By Rebecca Chandos

A fireplace lends a warm glow and pleasant scent to fall and winter evenings at home. The firewood you choose will depend on your purpose in lighting the fire -- whether aesthetic or practical.

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Availability

Pecan firewood is more likely to be available in areas where pecan trees are widely cultivated. States with large plantings of pecan trees include southern Illinois and Indiana, and much of the south between Kentucky and Texas.

Heat Production

Pecan wood does not produce as much heat as hardwoods such as walnut or oak. This makes pecan wood better for fires lit for aesthetic purposes, rather than fires that are lit in order to heat a large area.

Odor

Pecan wood has a light pleasant odor. The scent is reminiscent of pecan nuts and vanilla, and will linger in your home even after the fire has been put out.

Warning

Be sure your pecan firewood is well-seasoned. Freshly-cut pecan wood has a water content of over 50% and will not burn in your fireplace. Seasoning the wood (allowing it to sit uncovered for at least a year so that the moisture escapes) will make the wood burn and also prevent the accumulation of creosote in your chimney. Too much creosote accumulation can lead to house fires.

Fun Fact

Because of its pleasant taste and odor, pecan wood is often used along with mesquite wood in smokers and backyard grills to lend flavor to meat.