is important to note that macrocarpa is not suited to open fires as it has a tendency to spark a lot.

Split Pine. Softwood. Good heat output. Easy to start fire. Will generally burn faster than hard woods. Suited to both open fires and log burners. Split pine may absorb the rain readily due to its soft nature, consider this characteristic when purchasing during the winter. Split Pine can be susceptible to mould that grows on the surface of the wood utilising sugars and other carbohydrates. It gives the wood a woolly or powdery appearance, but does not affect the firewood. The end of the pine is rippled, a bit like orange peel.

NB: We don’t recommend burning Old Man Pine, it is a very dirty firewood to burn, soot’s up the chimney very quickly and is very bad for the environment.

Our recommendation when burning firewood is to select a combination of wood. A soft wood to start the fire and get a good hot base, then a hard wood to slow down the burning time and have maximum heat output. Our most popular option is a combination of Gum and Split Pine.

When purchasing Gum and Split Pine/ Douglas-Fir/ Macrocarpa  after periods of rain.

For a couple of weeks you will have to be selective of the pieces you burn. You can usually tell the pieces that haven’t absorbed as much moisture as others. Pine is like a sponge it absorbs moisture right to the core.  Even though Gum is a hardwood it will also absorb rain.

Please ensure you start the fire with the Split Pine/Douglas-Fir/Macrocarpa, select pieces that are light in colour and haven’t absorbed as much moisture. Don’t try and start the fire with gum. The easiest way to tell the difference is by the end of the wood. The gum is smooth, some pieces have cracks, this shows the gum is seasoned, Split Pine/Douglas-Fir/Macrocarpa, have a rough rippled end a bit like orange peel.

Start the fire with the Split Pine/Douglas-Fir/Macrocarpa, establish a good hot fire. Don’t put any gum on until you have the fire burning really well. Put one piece of gum on the fire, keep adding Split Pine/Douglas-Fir/Macrocarpa, around the gum, once the gum is burning well and starting to glow you can then start to add another piece always adding Split Pine/Douglas-Fir/Macrocarpa as well.

Best Buy

Always check out our “Best Buy” on the order page. This is updated regularly it’s particularly useful during long periods of rain.

Loading firewood into delivery trucks

We do not load our firewood with loaders or any form of scooping method. Our delivery trucks are loaded by a conveyor system, eliminating foreign matter as much as possible.

Measures

We deliver in lots of 2 or 4 cubic metres, this is a thrown measure (ie. the wood is thrown in the truck, not stacked). For those of the old school, 1 cord is equivalent to 3.6m3.

Certificate of Approval

Our delivery trucks are all Certified under the Weights and Measures Regulation 1999. They have a certificate of approval for firewood volume measure. Issued by, The Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment, Wellington.

Storing your firewood

Store firewood in a well ventilated, covered location. A wood shed with an open side, is best. If a woodshed is not available, wood stored in the open with a secured waterproof cover (e.g. a tarpaulin or corrugated iron) on top is the next best option. Leave the sides open so the wood can breathe.

If possible, store firewood off the ground, on a pallet, layer of bricks, stone or plastic sheet to prevent moisture from being drawn up into the woodpile. Wood stored in a criss-cross pattern allows for greater air circulation.

Delivery regions

We deliver direct to customers throughout the Greater Wellington region, as far north as Waikanae on the west coast, and Masterton on the east coast. Delivery is made Monday to Friday.

WINZ Quotes

If you require a WINZ quote simply phone or email us your full name, address, contact phone number, type of wood required. We will either post or email your quote for WINZ.

Payment

Payment is required on delivery. We accept bank transfers but funds must be cleared prior to delivery. A GST invoice/receipt is issued at the time of delivery.