Which Types Of Firewood Leave The Least Amount Of Ash?

It’s hard to say exactly, as there are some variables to think of, but a good idea to follow is that hardwood may produce less ash than softwood.

Hardwood such as oak burns hotter than the softer kind of firewood, like pine. So it makes sense that the former is going to have an easier time burning down fully, because of the temperature difference.

Though something as simple as the wood not being seasoned enough could also be a cause. This is because wood that is not dry enough is not able to reach the proper burn point, therefore more particulate matter gets left off, that is, ash.

Having said that, the species of wood matter too, even if it’s the said hardwood. Some types just ash up more. For example, even though poplar is a hardwood, it may end up leaving more ash than the aforementioned oak.

This is because poplar is not as dense, which means it contains less wood fiber per volume… and that leads to more ash being generated after a burn.

It’s more the bark

What I can tell you for sure is that burning firewood that has thicker bark on it is going to end up making a bigger ash pile.

Why? I guess it’s because it contains more matter that is not able to combust, such as dirt, which does get windswept on it during its lifetime.

Should I remove it then?

Nope, I don’t think it’s worth the hassle.

Sure, if the bark falls off the wood during splitting, handling or so, then you may as well use it for other things, like for gardening as compost or mulch.

But for what it’s worth, it is still better to leave it on the wood you’re about to burn. That’s precious BTUs you’re throwing out otherwise, even if it does add up to a little larger ash pile.

Shouldn’t be that big of a deal anyway

To think that you should refrain from a particular species of wood just because you had a bad run in with it, when it came to ash, is ludicrous.

Yes, oak will probably end up leaving a nicer ash pile after a heating session, but that does not mean you should not use poplar at all, for example.

If there is a big difference between, there is something different going on. Like I said, it may be that the firewood is not dry enough.

It may also mean that there was more bark than usual, and that ended up adding to a bigger ash pile.

Fix what you can, and if you tested out your wood pile with a moisture meter and it all seems fine, maybe that’s just how it’s meant to be. An extra trip to scoop up that wood stove is not that big of a deal.

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