Is Cherry Good Firewood? A Guide to Burning Cherrywood - Backyard Boss
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Is Cherry Good Firewood? A Guide to Burning Cherrywood

It is truth universally acknowledged that hardwood is way better than softwood when burning cozy fires. Even so, not all types of hardwood will burn efficiently. So, where does Cherrywood stand in the grand scheme of things? Let’s discover what Cherrywood has to offer and if it’s a viable choice when it comes to burning in a stove or a fireplace.

Cherry Firewood Details

BTU: 20.4 per Cord (Million BTUs)
Seasoning Time: 8-10 months
Resin / Sap Content: Low
Splitting Difficulty: Low
Smoke: Low
Smell: Sweet, Pleasant

Cherry Firewood 101

Cherrywood has a reddish-brown color with a golden hue that makes it easy to discern from other wood varieties. When freshly cut, the shade is a little paler, but, in time, the wood will oxidize to the color you’re most likely familiar with by now.

The Cherry tree texture is also relatively easy to recognize because it’s smooth, uniform, fine, and straight grain.

Since it is a straight-grain wood type, Cherry is relatively easy to work with for just about anything from hobby woodworking projects to making furniture. 

In terms of durability, Cherry is moderately intense, with the heart is capable of withstanding decay and rot, although other hardwood types are more durable.

If it’s the structure you’re interested in, know that Cherry has a relatively porous one. You might not find it very easy to discern the different rings in the wood.

cherry wood grain closeup of honey stained cherrywood

Is Cherry Good Firewood?

Ah, the burning question of the day. Maybe you have a full rack of seasoned Cherrywood you’re thinking of using as your primary source of heat this winter. In the grand scheme of things, Cherry is a moderate firewood. It is mostly recognized for its pleasant burning aroma.

Even so, it doesn’t have a very high heat output, and there are few more characteristics that you’ll surely find of interest. Let’s analyze the six most important burn qualities of Cherry and determine whether this is a viable alternative for firewood use.

Cherry Firewood Burn Qualities

Cherrywood is a viable firewood option sometimes, depending on your needs. If its heat and burn rate aren’t ideal for your uses, you can substitute a more suitable wood. Let’s look more closely at its properties.

Cherry Firewood Heat Output

When it comes to heat output, Cherrywood is mediocre, and there are other types of hardwood that are denser and better to use as firewood.

The heat output of firewood is measured in BTU, which is short for British Thermal Unit. In fact, if you were to analyze the position that Cherry occupies in the list of best firewood types, it ranks pretty low. Black Cherry, which is the most common type of Cherry used for burning, has 20.4 BTUs.

interior shot of home with wine in foreground and burning fire in background

Cherry Firewood Smoke Output

While heat output is essential, it is not the only reference for establishing whether a type of wood is suitable for burning. The smoke output will also tell you a lot about the burning qualities of different wood types, so let’s talk about that.

Cherrywood performs well in this regard. It is a hardwood type that produces very little smoke, provided that you don’t burn it when wet (wet wood is known for making significant amounts of smoke). When wood is seasoned correctly, it will significantly reduce both the creosote production and the amount of smoke the wood eliminates when burning.

Cherry Firewood Smell

a campfire burns outdoors cherry firewood campfire smell smoke tallOne of the reasons why Cherrywood is a campfire favorite is its particular and pleasant scent when burning. Cherry has about the same level of pleasant scent as pine or hickory. Even when you ignite it inside a fireplace or a stove, Cherry will emit a very specific smell which can be felt even if it’s not burning outdoors.

Because it smells so good, Cherry is often used for BBQ fires, but also for smoking meats.

Cherry Firewood Sparks

It may not seem important to know about the number of sparks produced by firewood, but it makes a huge difference. If you choose a type of wood that sparks often, you expose your home to an increased risk of fire hazards.

Thankfully, Cherry isn’t a type of firewood with an increased spark production, which makes it better than other types of wood. It also makes a great choice if you want to start a fire in the great outdoors, as there are fewer chances of sparks landing on twigs or dry grass and starting a fire.

Cherry Firewood Coal Production

It’s important to note that all types of firewood produce coals, but these coals are also different in quality and can determine your fire’s longevity. In other words, coal quality has an impact on how long the fire is going to burn.

As a general rule, woods that have high heat outputs perform better in the coal production chapter. Even if Cherry isn’t one to give a lot of heat, it does produce coals that keep the fire burning for a long time. There are indeed better woods in this chapter, like hickory, but we can’t neglect Cherry’s performance.

Cherry Firewood Creosote Build-Up

Creosote build-up can be quite dangerous because it is highly flammable. Creosote is produced by the smoke coming from burning wood and, needless today, different types of wood will produce more or less creosote. You should know that creosote isn’t hazardous in low quantities, but some woods will create vast amounts of it, and that’s when things start to get complicated.

Creosote is a black tarry substance that sticks to the chimney’s interior walls or the stove. Being explosive and continuously exposed to fire, there are high odds that these creosote deposits will start a chimney fire, destroying the structure of the fireplace or the stove and potentially leading to house fires. Even if that doesn’t occur, the repair costs are simply not worth it, so you should know about the amount of creosote a particular type of wood produces before you start lighting up your fires with it every day.

As a general rule, sappy woods lead to the most creosote build-up, so timber such as pine is a lousy idea for indoor use. However, Cherry has low sap levels, a characteristic that is relatively common amongst several hardwood varieties. That makes Cherry one of the woods that produces the least amount of creosote.

cherry tree branches in low blossom from underneath


There are conclusions we can draw about Cherry’s firewood potential. It doesn’t produce a lot of heat, so it might not be the ideal choice for those who live in freezing climates and are looking for a type of wood to keep them warm throughout the entire winter. However, it does have an incredible smell and produces goals that will keep the fire burning for a short time. When dried, Cherry is very easy to split, making it easy to turn into appropriate bits of wood for starting and running a fire.

One can’t neglect the fantastic properties of Cherrywood for applications other than firewood since it can serve to make furniture, doors, following, veneers, carvings, pianos, boat interiors, and more.