Recommended Logs For UK Wood Burning Stoves

What do we need to know when buying our logs? Can I just buy any logs that are for sale today? What about their moisture content? How important is it that I choose the right log species and how does each species affect the burning process and heat output? What about the crate dimensions? How do I understand the information given by the sellers? If you buy logs regularly, do you get the respect you deserve from the supplier and a reward for your loyalty? We know that with so many offers available, it’s difficult to choose the best logs for your needs. In this article, we will try to answer all of these important questions and help you find your way around today’s market.

Finding Quality Logs Online Isn’t Easy

When we search for a log supplier, some of us buy from a local representative, such as a tree surgeon, carpenter or other local business whose work involves handling wood, or search logs online, as we do with the other goods we buy.

When you visit your local suppliers’ shop or search for logs online, you will find a great number of offers, starting from low prices to more pricy deals. So how do we distinguish between the different logs for sale and decide which is the most appropriate for our needs?

Here are our top recommendations to help you navigate your way through the process:

Are the logs sold in crates or loose bags?

  • Remember that 1 cubic metre of neatly stacked logs is the equivalent to approximately 1.72 cubic metres of wood when loose. This means that buying logs in crates will take up less space to store.

Is it the first time you have bought from this business?

  • Buying from an unknown seller, either online or locally, can be tricky. Do your research about the seller and try to get some feedback from their customers.

Are their logs accredited?

  • With new changes, which start next year, UK consumers won’t be allowed to burn wet/poorly seasoned logs, so you must ensure that you comply with the law when you buy them.
  • It takes up to 2 or more years to properly season logs after harvesting, depending on the storage and weather conditions.
  • You will find ‘kiln dried’ log offers, where the logs are artificially dried in huge automatic chambers for up to 5 days. During this period, the logs’ moisture content is reduced to an average of below 20%. 
  • If you are looking at logs in crates, check if you have the crate’s external dimensions.
  • What’s the crate’s size and what is the equivalent volume when the logs are loose? This will help you to work out the price per cubic metre while making a price comparison between buying logs in crates and loose bags. You will probably find out that buying logs in crates is a far better option than purchasing them loose.

Finding Cheaper Logs – What Is Hidden Behind The Price?

The price factor plays a big part in our marketing promotions. Without question, our selected product price is very important. But what lies behind this offer, what are the exact details value-wise? When approaching supermarkets, we often pay attention to price per kilogram or litre. We recommend the same approach here – our advice is to check the cubic metre price per loose cubic metre of wood. This will give you a good reference point to make a price comparison.

Comparing Apples with Apples

If we compare two offers from two suppliers, it’s important that you compare them correctly. Check that the following points are addressed when you make your comparison:

  • Are the logs dried and ready to burn?
  • What species are they?
  • What is the logs’ length? Note that some suppliers offer 23cm logs and NOT 25cm. This does not seem a significant difference but it is 8% smaller, which is often enough to give a supplier a small advantage as they can sell them cheaper (as there is less wood per crate) while keeping the same margins.
  • Delivery terms – how many days will you have to wait for the logs to arrive?
  • Loyalty rewards – most people probably buy their logs again and again from the same seller – are you getting any kind of reward for your loyalty from your current supplier?

Birch Logs Sold In the UK And Elsewhere

Once you have learnt how to compare the different log offers available, it’s time to go into more detail and look at the world of wood species. You most probably have come across birch logs – they are nice, good-looking wood fuel, with a white and black coloured bark that should easily come off if it’s properly dried. It isn’t a very dense wood, however, so birch logs burn very hot.

Historically, people have used all sort of trees to fuel their woodburners. Hardwoods are denser than softwoods (i.e. pine, spruce or larch) and when you burn denser wood it will burn for longer and therefore generate more heat. Birch is one of the most common hardwood species used in Scandinavia, where burning logs to heat homes has been compulsory for survival. Thanks to the availability of birch trees in Scandinavia and the Baltics, the log market is saturated there with birch log offers. You can see birch logs for sale in crates, nets and bags.

Are Ash Logs The Best For Your Stove?

Ash logs are a very dense hardwood with beautiful burning qualities that burn for longer than the other wood species. Ash logs are less available for two reasons. Proportionally there are fewer ash trees than other species and they are used for other applications where they have a higher value. This means firewood manufacturers are often unable to source them for firewood. Looking at the ash logs that are available for sale online today, we recommend that you buy combo deals, where ash species are mixed with less dense species, like mixed hardwood or birch logs.

Oak Logs For Sale Online

Oak wood species are very dense and can take a while to burn and get a fire going. We recommend that you use oak in combination with other species. like birch or mixed hardwoods, as burning oak on its own can be challenging.

Are Mixed Species Logs Any Good?

Mixed hardwood logs species, such as alder, black alder, maple, elm, and black cherry, can often be bought from multiple suppliers. These logs are understandably very popular as they have many advantages. Their availability is good and firewood processors are able to offer better deals for mixed species logs compared to the other species. Mixed hardwood logs normally burn out slightly faster and generate slightly less heat output than the denser woods. Mixed hardwood logs are available for sale in crates or nets.