Is Ash Good Firewood to Burn?

Ash is often referred to as ‘the king of firewood’. But is this title justified? And what is it about ash that gets it proclaimed the master of all?

In this article, we will delve into the properties of ash to see if it really does stack up to be professed the best of the lot.

Density of Ash Wood

It’s important to understand the density of logs to fully understand the burning properties. Each type of log has varying densities which indicates their relative volume. For example, one meters cubed of ash logs will weigh more than one meters cubed of a softwood like pine because ash is denser than pine.

Ash is regarded as a hard wood which means it is heavier than softwoods like pine, fir or spruce which is commonly used for kindling. Typically, the harder/ denser the wood, the higher the calorific value and therefore the heat output. Denser and heavier logs will require the use of less logs for the same energy heat output than that of a less dense type of firewood.

Moisture Content

However, pure weight/ density is not all there is to it. Moisture content often makes up a good portion of the weight of wood. And the higher the moisture content, the less efficient the burn will be (not to mention the difficulty in getting the fire started). By law, firewood sold to most residential properties in urban areas requires a moisture content of under 20%. But even at 20%, it would mean that a one-ton bag of logs would contain over 200kg of water! This is essentially 200kg of wasted weight that will provide no energy to heat your home. It’s why it can be extremely important to have a moisture meter to make sure that the logs you are buying conform to the ‘ready to burn’ standard and to what the seller claims.


Ash Wood Properties

Ash is regarded as a superior type of firewood. It is a common option for heating because of its excellent characteristics as firewood. Ash makes ideal fuel for the following explanations:

 Ash wood has a high heat output, which means that when it is burned, a lot of heat is produced. This makes it effective for use in fireplaces and wood burners as well as for house heating.

  • Low Moisture Content: Ash wood often has a low moisture content, resulting in a generally efficient and clean burn. More smoke and creosote can be produced by wood with a high moisture content, which can be bad for the environment and your chimney. It takes less time to dry ash wood than other wood types such as oak.
  • Ash wood is relatively simple to split, which makes it available to individuals who need to cut firewood. The wood splits easily and without putting too much effort into it.
  • Ash wood has a low resin and sap content in comparison to several other types of wood, such as pine. As a result, the likelihood of creosote accumulation in your chimney or stovepipe is reduced.
  • Ash wood burns for a very long time and is a steady source of heat. Additionally, it frequently generates long-lasting coals, which are useful for sustaining a fire over an extended length of time or overnight.
  • Low Smoke and Pleasant Aroma: Ash wood burns with a pleasant, mild aroma and typically creates less smoke than certain other types of wood.


 Here is a handy chart to show you the detailed characteristics:

Log Type

Density (kg/m3)

Burn Speed











Advantages of Ash Logs

As we have covered above, ash logs is a dense wood with excellent burning times. You can expect an a typical ash log to burn for over 90 minutes which is higher than a log like silver birch but less than that of oak. However, ash is also much easier to light than wood type such as oak and will produce very few sparks.

So Is Ash The King Of Firewood?

It often does depend on the circumstances, but ash get this name because it is said to offer the perfect balance between burn speed, heat output, embers, ease of lighting and visual flames. For this reason, ash is proclaimed the king of all firewood.

However, it does depend on the use case. For example, a country pub with an open fire may well prefer to use something like oak as it is longer lasting and produces a higher level of aroma for the pub goers.

Quite simply, there is not really one perfect wood as it depends on each person or businesses’ requirements. But that said, ash does offer a fantastic blend between all the different types of wood sold in the UK.

Is Ash Good Firewood to Burn?