Is Larch Good for Burning in a Wood Stove? (The Impact on Your Wood Stove’s Performance) (2024)

If you’re looking for the best firewood to burn in your wood stove, you may be considering larch as an option.

But is larch good for burning in a wood stove? In this article, we’ll examine the properties of larch as firewood and provide tips for safe and effective use in your wood stove.

Can I Leave My Hair Dryer Plugged i...

Can I Leave My Hair Dryer Plugged in? What you Should Know!

Key Takeaways

  • Larch is a softwood that has a high heat production and is easy to light, but burns faster than hardwoods and may require more frequent refueling.
  • Larch has a high resin content, which can lead to creosote buildup in your chimney if not burned properly.
  • To prepare larch for burning, let it dry for at least 6-12 months, use a hot fire to burn off the resin, and clean your chimney regularly to prevent any potential issues.

See Also: Can You Put A Wood Burning Stove In A Mobile Home?

Understanding Larch as Firewood

Larch: Hardwood or Softwood?

Larch is a softwood tree species that is commonly used for firewood. However, it is often mistaken for a hardwood due to its high density and durability.

Larch is a coniferous tree that belongs to the Pinaceae family, which includes other popular firewood species like pine, spruce, and fir. Despite being a softwood, larch has a high density, which makes it burn longer and hotter than many other softwoods.

FOUR Characteristics of Larch Wood

Larch wood has several characteristics that make it a good choice for burning in a wood stove. Here are some of the key features of larch wood:

  1. High density: Larch wood is denser than many other softwoods, which means it burns longer and hotter. The density of larch wood ranges from 590 to 690 kg/m³, making it one of the densest softwoods available.
  2. Low moisture content: Larch wood has a low moisture content, which means it burns more cleanly and efficiently. It also produces less smoke and creosote buildup in your chimney.
  3. Easy to split: Larch wood is relatively easy to split, which makes it a good choice for people who split their own firewood.
  4. Moderate sap content: Larch wood has a moderate sap content, which means it may produce some sap while burning. However, this can be minimized by seasoning the wood properly.

Here is a table that summarizes some of the key characteristics of larch wood:

Density590-690 kg/m³
Moisture contentLow
Splitting difficultyModerate
Sap contentModerate

Larch’s Burning Properties

1. Heat Output of Larch

Larch wood is a softwood, but it has one of the highest heat productions compared to other softwoods, like pine.

When properly seasoned, larch can produce up to 20.3 million BTUs per cord. This means that larch can provide a lot of heat output, making it an excellent choice for burning in a wood stove.

2. Burning Characteristics of Larch

Larch wood is known for its slow and even burn. It produces long-lasting coals, which makes it an excellent choice for overnight burning.

Larch also produces minimal smoke and sparks, making it a safer option for indoor burning. However, it’s worth noting that larch does produce a lot of sap if unseasoned, which can cause issues with creosote buildup in your chimney.

Here’s a table summarizing the burning properties of larch wood:

Heat output (when seasoned)Up to 20.3 million BTUs per cord
Burn timeSlow and even
Coal productionLong-lasting
Smoke productionMinimal
Spark productionMinimal
Creosote buildupPossible if unseasoned

Preparation of Larch for Burning

If you are planning to burn larch wood in your wood stove, it is important to prepare it properly. This will ensure that your fire burns efficiently and safely. In this section, we will discuss how to season and split larch wood.

1. Seasoning Larch Wood

Seasoning is the process of drying wood to reduce its moisture content. Burning unseasoned wood can lead to poor combustion, excess smoke, and creosote buildup in your chimney. Larch wood should be seasoned for at least 6-12 months before burning.

To season larch wood, cut it into logs and stack it in a dry, well-ventilated area. It is important to keep the wood off the ground and covered with a tarp to protect it from rain and snow. You can also use a woodshed or covered porch to store your wood.

The ideal moisture content for seasoned wood is between 15-20%. You can use a moisture meter to test the moisture content of your wood. If the moisture content is above 20%, the wood needs more time to dry. If it is below 15%, the wood is over-dried and may burn too quickly.

2. Splitting Larch Wood

Splitting larch wood is an important step in preparing it for burning. Splitting the wood exposes more surface area to air and helps it dry faster. It also makes the wood easier to handle and stack.

To split larch wood, use a splitting maul or axe. Stand the log on end and strike it with the maul or axe, splitting it in half. Continue splitting the halves until you have manageable-sized pieces.

It is important to wear safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, when splitting wood. Always stand to the side of the log, not in front of it, when striking it with the maul or axe.

TWO Potential Issues with Burning Larch

When it comes to burning larch in your wood stove, you should be aware of a few potential issues that may arise. In this section, we will discuss two of the most common problems associated with burning larch: smoke and creosote buildup, and sparks and pops.

1. Smoke and Creosote Buildup

One of the main issues with burning larch is the amount of smoke it produces. Larch has a high resin content, which means that it can produce a lot of smoke when burned. This can lead to a buildup of creosote in your chimney, which can be dangerous. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that can ignite and cause a chimney fire.

To prevent creosote buildup, it is important to ensure that your chimney is properly cleaned and inspected regularly. You should also avoid burning unseasoned larch, as this can produce even more smoke and increase the risk of creosote buildup.

2. Sparks and Pops

Another issue with burning larch is the potential for sparks and pops. Larch can produce a lot of sap when burned, which can cause sparks and pops to fly out of your stove. This can be dangerous, as these sparks and pops can start a fire in your home.

To reduce the risk of sparks and pops, it is important to ensure that your larch is properly seasoned before burning. This will reduce the amount of sap in the wood and make it less likely to produce sparks and pops. You can also use a spark arrester on your chimney to help prevent sparks and pops from escaping.

Comparison with Other Firewood Types

Larch vs. Other Softwoods

When it comes to softwoods, larch is a great option for burning in a wood stove. It has a high heat output and burns cleanly, producing minimal smoke and creosote buildup. However, there are other softwoods that can also be used for burning, such as pine, spruce, cedar, tamarack, alder, and poplar.

Compared to larch, pine, spruce, and balsam tend to burn faster and leave finer ash. They can also be messier to handle and cause creosote to build up more quickly in your chimney.

Cedar and tamarack are both good options for burning, but they have a lower heat output compared to larch. Alder and poplar are softer woods and burn quickly, making them better for kindling than for long-lasting fires.

Larch vs. Other Hardwoods

While larch is technically a softwood, it has many characteristics of a hardwood. When compared to other hardwoods, such as oak, maple, ash, beech, birch, cherry, and hickory, larch has a similar heat output and burn time.

However, hardwoods tend to be denser and heavier than softwoods, which means they take longer to dry and season properly.

Oak is known for its long, slow burns and is likely the best firewood overall. It is a dense hardwood that is available throughout most regions of North America.

Maple and ash are also good options for burning, with a high heat output and long burn time. Beech and birch are both dense hardwoods that burn hot and clean, but they can be difficult to split.

Cherry has a pleasant aroma and burns well, but it can be expensive. Hickory is a dense hardwood that burns hot and produces a sweet aroma, making it a popular choice for smoking meat.

Best Practices for Burning Larch in a Wood Stove

If you’re considering using larch wood in your wood stove, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your larch firewood:

1. Choosing the Right Wood Stove

Before you start burning larch in your wood stove, it’s important to make sure your stove is suitable for softwoods.

Some wood stoves are designed specifically for hardwoods, which burn hotter and longer than softwoods like larch.

Be sure to consult your stove’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer to determine if your stove is compatible with larch firewood.

If you’re in the market for a new wood stove, consider one that’s designed to burn both hardwoods and softwoods.

Look for stoves with adjustable dampers or air intakes that allow you to control the amount of air flowing into the stove. This will help you regulate the temperature and burn rate of your fire.

2. Safety Measures

When burning larch in your wood stove, it’s important to follow some basic safety measures. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Always use dry, seasoned wood. Wet or green wood can create excess smoke and creosote buildup in your chimney, which can be a fire hazard.
  • Use a chimney brush to clean your chimney at least once a year. This will help remove any creosote buildup and reduce the risk of chimney fires.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.

By following these best practices, you can enjoy the benefits of burning larch firewood in your wood stove safely and efficiently.

Best Practices for Burning Larch in a Wood Stove
Choose a wood stove designed for softwoods
Use dry, seasoned wood
Clean your chimney regularly
Keep a fire extinguisher nearby
Never leave a fire unattended


Overall, larch firewood is a great option for burning in a wood stove. It is cost-effective, easy to light, and burns hot and fast. If you are looking for a softwood that will keep you warm all winter long, then larch is definitely worth considering.

Additional Wood Stove Topics
Can You Burn Arborvitae Wood in a Wood Stove?
Can You Burn Mulberry Wood in a Wood Stove?
Can You Burn Silver Maple in a Wood Stove?
Can You Put Too Much Wood in a Wood Stove?
Can You Use a Copper Kettle on a Wood Stove?
How Can You Cool Down a Wood Stove Quickly?
Is Cypress a Good Firewood for a Wood Stove?
Is it Safe to Burn 2x4s in a Wood Stove?
Is It Safe to Burn Bark in a Wood Stove?
Is It Safe to Leave Your Wood Stove Burning at Night?
Is Larch Good for Burning in a Wood Stove?

Is Larch Good for Burning in a Wood Stove? (The Impact on Your Wood Stove’s Performance) (2024)


Is Larch Good for Burning in a Wood Stove? (The Impact on Your Wood Stove’s Performance)? ›

Larch is one of the best firewood. Its the hardest of all softwood and is harder than some genuine hardwood, It doesn't burn the hottest or the longest but has characteristics that are ideal for wood cutters.

Is larch good to burn on a stove? ›

Larch: Larch is a softwood that can be successfully used in a log burner. However, it can spit a lot while burning, so you will want to avoid using it in an open fire. It has a high moisture content, so you will need to season it well to ensure that the moisture levels are low before burning.

What wood is not good to burn in a wood stove? ›

Softwoods and resinous firewoods produce chemicals that are harsh on the internal components of a wood stove. Specifically, the catalytic combustor and the combustion fan of Catalyst can be negatively affected over time.

What is the best thing to burn in a wood-burning stove? ›

The 5 Best Wood Fuels For Your Wood-Burning Stove
  1. 1 - Kiln-Dried Oak. ...
  2. 2 - Kiln-Dried Birch. ...
  3. 3 - Hardwood Heat Logs. ...
  4. 4 - Sawdust Briquettes (AKA 'Day Briquettes') ...
  5. 5 - Night Briquettes.
Feb 5, 2021

What not to burn in a wood stove? ›

Plywood and chipboard are materials often used in construction or furniture creation. However, they are not suitable to be used as fuel in your wood-burning stove. They are typically glued together using synthetic resins, which can release harmful chemicals into the atmosphere when burned.

How long to season larch firewood? ›

This product must be stored in a well ventilated, covered woodstore until it reads under 20% on your moisture meter (which you should have) before burning. Generally, with larch, this will take around 2 months in the summer and 4 months in the winter.

Is larch flammable? ›

Larch is more fire resistant than other trees it grows with. It is a very fire resistant for several reasons: The bark is very thick at the base - sometimes up to 6"! The bark has a low resin content.

What wood causes the most creosote? ›

Contrary to popular opinion, the hardwood's, like oak and poplar , created MORE creosote than the softwoods, like tamarack and pine. The reason for this, is that if the softwoods are dry, they create a hotter, more intense fire. The draft created by the hotter fire moves the air up the chimney faster!

What is the best flooring for a wood stove? ›

Ceramic or stone tile is an excellent choice for floor protection because of three characteristics: They are a very strong and durable material. They withstand the heat and weight of the stove without deformation or damage.

What material is heat resistant to wood stove? ›

What can be used as a heat shield? Heat shields can be made from a number of different materials. These include brick, stone, tile or vitreous enamel. What's important to bear in mind, however, is that the heat shield is fitted with an air gap between it and the wall surface behind it.

How do you get the longest burn out of a wood stove? ›

The following is the best practices to ensure a long, warm fire for as long as possible:
  1. Use only well-seasoned wood.
  2. Burn hardwood.
  3. Fully load the firebox.
  4. Set air damper to 'low airflow' setting.
  5. Sit back, relax, and enjoy hours of warmth!
Jul 12, 2023

Is it OK to leave a wood burning stove on overnight? ›

As long you have followed all the general safety precautions, you can safely go to sleep with your wood burner still lit and no need to extinguish any flames.

Does burning cardboard cause creosote? ›

1- Paper Or Cardboard

This is dangerous since flames that enter the chimney can ignite the creosote deposits in the flue. Furthermore, the hot air and pieces of burning paper can rise through the chimney and ignite flammable materials outside the home.

What color should wood stove smoke be? ›

The smoke coming out of your chimney should be almost colorless and thin. Thick, white or black smoke indicates that your fire is not receiving enough air. Woodstoves, fireplaces, and barbecues should be used in such a way as to minimize the impact on neighbors.

What does larch burn like? ›

A nice scented hardwood when burnt, Larch is a very crackly firewood. It emits a good amount of heat however, it needs to be well seasoned. The oil and sap emitted when burning can clog up flue systems very fast if used regularly. Produces a fantastic flame when burnt, but very mediocre with its heat output.

What is larch wood good for? ›

Common uses and applications

Western larch produces heavy, hard and strong wood that is used in building construction for rough dimension, small timbers, planks and boards, poles, railroad crossties and mine timbers, and pulp.

What is the best wood to burn to heat a house? ›

Oak wood, in all its varieties, including white and red, is one of the best woods for heating. It can burn for an extremely long time so it's ideal for rekindling in the morning. A couple of things to know about oak: It needs to season for at least two years.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Sen. Emmett Berge

Last Updated:

Views: 6796

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Sen. Emmett Berge

Birthday: 1993-06-17

Address: 787 Elvis Divide, Port Brice, OH 24507-6802

Phone: +9779049645255

Job: Senior Healthcare Specialist

Hobby: Cycling, Model building, Kitesurfing, Origami, Lapidary, Dance, Basketball

Introduction: My name is Sen. Emmett Berge, I am a funny, vast, charming, courageous, enthusiastic, jolly, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.