FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We offer a few options and your choice will depend on:
- Your burning apparatus (fireplace, brazier, braai, pizza oven…..etc.)
- What purpose you are burning for (heating, braaing, fire lighting…..etc.)
- If you have a particular personal preference for a certain type of firewood.
Please refer to our individual product descriptions for a very brief and informative overview that should guide you on which firewood you should be looking at or give us a shout and we will gladly assist you.
This is a very important question to ask when deciding on a firewood supplier.
Unfortunately there is no quick and easy answer for a number of reasons but mainly:
- There are no industry standards or norms in the South African firewood market. Almost every supplier supplies a different volume of firewood. Firewood suppliers don’t all supply the same volume of firewood per bag or loose loads. Although you may think that all the “white” 50kg bags are the same between suppliers, they are not.
- Most firewood suppliers actually don’t know their actual firewood volumes. They know the maximum capacity of either their packaging material or delivery vehicle and that is the volume they are quoting and not the actual volume of the firewood itself that they are selling. Then there are also the unscrupulous suppliers that knowingly advertise X and supply you with Y; relying on the fact that most people don’t have the time or means to check their volumes.
- How the wood is packed into the bag or delivery vehicle (loose loads). Is it neatly packed or is it loosely thrown? You will get as much as 50% more firewood from a container (bag, vehicle load, bulk bag…etc) that is neatly packed.
- What quality of firewood the supplier will supply:
- Is their firewood dry, wet or green?
- What type or species of firewood do they supply?
- What sizes have they processed the firewood to?
Volume is the ideal when comparing the amount of firewood you will be getting. Weight is the most commonly used unit, but is an accurate measure and where possible we advise keeping away from this unit of measure in firewood.
Ideally you would want to know what Volume in cubic meters you will be receiving for your buck (1m3 = 1meter x 1meter x 1meter in length), ie. R/1m3.
You also want to know if this volume is a neatly packed or loosely thrown volume, there is a big difference in the actual amount of wood you will be receiving between the two. Neatly packed firewood can yield up to 50% more actual firewood than loosely thrown firewood.
A credible supplier should know these facts and should be able to easily provide you with them.
Make sure you are going to get what the supplier is advertising and what you require.
The weight (kg or tons) of firewood is determined by three main factors:
- Specific tree species that the firewood was produced from.
- Exact moisture content of the firewood at a specific time (dryness of the firewood).
- How the firewood is supplied, is it loosely or neatly packed?
Identical volumes of firewood from different types of trees with different moisture contents will have dramatic weight differences.
Dry firewood is considered to have between 0-20% moisture content. So even when the wood is considered dry it can have large weight variances on a set volume. Drier wood will weigh less than wet wood of the same volume.
Hardwood and Softwood are popular classifications in firewood. Neither is a specific tree species or type. Certain trees fall into either the Hardwood or softwood classification depending on their burning characteristics. This does not mean that density and therefore specific weight of these various tree species are the same. Weight between species even in the same class of Hard or Softwood varies significantly.
Neatly packed firewood will give you a far higher weight than wood loosely thrown into a bag, vehicle load bin, bulk bag or whatever “container”. You will get as much as 50% more actual firewood from neatly packed Vs loosely thrown firewood of the same volume or container size.
A supplier simply cannot keep the first two variables constant (species of tree used and exact moisture content) and therefore the weight will never be a constant making weight an unpractical and poor measure of firewood quantities.
Not necessarily so.
It is a common misconception out there that loose load firewood would naturally be cheaper because of reduced labour and packaging costs. This is seldom the case.
If one does their homework you will often realise that the “cheaper” loose load firewood is in fact more expensive than packaged firewood. There are many reasons for this: Some unscrupulous suppliers prey on the fact that you don’t have the resources to do your own measure and comparison. Another is that the handling and logistics of moving loose load firewood incurs more labour and therefore more cost than the more easily handled and managed packaged firewood.
Genuinely clean dry firewood is the biggest prerequisite for modern closed type fireplaces.
As efficient and fantastic as these fireplaces are they have absolutely zero tolerance for slightly wet or green firewood that would otherwise burn without a problem in a traditional open type fireplace.
It is true that less resinous firewood types are better for these types of fireplaces; however genuinely clean and dry resinous firewood species can be used. Generally speaking the various pine species make up most of the resinous type firewood, which also generally fall into the Soft firewood category.
Our most popular and bestselling Hardwoods for closed type fireplaces come from Gum trees. Gum tree is a common name that covers approximately 200 of the odd Eucalyptus species growing in South Africa. The name Gum tree does lead to a common misconception that firewood from Gum trees is “gummy”, resinous and therefore no good for modern closed type fireplaces; this could not be further from the truth, Gum tree firewood is as previously stated our bestselling firewood for the modern closed type fireplaces and is also the preferred and recommended firewood of all the leading modern closed type fireplace importers and suppliers in SA.
Dirty, green or wet firewood is a modern closed type fireplaces biggest enemy and will disappoint and infuriate you the burner.