Everything about Bradford Pear as Firewood

Everything about Bradford Pear as Firewood

Bradford pear trees look like trees straight out of the movie “Frozen.” And, as if staying true to its cold facade, it is known for producing delicious frozen pears.

But does this seemingly cold exterior have something warm and fuzzy to offer, just like Olaf?

We’ll put the Bradford pear to the test and see how well it fares as a firewood. Let’s get started!

Is Bradford Pear a good firewood?

Is Bradford Pear a good firewood
Image: Better Homes & Gardens

The Bradford pear is a good choice of firewood. It is a high-quality, clean-burning wood with low sap content and high heat output, making it a great heating source. 

In fact, it’s one of the best-burning firewood with a high BTU of 26.5 million per cord. It even beats the BTU of some oak and ash firewood varieties.

Bradford pear firewood is excellent for the fireplace, mainly because it’s safe to burn with minimal sparks and low creosote build-up.

Its high heat output and good coal production will keep you warm and cozy throughout the night. 

Here’s an overview of the characteristics of the Bradford Pear as firewood. 

Tree NameBradford pear
Scientific NamePyrus calleryana
FamilyRosaceae
Height 16 to 26 feet
Life Span25 to 30 years
Type of WoodHardwood
Green Weight (lbs per cord)5,504
Seasoning Time12 to 18 months
Heat Content (million BTUs per cord)26.5
Heat ProductionHigh
Sap ContentLow
Splitting DifficultyHigh
SmokeLow
SmellNeutral
Coal ProductionGood
Creosote Build-upLow

What are the fire characteristics of Bradford pear wood?

What are the fire characteristics of Bradford pear wood
Image: Southern Living

As firewood, Bradford pear has a high heat output, low creosote build-up, good coal production, low smoke output, high splitting difficulty, and low sap content.

Let’s understand how these fire-burning properties work when you choose Bradford Pear as firewood.

1. High Heat Output

High Heat Output
Image: Firewood Centre

BTU (British Thermal Units) measures the heat of wood combustion. It’s measured in millions per cord. 

Bradford pear is one of the best-burning firewoods, with a high BTU of 26.5 million per cord. It ranks at the top, with oak, ash and hickory, as the best firewood. 

Bradford pear is denser than most firewood, allowing it to produce hot fire for longer. 

Since Bradford pear tends to burn hot, make sure to burn it in a fireplace where you can control the airflow, like through log burners. This way, you’ll avoid overfiring and causing a safety hazard inside your house.

Check the table below to compare Bradford pear’s heat output with other common firewood.

FirewoodHeat Output (million BTUs per cord)
Lodgepole pine21.1
Black walnut22.2
Red oak24.6
Mulberry25.8
Bradford pear26.5
Pinyon27.1
Beech27.5
Black locust27.9
Gambel oak30.7

2. Low Creosote Build-Up

Low Creosote Build-Up
Image: High’s Chimney

When there’s less sap and moisture in firewood, there’s also less creosote build-up. This fire characteristic is also present in Bradford pear, proving it’s an efficient and clean-burning wood.

Low creosote build-up also means you’ll have less stress on cleaning that black tar-like in your chimney. As much as possible, you’d want to keep your chimney free from creosote because it blocks smoke, is flammable and becomes a safety hazard. 

3. Good Coal Production

Good Coal Production
Image: Countryside Turf and Fencing

Although Bradford pear burns faster than other hardwoods, it can still produce good quality coal, like oak trees. These coals serve as extra fuel and help the fire keep burning for longer. 

4. Low Smoke Output

Low Smoke Output
Image: The Guardian

Sap and moisture are the culprits of smoke output in firewood. When sap and moisture are still trapped inside the wood, they vaporize and turn to smoke as the log is burned.

Luckily, one of Bradford pear’s best features is its clean burning wood, making it an excellent choice for indoor fire activities. This means that its low sap content and moisture also make it produce less smoke.

To make sure it dries out enough, make sure to season it between 12 to 18 months. Split it into thinner logs so you’ll enjoy its clean burning features later on.

5. High Splitting Difficulty

High Splitting Difficulty
Image: Firewood for Life

Bradford pear is a difficult wood to split. This wood forms a lot of knots in its branches, making it hard to break clean. 

It’s even harder to split when the wood has already begun seasoning. If you don’t split the wood while it’s still green, you will end up with rock-solid wood, which is harder to crack.

So, the trick is to find straight sections of the wood with a few knots to split it easier.

6. Low Sap Content

Low Sap Content
Image: Vertical Chimney

The less sap the wood has, the more heat it can produce as it burns. Low sap content also lessens sparks while burning firewood. 

Fortunately, although it is a fruit tree, Bradford pear trees produce low sap content even during its blooming season. This makes the fire it produces hotter yet safer in your home.

We recommend that you gather Bradford pear wood during the winter and autumn seasons because this is the time when it has the least sap and moisture content, which means it will season faster.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bradford Pear Firewood

Advantages and Disadvantages of Bradford Pear Firewood
Image: NC State Extension

At a glance, here are the pros and cons of using Bradford Pear as fire burning activities.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
High heat output High splitting difficulty
Good coal productionProne to rotting
Low sap content
Low creosote build-up
Low smoke production

Bradford pear is one of the best clean-burning firewood you can use indoors or outdoors. 

Its high heat output and efficiency, coupled with good coal production, which means it can sustain its hot fire for a long time. 

Additionally, because of its low sap content, it’s a safe choice, especially for indoor use, because there’ll be fewer sparks, low smoke and less creosote build-up in your chimney while burning. 

Still, before you enjoy these benefits, you’ll have to deal with its high splitting difficulty because of this wood’s high density. But that’s a small price compared to all the perks the Bradford pear will give you as firewood. 

Finally, this wood is prone to rotting. The best way to prevent this is by seasoning it in a dry storage area with ample airflow to ensure all sides of the log are properly dried.

Bradford Pear vs Other Firewood

Bradford Pear vs Other Firewood
Image: Citizen Times

Bradford pear is at the top of its game, along with popular high-quality firewoods like oak and ash. It burns hot fire and can sustain its high heat for a long time because of its high-quality coals.

Compared to the birch tree’s 23.6 BTU and white oak’s s 25.7 BTU, the Bradford pear tree beats them both with 26.5 BTU. Its high heat output also outperforms hackberry and tamarack firewood.

Here’s how Bradford pear compares with other firewood. 

FirewoodHeat Output (million BTU per cord)Splitting DifficultyCoal Production
Bradford Pear26.5HardExcellent
Bur Oak26EasyGood
Maple25EasyExcellent
Osage Orange32EasyExcellent

How long should you season Bradford Pear wood?

How long should you season Bradford Pear wood
Image: Direct Stoves

Bradford Pear wood requires 12 to 18 months to season properly.

This type of wood is prone to rotting. So, store it in a dry place with adequate ventilation; otherwise, you’ll end up with unusable firewood. 

Although it’s difficult to split, it’s still best to split the large Bradford Pear logs to increase the surface area and its exposure to wind and sunlight. This will help speed up the seasoning process.

FAQs on Bradford Pear Firewood

Is it okay to burn Bradford pear in a fireplace?


You can use Bradford pear in a fireplace. Its high heat output and low sap content make it a safe wood to burn as it will give off minimal sparks and creosote while keeping the fire burning for a longer burn time.

Can you burn Bradford Pear in a firepit outdoors?


You can burn Bradford pear in an outdoor firepit. It burns clean with little smoke and produces a neutral smell making it a perfect choice for firepits.

Can Bradford Pear be used for smoking?


Bradford Pear is not recommended for smoking. Its smoke makes your food taste bitter. It may be better to use cherry or apple firewood as an alternative.

Where do Bradford trees grow?


Bradford Pear trees are native to Vietnam and China, but it has now been widely cultivated in the eastern regions of the United States.

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