Winter is coming! With the days getting shorter, it’s time to stock up on firewood. According to the Victorian Dept of Natural Resources & Environment, an average family of four would use between 6 and 10 tonnes of firewood (12 cubic metres to 20 cubic metres) to heat their insulated house over one year. At SouthPoint Garden Supplies, we deliver dry, split redgum that is grown sustainably. What are the different options? How do you know which is best? There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing your wood.
- Firewood type
Some trees are denser, or have a greater resin content and these will have wood that burns for longer. Denser wood like redgum or ironbark will burn slowly and form coals, which give off more heat for longer. These are the best to choose when selecting a firewood, and that is why we stock only redgum firewood at SouthPoint. Many other woods burn quickly and give off less heat, making more smoke or turning quickly to ash – these include sugar gum, pine, poplar and ash.
- Is it seasoned properly?
Firewood that is still green may only give off 40% of the heat of dry wood. Wood should be seasoned 6 months to 1 year before it is sufficiently dry. Green wood will make a duller thudding noise when hit, where dry wood makes a sharper clicking noise. Dry wood is darker or grey in colour. Wood should be split as soon as possible after felling, since green wood splits more easily and splitting will help the wood dry out faster.
Wood is sold by the tonne, and you don’t want to pay extra for the water content in green wood! At SouthPoint, we weigh your wood on certified scales on our loaders – and that’s after the wood has been weighed by the supplier’s certified weighbridge –to make sure you get the right amount. All our firewood is seasoned and ready to burn immediately.
- Is it split?
Splitting will help the wood to catch alight faster, but it can be risky to do it yourself. If you want to do it by hand, use a wood splitter, rather than an ax. It has a wider wedge and will save you time and effort compared to an ax. Eye protection and steel cap boots are essential for this task!
- Is it Sustainable and Free of Chemicals or Pests?
One of the founders of GreenPeace, Patrick Moore, said in 2006:
“One of the best ways to address climate change is to use more wood, not less. Wood is simply the most abundant, biodegradable and reusable material on the planet.”
It is important that wood is grown sustainably. Scavenging wood from building sites or old projects is a fine way to recycle scraps, but make sure it has not been treated, so toxic fumes won’t be released as it burns. Treated pine can have arsenic and other nasties in it, as can paint and wood finishes. Railway sleepers, telephone poles, particle boards, pieces of old furniture and white stringy-bark can create harmful fumes when burned.
In Australia, termite-infested wood can be a problem, so make sure your wood is clean, and consider storing it away from the house.
Suppliers certified by the Firewood Association of Australia, as our supplier is, are certified to be legally harvested under strict regulations, which protects biodiversity and threatened species. Our SouthPoint redgum is grown with sustainable practices, by a certified supplier.
We can deliver as much or as little wood as you like – or you can stop by the yard. Half a tonne fits in the standard trailer or you can get a bootload of wood in your car. See our online order form for details.