ALL FIREWOOD IS NOT CREATED EQUAL
You can easily find cheap firewood for sale by looking on Craig’s List, a newspaper classified section, and even signs posted randomly in your neighborhood and at gas stations. We refer to these sellers as “backyard dealers”. If you have a chainsaw and a pick-up truck, you can be in the firewood business. IT’S NOT THAT EASY. Firewood has to season for a period of time to allow most of the moisture to escape and dry. Unseasoned or “green” wood will hardly burn at all. It is difficult to get going, it smokes a lot, and water bubbles usually form on the end of the logs. Green wood will not produce much heat, let alone burn all the way through. You are constantly poking the fire just to keep it from going out and that’s no way to spend a holiday with friends and family.
The backyard dealers often mix various local woods together, usually oak, eucalyptus, bay(aka pepper wood), and pine. Local oaks (coast and tan oak to name two) aren’t as dense and long-burning as the oak firewood that Nero’s imports. Furthermore, local oaks may be infected with SODS (Sudden Oak Death Syndrome) and burning or transporting them may spread the disease further. The rest of the load is oily and/or sappy and when burned, produces a lot of creosote to gum up your chimney and releases black particulate-filled smoke into the air. On top of that, you will burn through their load much faster, will constantly feed the fire, and will cost you more in the long run. Besides green wood, backyard dealers are notorious for delivering badly cut wood (huge unusable pieces, all rounds, etc.) or delivering short measures. Beware of really cheap wood – the old adage, “if it’s too good to be true, it usually is” absolutely applies to firewood.
Furthermore, backyard dealers usually don’t pay taxes, don’t have proper insurance, licenses, and permits, and don’t deliver full cords. How can you tell when the firewood is all over your driveway? (See our post, “Perfect Cord of Wood”)
We warn you about these things because, over the years, we have heard all the “horror stories” about people being “burned” (pardon the pun) on their firewood purchases. Here are a few more things to consider when buying firewood:
Some signs of a legitimate wood dealer are as follows:
Someone answers the phone during regular business hours.
They have a place of business where your can come to inspect the firewood or register a complaint.
They have an ad in the Yellow Pages. Backyard dealers usually don’t because they are in business one day and gone the next.
Nero’s holds itself to high standards. Our wood is cut evenly, aged properly, burns cleanly and lasts longer, thus providing more value for your dollar. Nero’s friendly staff is ready to serve you when you’re ready for the best firewood you’ve ever burned.
• Yelp 5-Star Review 8/7/2013
We have been buying wood from Greg at Nero’s Designer Firewood for as long as I can remember – perhaps 15 years plus. We made a horrible mistake one year of attempting to save money and buy elsewhere. Once was enough! The wood has always been seasoned and of excellent quality. We order anywhere from one cord to 1 ½ cords a year.. . .The delivery is timely and we always have them stack it for us… . we can always rely on a great quality and terrific service. Susan M., Sonoma, CA