The Best Woods to Burn in Your Fireplace in Wausau, WI

January 18, 2019 5:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A wood burning fireplace is the perfect way to warm up and unwind after a long day in the frigid winter cold. There’s just something rugged and down-to-earth about the natural crack of a wood burning fireplace. But picking the right firewood is just as important as the appearance of the actual fireplace. Different types of wood and tree species will burn differently in your fireplace. Some will burn hot quickly, while others will slowly sizzle for hours. Many homeowners are more interested in finding the right wood that will produce the cozy sounds of snapping and popping.

Most trees are full of moisture when they are cut down. This fresh wood is considered unseasoned and it shouldn’t be used in your indoor fireplace in Wausau, WI. The moisture in unseasoned wood makes it incredibly difficult to light, and it produces a high amount of smoke. The wood will continue to smolder even after the fire burns out, which usually is accompanied by an unpleasant burning smell within the house. Unseasoned wood also produces a high amount of creosote that will dirty the chimney. Avoid using unseasoned wood at all costs. Instead, try the following options.

Seasoned wood

Wood needs time to dry or “season” after it’s been cut. The seasoning process rids the wood of moisture, which makes it better suited for burning without producing too much smoke or any unpleasant smells. Dry the wood in a shed or under a tarp to protect it from the moisture of rain or snow. The wood will dry more quickly if it is stacked with every other row turned 90 degrees to allow more air to circulate between the logs.

Hardwood selections

Hardwood comes from slow-growing deciduous trees that lose their leaves each year. The wood is dense and thick, which makes it perfect for burning for hours on a chilly winter night. Unfortunately, they can take up to a year to properly season and tend to be more expensive. Woods like oak, walnut and eucalyptus are best for sustained heat. Ash, hickory and cherry put off slightly less heat, but still have long burn times. Hardwoods can be tricky to start burning. Use a small piece of softwood and some good kindling to get a hardwood-based fire going.


Softwoods come from evergreen conifers. Many of these woods, including fir and cedar, give off pleasant scents and crackle as they burn. Pine will produce a scent reminiscent of the holiday season. These woods burn hot and fast, so plan to continue to add more wood throughout the duration of your fire-enjoying experience. Softwood is a great choice if you only plan to burn a fire occasionally, or only for a short period of time.

A great fire requires a beautiful fireplace in Wausau, WI. Marcell’s Specialties Inc. has been building, repairing and renovating residential and commercial fireplaces for the past 70 years. Give us a call or visit our showroom today to learn more about what we can do for you!

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