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Each year, thousands of homeowners in Asheville, North Carolina have trees, logs, limbs, and branches that have fallen on their property or need to be removed for a variety of reasons. Many times, these homeowners question if they should have it hauled off or if they should try to keep it for firewood.

At B&B Tree Service, we can assess your fallen trees and determine whether they can be used for firewood or not. As a general rule, it is safe to use fallen trees for firewood, but it’s also important to understand that some burn better than others.

Hardwoods typically burn long and strong, while softwoods tend to burn quickly and aggressively. The best woods to burn are ash, elm, hemlock, birch tinder, Douglas fir, cherry, hickory, maple, and oak. Of course, the type of fire you’re burning will make a difference in the type of wood you should use.

The first step is to determine the type of tree that has fallen. That is where B&B Tree Service can help. One of our tree contractors can come to your property and identify the tree. However, as a general rule, as long as it doesn’t pose a health hazard, you can burn the wood that you have.

Qualities of Good Firewood

There are several things you should look for when determining whether or not wood is good for burning or not- and the ideal situation it would burn best in: campfire, wood stove, fireplace, etc. The qualities you should consider when it comes to fire wood are:

  • Density
  • Moisture content
  • Heat output
  • Smoke
  • Resin in the wood
  • Fragrance


Density is important in firewood. Dense wood is going to burn hotter and longer relative to the size of the wood. Typically, dense wood is preferable for firewood. Density is measured in dry weight per square foot since it is the easiest to understand.

Moisture Content/Seasoning

The moisture content of properly seasoned wood is under 20%, but can go as high as 25%, but never higher. The moisture content must be low enough for it to burn. The amount of time it takes to properly season wood depends on the conditions and can take as little as 6 months and as long as 2 years.

Heat Output

The heat output of wood is measured in millions of BTUs per cord and is related to the density of the wood.

Smoke, Resin, and Fragrance

When you’re wondering if a fallen or felled tree is appropriate for firewood, it’s easy to forget about the smoke that the firewood will produce while burning, the resin that is in the wood, and the fragrance it will create.

Even when seasoned, birch holds moisture under the bark than other woods, which can cause a lot of smoke. Pine has a lot of resin and, when used in an indoor fireplace, can cause creosote to build up- which is dangerous. Eucalyptus has a medicine-like smell that some people find unpleasant, while others enjoy it.

These are all factors to consider when you’re trying to determine whether or not you should use a tree that has fallen, or you’ve had cut down. Of course, this will depend on how you plan to use it: campfire, indoor fireplace, wood-burning stove, or other use.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you’ve recently had a tree or branch fall on your property and you’re interested in using it for firewood, contact B&B Tree Service for a consultation. One of our tree experts will come out and survey the situation to determine if the wood is usable or not.

We can also bring out firewood from other jobs if you are in need of firewood but don’t have any available trees.