Best Trees to Plant and Forage: Firewood + Other Uses

Best Trees to Plant and Forage: Firewood + Other Uses



When it comes to survival, having a renewable source of firewood is essential. Whether you’re heating your home, cooking food, or simply need a fire for warmth and light, having the right trees on your property can make all the difference. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best trees to plant and forage for firewood, as well as other useful purposes they serve.

1. Oak

Oak trees are one of the most popular choices for firewood, and for good reason. They burn long and hot, making them ideal for cooking and heating. Oak also produces a nice bed of coals, which is perfect for overnight heating. In addition to firewood, there are several other uses for oak, such as:

– Oak bark can be used for tanning hides.
– Oak acorns can be ground into flour, used as animal feed, or even roasted and consumed by humans.
– Oak leaves make excellent mulch for garden beds.

2. Maple

Maple trees are not only known for their beautiful fall foliage, but they also make great firewood. While maple may not burn quite as long as oak, it does produce a lot of heat. In addition to firewood, maple trees offer other useful resources:

– Maple sap can be tapped and boiled down to make delicious maple syrup.
– Maple wood can be used for furniture, flooring, and other woodworking projects.
– Maple leaves can be used as compost or mulch.

3. Hickory

Hickory is a hardwood tree that is highly prized for its dense, heavy wood. It produces a long-lasting, hot fire that is perfect for cooking and smoking meats. Here are a few other uses for hickory:

– Hickory nuts are edible and can be ground into flour or used in baking.
– Hickory wood is commonly used for tool handles, furniture, and flooring.
– Hickory smoke adds a unique, smoky flavor to food when used in grilling or smoking.

4. Ash

Ash trees are another excellent choice for firewood. They burn hot, and their wood splits easily, making it easy to work with. Ash trees also have other practical uses:

– Ash wood is commonly used for making tool handles, sports equipment, and furniture.
– Ash leaves can be used as mulch or added to compost.
– The bark of ash trees has medicinal properties and can be used as a natural remedy for various ailments.

5. Pine

While pine may not be the best choice for a long-lasting fire, it does have its advantages. Pine wood ignites quickly and produces a lot of heat, which makes it perfect for starting a fire. Pine trees also offer some additional benefits:

– Pine needles are highly flammable and can be used as tinder in fire-starting.
– Pine resin can be harvested and used as a natural adhesive or for starting fires.
– Pine cones can be burned for a quick burst of heat, or used as decorative elements in crafts.

6. Willow

Willow trees are not only beautiful, but they also make excellent firewood. They burn at a steady pace and produce a nice bed of coals. Willow trees also have other practical uses:

– Willow branches are used for making baskets, furniture, and even fences.
– Willow bark contains salicylic acid, which has pain-relieving properties. It can be used as a natural remedy for headaches, fever, and other ailments.
– Willow leaves can be used as a natural insect repellent when burned.


Having the right trees on your property can provide you with a sustainable source of firewood, as well as other useful resources. Oak, maple, hickory, ash, pine, and willow are just a few examples of trees that serve multiple purposes. Consider planting or foraging for these trees to enhance your survival skills and improve your self-sufficiency.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to firewood, it’s important to choose trees that not only burn well but also offer additional benefits. Remember that different trees have different properties, so it’s a good idea to have a variety of options on your property. Additionally, don’t forget to practice responsible foraging and tree planting techniques to ensure the sustainability of these valuable resources. Stay prepared and stay safe!