Warming Feet by Fireplace

Firewood Type Matters

By Guest Writer: Gary Zagar

If you haven’t done so, it is time to stock up on firewood for the cold winter ahead!

Living room with wood burning fireplaceWhat constitutes good firewood?  Well, the first thing is to make sure it is dry and kept in a dry location.  If firewood is wet, it can cause soot or lung irritants like moss and mold which would not be good for the family.

The best wood type in my opinion is Hickory.  Black Locust is probably the ultimate firewood, but it is rare to find.  Hickory is a great plentiful hardwood that burns long and has a terrific aroma to it.  Hickory also burns very hot, so it has the trifecta as far as firewood is concerned.


The following is a list of wood types that would do well in your wood-burning fireplace:

  • Hickory – All types, it has a low spark potential and gives off great heat per cord.
  • White Oak – This oak is dense and burns hot
  • Red Oak – Not as dense as the White Oak but it smells great and burns medium
  • White Ash – Few sparks and pops, burns about as well as Red Oak.  Although good luck finding this as the Ash Borer is diminishing the supply of this wood.
  • Hard Maple – Another good wood, if there is a little moisture it will give a little snap, crackle and pop
  • Sycamore – Has a low snap potential but it is a softer tree, so it doesn’t burn as hot
  • American Elm – Elm is a hair softer than Sycamore and burns about the same and burns medium


Firewood in back of pickup truckBe sure to question your firewood supplier about the wood type!

Softwoods such as the Silver Maples, Southern Pines, Cottonwoods and Willows will really soot up your chimney.  They also can be dangerous as the snap, crackle and pop potential is high which can lead to a fire or burn you.


Here’s wishing you a chilly season full of warm cozy nights curled up by your fireplace.

Gary Zagar has been an expert in the turf industry since 1986.  His experience includes positions as a Director of Golf Course Maintenance, Director of Maintenance and a Landscaping Specialist in charge of 120 commercial properties.

We Need Homes!

Don’t let the fear of not finding a home to move in to stop you from moving on with your life.  Let’s get together to discuss ways to set expectations with potential buyers from the start.

First-time homebuyers are flocking to the real estate market by the thousands to find their dream homes in order to make their dreams of homeownership a reality.  Unfortunately for many, the inventory of starter and trade-up homes has struggled to keep up with demand!

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale dropped 7.1% year-over-year to a 4.3-month supply and is down for the 25thconsecutive month!

Some homeowners may be hesitant to list their homes for sale because they are worried that they will also have a problem finding a home to buy and move in to.  This is a legitimate concern; no one wants to sell their home quickly and not have anywhere to live.

But there is good news!  If you’re thinking of moving up to a luxury or premium home, there is more inventory available in these markets and you may even get a great deal on a home that has been on the market for a while.

If you’re the owner of a starter home and you’re looking to move into a trade-up home or if you’re just looking to relocate to a new area in a home of the same size, hope remains!

In many markets, homeowners are building contingency plans into their contracts.  This means that the homeowner builds in extra time before they close in order to find their dream home and they are upfront about the contingency with any buyers who come to see the house.

Your home is an oasis to buyers who are searching for homes in today’s market.  The right buyers will most likely sympathize and wait for you and your family to find your next home.