Good wood

What is the best firewood?

Plantation pine, Douglas fir and blue gum are widely available from Canterbury Trusted Good Wood Merchants and are the best woods to burn a warmer, cheaper, smoke free fire.

Plantation Pine Wood Thumbnail

Plantation pine

Great for kindling. One of the most common firewoods used throughout Aotearoa New Zealand as it comes from pine plantations and burns very cleanly. Thin compact bark.

Description when split

Smooth grained wood, mostly free of knots, light coloured. Drying time (ready to burn) 1 to 2 years. Moisture content 15-20%.

Douglas Fir / Oregon Wood Thumbnail

Douglas fir/Oregon

Great for kindling. Normally taken from plantations when 25-30 years old. Light smooth bark.

Description when split

Has a distinctive orange centre with a whitish ring towards the bark. Ideal for splitting to make kindling. Very few knots, lightweight. Drying time (ready to burn) 1 to 2 years. Moisture content 15-20%.

Blue Gum Wood Thumbnail

Blue gum

Great for a long burn. In the hardwood category, light-coloured smooth bark. When aged shows radial cracking, which indicates low moisture. Heavier than pine.

Description when split

Light to dark in colour. Normally smooth-grained wood with no knots. Drying time (ready to burn) 5 to 6 years. Moisture content 15-20%.

Macrocarpa Wood Thumbnail


Usually cut from farm shelter belts. Similar to old man pine but with thin bark.

Description when split

Brownish dark colour with knots showing and little gum. Heavier than pine. Drying time (ready to burn) 3 to 5 years. Moisture content 15-20%.

TeaTree / Manuka Wood Thumbnail

Tea tree/mānuka

Normally cleared from farmland as scrub. One of our heavier hardwoods. Stringy light bark.

Description when split

Deep brown in colour. Shows small knots. Clean-grained wood. Drying time (ready to burn) 3 to 5 years. Moisture content 15-20%.

Pohutukawa Wood Thumbnail


Grown on coastal properties. Usually only used as firewood from pruning or trees blown over from coastal high winds. Light stringy bark. Heavy in weight.

Description when split

Medium brown with knots present. Drying time (ready to burn) 3 to 5 years. Moisture content 15-20%.

Willow Wood Thumbnail


Normally grown on the side of waterways and only used when dead and still standing. In this state, it becomes a light greyish colour, with very thin bark. Can be washed down rivers and end up on beaches and, if found above a high water line, could be used. Very light in weight.

Description when split

Very light in colour. Smooth-grained with no knots or gum. The cleanest of firewood to work with. Drying time (ready to burn) - as it is only used when dead, has extremely low moisture content, and can be used immediately.

Fuels to avoid

Coal Thumbnail


Coal is generally not suitable for burning in Canterbury. Most readily available coal (coal with a sulphur content of more than 1%) is not to be used on sites less than 2ha or on any site in a Clean Air Zone.

Old Man Pine Wood Thumbnail

Old man pine

Normally cut from farm shelter belts - 40 to 50 years old, very thick heavy bark. Tends to smoke a lot when lighting and refueling.

Description when split

Medium colour, lots of knots and gum. If you have any old man pine, we recommend you turn this to kindling to limit the amount of smoke it produces.