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...A Sustainable Future For All
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Olus Blog

 

News, reviews and product

updates. A place to share

our knowledge and

expertise.

OLUS Green Waste Recycling blog

 

Logs and Kindling

Olus logs are barn dried, seasoned Sussex logs, from sustainable managed woodland. With rising gas, oil, and electricity prices more and more people are turning to firewood to heat their homes. Using logs from sustainable woodlands has many environmental benefits, it is virtually carbon neutral, wood is a renewable resource and appropriate woodland management benefits the wildlife and enhances the countryside.

Our Grade 1 logs are a mixture of seasoned Ash, Oak, Birch and Hornbeam supplied in a bulk bag (approx 0.7 cubic metre) ideal for burning in open fires, Chimeneas or fire pits.

Our Stove Mix logs are a mixture of both hardwood and softwood logs and are recommended for wood burners only.

Both grades of logs are cut to approximately 9 inches in length and are split down to a mixture of sizes ready to burn, don’t forget to buy your Kindling to get your fires started, the Kindling comes conveniently packed in nets.

 

Woodchip and Woodland Mulch.

Olus currently process and recycle around 15.000 tonnes of wood per annum , supplying feedstock for power stations, board manufactures and the equine industry, Olus also create woodchips and woodland mulches for the landscaping industry, supplying large landscaping contractors with big bulk orders all the way down to delivering bulk bags to the domestic market at top quality and best prices.

Our Woodland Mulch is a mixture of different timbers, produced from tree surgeons and forestry workers across Sussex. It is a much cheaper option to any Bark mulch that you can buy on the market, and does the same job as most mulches such as Bark, Gravel, Shingle, easigrow 10mm compost or coarser agricultural grade of compost mulch.

It is a mix of different woods and contains a range of chip sizes from 30mm down to fines.  This produces a mixture of subtle tones and shades, ideal for mulching borders or creating a natural pathway.

A weed block fabric membrane laid beneath the mulch will eliminate the possibility of any future organic growth.

 
Olus wood for fuel
 

 

Why use wood as your chosen fuel.

Wood is the natural sustainable choice of fuel for domestic fires – in use since the first fire many millennia ago. When we warm our homes with wood we participate in a natural cycle and an ongoing continuum of activity that we share with ancient ancestors. I am amazed at the number of country people who do not have fires because they are “too dirty”, or “to much work”. In fact the procedure of building and lighting the fire can be a favourite job of the day, rather than pursuing a life where all comfort comes from the flick of a switch.

 

Wood fuelled the open fires of the hunter-gatherers, the brick ovens of the first bakers, and until the 19th century, all homes. We love to sit in front of a fire and watch its magical flames speak to us and warm our soles. Have you noticed that when the TV is switched off everyone stares at the fire? Watching a fire is certainly far more relaxing than watching a TV. Fires inspire intimate conversation. When we come in from the cold, we are drawn to the fire. No other fuel is as alive.

 

Environmental issues

Unlike the burning of fossil fuels like coal, gas or oil, burning firewood releases no more greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) than would be produced were the wood to simply rot on the forest floor. If we are responsible in the ways we grow, cut and burn our firewood, wood burning can actually be a good choice for the environment.

 

When we burn wood we are releasing solar energy, in the form of heat, that has been stored in the wood as chemical energy. The process of photosynthesis converted solar energy, water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and the organic molecules that form the wood, half the weight of which is carbon. So burning wood is just the quick reversal of this process, liberating the sun’s heat when we need it most.

 

So burning wood is a good choice from the greenhouse gas point of view, so long as it is responsibly sourced, stored and burnt. We are now able to enjoy fires as an aesthetic pleasure rather than the basic necessity it was to our ancestors years ago.

 

Sustainability – growing our own energy

Growing our firewood must be done sustainably. There are now many parts of the world where forests are disappearing as growing populations collect daily firewood without planting new trees. Wood is a renewable source and can be replenished by nature in a period of time that is compatible with our human use. Managed properly, forests can be a perpetual source of fuel.

 

Fuel efficiency – more smoke less fire

One thing to make clear at this stage is that if you are burning the right wood in the right way then there shouldn’t be much smoke. As you probably know from bonfires, a slow, wet fire produces lots of thick smoke – in the fireplace we are aiming for a quick, hot, dry burn producing very little smoke.

 

Another thing to bear in mind is that a smoky fire is an inefficient one – we want all the released energy to heat our home – not to go up the chimney in the form of complex particles. Carbon dioxide, the product of a clean, hot burn, is a colourless non-particulate gas, so a hot fire with minimal smoke is an efficient energy-converter with less pollution.

 

A chimney fire or stove fire – just like a garden bonfire will burn with less smoke and at its best when the wood is burnt correctly. Wet wood will burn inefficiently producing thick smoke, whereas dry seasoned wood will result in a hot, dry burn with little smoke.

 

Olus wood fuel products are seasoned and fit for burning.

 

 

Which wood?

 

All OLUS wood fuel products are seasoned and split, ready for burning and available by the bag from our online store.

 

Note that all types of wood burn better when seasoned and generally burn better when split rather than as whole logs. In general the better woods for burning that you are most likely to come by (including non-native species) are:

 

Apple and pear – burning slowly and steadily with little flame but good heat. The scent is also pleasing, but can be in short supply,

Ash – the best burning wood providing plenty of heat (will also burn green but you should not need to do this!), ( in the Olus mix.)

Beech and hornbeam – good when well seasoned,( in the Olus mix)

Birch – good heat and a bright flame – burns quickly.( In the Olus mix)

Blackthorn and hawthorn – very good – burn slowly but with good heat

Cypress – burns well but fast when seasoned, and may spit

Hazel – good, but hazel has so many other uses hopefully you won’t have to burn it!

Willow – very good – in fact there is growing interest in biomass production of coppiced willow as a fuel.

Horse Chestnut – good flame and heating power but spits a lot.

Larch – fairly good for heat but crackles and spits

Maple – good.

Oak – very old dry seasoned oak is excellent, burning slowly with a good heat,( in the Olus mix)

Cherry – also burns slowly with good heat and a pleasant scent.

Pine – burns well with a bright flame but crackles and spits

Poplar – avoid all poplar wood – it burns very slowly with little heat – which is why poplar is used to make matchsticks.

Holly – good when well seasoned

 

All OLUS wood fuel products are seasoned and split, ready for burning and available by the bag from our online store.