Better Wood, Better Fires - Finding the right firewood for a great fire in Westchester County

Better Wood, Better Fires - Finding the right firewood for a great fire in Westchester County.

Author: Michael Galli, Owner, Hickory Homes, Westchester County. January 11th, 2017
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Sitting around a great fire helps to bring family and friends together. Whether it's in the fireplace in your living room, or outside around the fire pit, having the proper wood is key.

A great fire is more than just gathering some wood, stacking it and lighting it. There are a few things to consider when preparing for a fire. It's important to make the right choice of firewood for cleaner, safer, longer burning fires.






Types of Firewood

There are many types of wood that can be used for firewood. Each have their own properties when burning. Choosing to burn inside or outside will affect your choice of wood.

OAK
  • abundant in NY state
  • a dense hardwood tree, so it burns for a very long time
  • doesn't need much maintenance once it starts


MAPLE
  • a deciduous hardwood tree offering good heat
  • difficult to start but burns well once it gets going
  • produces very little smoke, which is good for outside bonfire parties


CHERRY
  • produces little smoke
  • produces a sweet aroma when burning that can be very pleasant on a fall evening
  • burns at medium heat
  • good for a night of mild temperature and weather


BIRCH TREES
  • a softer wood, a great fire-starter because it burns very quickly
  • burns bright and hot


PINE
  • a great fire-starter
  • should only be burned outdoors because of its high sap and resin content - can be smokey at times
  • pleasant burning aroma
  • because it burns quickly, pine should be used with other, longer burning woods


ELM
  • a dense hardwood, common in the area
  • provides good heat
  • can produce good firewood because of how dry the wood is





Outdoor vs. Indoor

Over the last few years, residents in Westchester County and the surrounding areas enjoy outdoor fires around fire pits in the fall and winter. However, on very cold nights or inclement weather, an indoor fire can be ideal. Here are some tips when planning a fire.

Outdoor Fire
  • larger pieces and more junk-type wood could be used
  • little to clean up since all the wood mess remains outside
  • consider how close you are to neighbors and use wood with minimal smoke
  • move fire pit out from under trees


Indoor Fire
  • quality wood (size and moisture content) is best so as to prevent the build up of creosote in the chimney and smoke in the home
  • need to make sure you get an annual chimney check
  • keep debris clear from your chimney top and consider installing a chimney cap
  • use a fireplace screen to control sparking





What You Need to Build a Good Fire

  • Tinder - this is what will catch the spark and ignite the kindling (can be shredded paper)
  • Kindling - small pieces of dry wood (approximately an inch or two in diameter)
  • Pile the shredded paper in the middle of the fire pit
  • Build a 'teepee' of kindling around the tinder
  • Stack the burning logs over the kindling
  • Ignite the paper in several places, preferably lighting the tinder first
  • Fan the fire so it burns hotter and faster and gets the stack on fire
  • Once the logs catch, all you have to do is feed the fire


If you know that you will be building fires throughout the cooler months, it's best to order wood in quantity and have it delivered. Your other option could be chopping your own wood, or buying small, wrapped amounts of firewood from local stores or supermarkets. This can get costly.

Since most residents in Westchester County don't necessarily chop their own wood, ordering firewood from a local landscaping company is usually the way to go.






Search for Firewood Companies

  • Call a professional licensed, insured tree removal expert
  • Only buy firewood that is sold in a cord. A cord is a legal unit.
  • See if the firewood company will cut to burning length, split, and if they will stack upon delivery (may cost extra)





Fun Firewood Fact:

Firewood uses "cord" as the unit of measurement and its origin can be dated back to around 1610 when wood was sold in bundles and tied with a cord.

A full cord is a large amount of wood. It measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet. The amount of solid wood in a cord varies depending on the size of the pieces, but for firewood it averages about 85 cubic feet. The rest of the cord volume is air space.

You can also buy fractional cords, such 1/4 cord, 1/2 cord, 3/4 cord or even as small as an 1/8th cord.


Several factors that determine the cost for a cord of wood:
  • Type of wood
  • Where you live
  • Supply and demand based on time of year and market conditions
  • Pick up or Delivery
  • Whether you order it "stacked" or "dumped" when they deliver it to your home.




Need firewood? Call Hickory Homes & Properties for your firewood needs. We can deliver firewood for the cold months of the year. Bundle up with a large stock of firewood while supplies last and stay warm! We will work with you to determine the proper amount of wood you need for the season and schedule automatic deliveries.

Firewood Services

  • Fully Seasoned and Split to 16-20" Length
  • Same Day Delivery Available
  • Stacking and On-Site Firewood Splitting Services Available upon Re-quest


Call to Schedule a Firewood Delivery

914-666-6300


Or fill out the form below for a firewood delivery quote.



Bedford / Mt Kisco Firewood Delivery Quote

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