Many people in Ireland are not familiar with Birch and are cautious of it when considering this great wood for fuel. So what do you need to know about Birch? For starters, Birch belongs to the very same heat group as Ash, Oak, Beech, Hornbeam, Maple and Elm. This is the 1st heat group. Timber is clased in to three groups: 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Wood that you see every day in your local garage belongs to the 3rd heat group and is very poor indeed. If you have a stove and want the best heat, wood in the 1st heat group is what you should be after. Keep in mind it has to be kiln dried. There is no point in buying luxury Oak wood which is soaking wet or very old. Have you ever been on a skiing holiday in Alps? Yes? Did you ever spent your evening sitting near that cousy fireplace in one of those lovely log houses? The wood you were burning was most likely Birch as it is very popular in a cold climate countries. Birch is number one choice in Norway, Finland, Sweeden, Russia, all Eastern Euorope and even Germany and Belgium. Most of these countries have harsh winters with lots of snow and temperatures dropping below -30 degrees celsius at times. Birch wood also has healing abilities. When burning in a fire it releases a very gentle smell which is believed to have healing abilities for people with breathing difficulties, such as Asthma etc. So how can you seperate Birch from other wood logs? Simple! Birch has a white skin with black marks all over. Think of it as a zebra of the forest :) seriously, when you'll see it you'll know it's Birch.