Beech is a type of firewood that is commonly found in Europe but requires a humid atmosphere and drained soil to grow well. Therefore, beech is actually only commonly found sparsely in the UK (mainly in southeast England and south east Wales). Therefore, nearly all beech that is burned in the UK is imported in.
Density of Beech Wood
Beech trees are hard wood and therefore are suitable for burning in wood burning stoves or even open fires. Naturally, beech is a very dense wood and although not quite as dense as other common types of firewood like Oak or Ash, it still has excellent density for burning. The average density of beech logs is around 710 kg/m3 which makes it suitable for burning.
However, many factors can affect the density of the wood and these figures should only be taken as an average. For example, the moisture content can play a big role in the overall density of the wood. Wet wood for example would technically have a high density but would be useless for burning!
Nearly all wood sold to residential addresses in the UK must comply with the ‘ready to burn’ standard. This legal requirement means that wood sold must comply to under 20% moisture content. This not only means that less smoke is produced (and therefore a cleaner environment and chimney) but saves you money as it means you are burning more wood and less moisture.
Advantages of Beech Logs
Beech logs have many excellent properties to make them a great choice for your fire. The high density of beech logs will make them great for us in any fire. The higher calorific value (due to the high density) means you will need less logs than if you were using a less dense type of wood (such as birch). You can expect a typical beech log to burn for 90 minutes subject to the burning conditions.
Beech logs also provide a nice stable flame (although less than birch but more than oak) which can provide great visual aesthetics to any home. The aroma that beech gives off is excellent and along with oak, is probably the best smelling log we have. This can make beech logs an excellent choice if you are looking for that cozy feeling on a crisp winters evening! Beech logs also won’t spark too much and so are relatively safe in open fires (although we would of course always recommend a much more efficient enclosed wood burning stove).
Beech logs are a great allrounder. They burn for a medium to long amount of time, they smell great, and they don’t produce sparks which can be dangerous. They provide a tall flame and hot embers once the flame resides. Beech also compliments mixing very well as well. A burning blend of beech with oak, silver birch or ash is an excellent way to manage a fire.
Disadvantages of Beech Logs
The only real disadvantage that beech logs have is that they can be harder to light than other logs. For example, silver birch is easier to get lit than most other hardwood logs. This is partly thanks to its fantastic silver bark which can really help a fire get going. In comparison, beech may require more kindling, and this should be accounted for when weighing up what type of wood to go for.
Beech Firewood Properties
Here are the properties of beech wood.
Overall, beech is a great all rounder of firewood and would be a welcome addition to any wood burning stove. Just be aware that you may need a little more kindling than normal to get it started!