Firewood: Cost, variety and safety

Abney and Abney Associates Green Solutions

Abney & Abney Associates Green Solutions, A primer on firewood, Cost, variety and safety

Who doesn’t love the smell of a wood fire puffing out of the chimney on a cold, wintery day? And then there is the crackle that can nearly put you to sleep, with light bouncing off the walls and heat warming the room. Lighting a fire is one of the coziest things we do when we’re in the mood to relax.

It’s probably in our DNA, considering that the earliest fire pit ever discovered is 1 million years old, according to the National Academy of Sciences. And although wood fires were a necessity a century or so ago, they are now considered a luxury, if you ask Tom Rogers of Woodhill Firewood in Irvine, Calif. Not everyone can afford a fine pile of pricey hickory for a hot, crackling fire. The best firewoods are expensive.

“Premium firewood is anything that is cut, split, seasoned and ready to burn,” he said.

The longer the distance that cut wood travels to the point where it is sold, the pricier it is. Hardwood is more expensive than soft. And orchard woods used for cooking cost a pretty penny. Rogers knows all about wood; he has been in the firewood business 46 years.

Fred De St. Jean at Lumberjax in Costa Mesa, Calif., said most firewood dealers like him offer a mix of local woods, which in California include eucalyptus, ash and carrotwood. “My standard is usually 75 percent hardwood and 25 percent soft,” he said, suggesting these are the best buys.

Abney and Abney Associates Green Solutions

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