Douglas Fir firewood ranks among the top-performing firewoods despite being a softwood.
So what are some of the remarkable qualities that make it ideal for your outdoor firepit/campfire? Let us find out below.
Table of Contents
- What is Douglas Fir Firewood?
- Burn Qualities of Douglas Fir Firewood
- Douglas Fir Firewood Vs. Other Tree Species
What is Douglas Fir Firewood?
A Douglas Fir Tree Trunk.
It belongs to the fir family and goes by other names, such as red fir. Like other trees of its family, this species is evergreen, and you can find it in various world parts.
Also, while it resembles pine, Douglas Fir sports a different arrangement of needles.
The tree is synonymous with shedding off the lower branches as it continues growing.
Burn Qualities of Douglas Fir Firewood
A Douglas Fir Forest.
We will gauge the suitability of Douglas Fir firewood for use in your firepit below. Take a look.
An outdoor firepit.
This firewood fares better than its softwood counterparts regarding heat output. A cord of firewood will give a BTU of 20.7 million, which is higher than most softwoods.
Only hardwoods such as Hickory and Osage Orange have a more productive heat output than this firewood.
Also, notably, this firewood will yield a heat output close to that of Bur Oak. Nonetheless, being a softwood, it’ll burn faster than Bur Oak. So you’ll need to stack more Douglas Fir than Oak.
It ranks among the easiest firewood to break with an axe. Primarily it’s because the tree doesn’t have knots. However, when splitting it, it has a characteristic splinter quality; thus, it may hurt your arms and eyes.
Therefore, wear protective gear when splitting the firewood.
Also, since it’s a softwood, it’ll most likely cause corrosion to your axe due to its sap. Therefore, you should clean it well before storage.
You may expect this firewood to season fast, given that it’s a softwood. Nonetheless, it takes longer than most softwoods- approximately 12 months.
Douglas Fir is a sappy wood like all other softwood. Hence, it will most likely produce a lot of smoke when burning. This property further makes it unsuitable for indoor use though it’s ideal for an outdoor firepit.
Lastly, it also makes an excellent kindling option.
Douglas fir features an odor that resembles that of pine. However, the firewood burns with a less pronounced smell than its family counterparts. Thus, it is an excellent firewood for a bonfire, especially if you want a cedar-like scent.
The firewood, like all softwoods, will stain your chimney with creosote, especially if you don’t season it properly. Thus, if you have an alternative hardwood, go for it over Douglas Fir.
Douglas Fir Varieties
Douglas Fir Forest.
Only the Coastal Redwood is taller than the Douglas fir at full maturity. Also, the tree has unique properties from the typical firs. So what are its main varieties?
Rocky Mountain Douglas Fir
A Douglas Fir tree.
It’s a tree native to British Columbia and other parts of Canada, such as Alberta. Some refer to it as the Interior Douglas Fir, and it can do well at an altitude of 2000 to 10000 feet. It’s also among the longest-lasting tree varieties, lasting about 500 years.
Coastal Douglas Fir
A coastal Douglas Fir Tree.
Like the other variety, this is also native to British Columbia though you’re likely to find it in some parts of the US like California. It grows fast and can get quite tall, reaching above 400 feet.
Lastly, some people may refer to it as the Oregon Pine Tree.
Douglas Fir Firewood Vs. Other Tree Species
|Firewood Tree||Heat Output (in a million BTUs/cord)||Splitting Difficulty||Coals Quality||Overall Firewood Quality|
Can I use douglas fir wood in my wood stove?
You can use this firewood in your stove, but you must be wary of high smoke output. Moreover, you’ll have to deal with substantive creosote as it is a softwood species.
Hence, the best way to use firewood is as a kindling material.
Is Douglas Fir Firewood Pricey?
Douglas Fir is relatively cheap because of its extensive availability in the US. So you can acquire a cord of firewood for as little as $150.
Softwoods don’t qualify as quality firewood trees, but the Douglas Fir species is an exception. But it’s best to use it together with other hardwoods for the best results.
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