Most peach trees only live for 10-15 years before needing replacement. The wood is strong and durable, making it excellent for woodwork projects like making toys, furniture, and bowls.
But is peach firewood good to burn? This guide looks at whether it’s worth tossing in the fire so that you don’t waste time splitting it for no reason.
Is peach good for firewood?
Peach firewood is an excellent choice for firewood and cooking. It is a hardwood that gives off a lovely fragrance in the fire. Peach wood requires sufficient time to season and can be a challenge to split, but once dry, it will burn clean and provide slow-burning coals.
- A popular fuel for smoking and barbecuing.
- Produces good coals and burns clean.
- Tough wood that may be hard to split.
- Requires two years to season properly.
Peach firewood burn qualities
1. Heat output
Peach wood gives off 27.5 million BTUs of heat per cord, which is moderately high. As a comparison, apple provides 27.0, and pinyon is 27.1. It offers much better heating efficiency than spruce or pine.
Heat efficiency is an essential consideration when looking at new types of firewood. Staying warm is critical whether you’re relaxing at home or huddling around a campfire.
Whatever the weather throws at you, peach will keep you warm. It’s okay for the shoulder season and the depths of winter. However, this wood takes some effort to get started, so using a quick-to-light softwood for kindling may be a good idea.
Check out the following table comparing the heat output of peach to various other common types of firewood.
|Wood variety||Heat per Cord (Million BTUs)|
Wood that gives off too much smoke causes sore, red eyes and isn’t pleasant. Well-seasoned peach burns clean and produces low levels of smoke.
As with any wood, peach needs adequately seasoning before burning. Green wood from the peach tree is high in water content, so it will smoke a lot if tossed into the fire. Unseasoned wood is also inefficient as the fire wastes energy, evaporating water instead of giving off heat.
3. Ease of splitting
Peach wood can be difficult to split, so we suggest using a good-quality splitting axe or maul that’s fit for purpose. Consider using a hydraulic log splitter if you’ve got more than one tree.
Keep in mind discussions throughout forums and social groups are always divided on how easy a wood species is to split. No one agrees because some wood is straight while others twist as they grow.
The tree’s crotch can be especially hard to split. That’s the area where several limbs come together into one knotted mess.
To simplify splitting, wait for a cold day and get the job done. It makes breaking apart the wood a little easier.
Wood like mulberry or larch fires off a lot of sparks as they burn. This isn’t such a problem inside a wood stove, but if you’re camping or have an open hearth, excessive popping and sparks can create a fire hazard. For some, the mini-explosions can be unsettling.
Peach produces very few sparks as it burns, so you can light the fire and relax. Firewood can be unpredictable, so never leave fires unattended in the outdoors.
As peach wood burns in the fire, it gives off a pleasant fragrance. It is considered one of the best firewoods for its smell.
Like other fruit trees, peach wood gives off a mild, sweet fragrance that doesn’t overwhelm. This wood is ideal for cooking with, adding delicious flavor whether you love to smoke, grill, or spit roast.
Peach wood gives food a subtle flavor that’s fruity and slightly sweet. It pairs well with meat like poultry, pork, vegetables, and some seafood. Mild food is best as it allows the smokey taste to shine through.
For cooks who enjoy stronger flavors, combine peach with the punchy smoke flavor produced by hickory wood. The peach wood’s sweetness helps balance slightly bitter hickory smoke.
Coals produced by firewood impact how long it will burn before needing more wood added. Peach is a hardwood that is great for coaling and doesn’t leave a lot of ash to clean up the following day.
7. Creosote build-up
Creosote is an unpleasant black substance deposited inside chimneys as the fire burns. Some types of firewood, like pine, produce a lot, meaning you’ll need to clean the chimney more often.
Like most hardwoods, seasoned peach doesn’t leave much creosote as it burns. It burns clean, which is what you’d expect from top-performing firewood.
No matter what firewood you choose, regular chimney maintenance is a good idea to reduce the likelihood of unwanted fires.
How long does it take to season peach tree wood?
As with most dense hardwoods, seasoning peach firewood requires patience. Allow 18-24 months of seasoning time for peach firewood, although if you leave it longer, you’ll get an even better fire.
Seasoning time is reduced for old peach trees that have been dead for months. They’ve had time to dry out, so seasoning may only require 12 months.
Tips for seasoning peach
A hot and dry climate will help speed up peach firewood seasoning. Further accelerate the drying time by following these tips:
- Stack strategically: face the stack towards the wind and avoid shady, damp areas.
- Space out the rows: build stacks in rows with a 3-5” gap between each one to encourage airflow.
- Split the firewood: splitting the logs before curing them will increase the surface area exposed to sunshine and wind.
- Cover the wood: use a woodshed or tarp to protect the wood from the elements while keeping one side exposed to the wind.
- Raise the stacks: lay wood on planks or pallets to create airflow beneath them.
Commonly asked questions
When is the best time to fell a peach for firewood?
Try to fell a peach tree and split the wood between winter and early spring. At this time of year, there is lower moisture and sap content, resulting in quick-seasoning wood.
What is the best way to smoke peach wood chips?
To add unique smoky flavor to food, place peach wood chips in a smoker box or wrap them in aluminum foil with a few holes, then position over the heat source. Peach wood chips lose flavor fast, so don’t use them until the food is already cooking.
5 fast facts about peach trees
- The botanical name for the peach tree is Prunus persica. It is a part of the family Rosaceae.
- Peach trees are common in the United States and are native to Northwest China.
- There are over 2 million peach trees in the state of Georgia.
- Peach blossoms make edible, sweet garnishes in dishes.
- The wood from a peach tree was traditionally used for furniture.
Peach trees produce excellent firewood with a BTU heat rating of 27.5 million. In the fire, it has good coals, low sparks and gives food a mouth-watering smoky flavor.
Depending on factors like age, type of tree, and location, some peach trees can be difficult to split. But this certainly isn’t guaranteed, so anyone with an old tree shouldn’t be deterred by this.
If your peach tree isn’t very big, you won’t get a lot of wood from it. In this case, you may want to save it for the grill or smoker. That way, it’ll last longer, and your food will be the envy of the town.