What Logs to Burn

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2004. All rights reserved.

"Logs to Burn! Logs to Burn!"
"Everyone needs logs to burn!"
Hear the woodman sell his wares.
What trees they come from, no one cares.

Ah! But here's a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman's cries.
Never heed his usual tale
That he has good logs for sale,
But read these lines and really learn
The proper kind of logs to burn:

"Beechwood fires are bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year.

"Chestnut's only good, they say,
If for long 'tis laid away.

"But Ash new or Ash old
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.

"Birch and fir logs burn too fast
Blaze up bright and do not last.

"It is by the Irish said
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.

"Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
Even the very flames are cold.

"But Ash green or Ash brown
Is fit for a queen with golden crown.

"Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.

"Apple wood will scent your room
With an incense like perfume.

"Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter's cold.

"But Ash wet or Ash dry
A king shall warm his slippers by."

What? You cannot take the word of puppets
Who speak their truths in rhyming couplets?
Will you, then, accept it plain
If we rhyme these facts in smooth quatrain:

"Oak logs will warm you well,
If they're old and dry.
Larch logs of pine will smell,
But the sparks will fly.

 "Beech logs for Christmas time,
Yew logs heat well.
'Scotch' logs it is a crime,
For anyone to sell.

"Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all.
Hawthorn logs are good to last,
If you cut them in the fall.

"Holly logs will burn like wax,
You should burn them green,
Elm logs like smoldering flax,
No flame to be seen.

"Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room,
Cherry logs across the dogs,
Smell like flowers in bloom.

"But ash logs, all smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They're worth their weight in gold."

Ash it is, then, as you see
The best to burn since days of old.
Go now and find yourself a tree,
Make sure it's ash, as you've been told.

Cut and split and laid to hearth,
This fire burns from logs that last
All through the night, it warms the heart
Such good advice from anonymous passed. 

Rural Delivery
Rural Delivery

Commentaries and advice 
on rural living
by Michael Hofferber

Visit the
Rural Delivery Blog
The Backyard Lumberjack

Cordless Chain Saw
Diamond Strike Anywhere Matches
Stack of Firewood

Farmers Market Books
Market Entrance
The Nature Pages
Lease a Booth
Search the Market
Buy Direct Directory