Is Bradford Pear Good Firewood?

Originally from China and Vietnam, Bradford pear is part of the Rosaceae tree family. Though it is often cultivated for its pear, the fruit is only useful once it has been frozen. Bradford pear is overlooked in many wood-working communities, but should you consider it as firewood?

Bradford pear is very high-quality firewood with a BTU that beats even some oak varieties. It is a clear burning wood with low sap content performing exceptionally well as a heating source.

is bradford pear good as firewood

What Are The Varieties Of Bradford Pear Wood?

Being cultivation of the Callery pear, Bradford pear has no varieties of its own. Though it is closely related to other Callery pear cultivations such as:

  • Autumn blaze
  • Red spire
  • Aristocrat

What Are The Physical Characteristics Of Bradford Pear Wood?

NameBradford Pear
Heat per cord (Million BTUs)26.5
Weight dry (lbs per cord) 
Weight green (lbs per cord) 
Seasoning time12-18 months
Resin/ Sap ContentLow
Splitting DifficultyModerate
Coal ProductionGood
Creosote Build-upLow

Is Bradford Pear Easy To Split?

Often, Bradford pear can be a difficult wood to split. Its branches tend to be knotty, developing a unique structure, making it harder to split it clean, especially once it has had some time to season.

If you can find some straight sections of Bradford pearwood, there will be fewer knots, to work around when splitting. However, because of its dense nature, it will be still moderately difficult to split, similarly to catalpa logs.

The high density will be especially apparent if you do not split the wood while it’s still green. The wood almost becomes rock solid at some point.

Sap Content

As is the case with most fruit trees, Bradford pears produce more sap in the springtime because that is when the tree’s flowers bloom. So, it is better to gather Bradford pear firewood during the winter or autumn months.

That being said, Bradford pear does not necessarily have a high sap content, even when in bloom.

What Does it Smell Like?

Many people detest the smell of blooming Bradford pears. Its flowers produce a vile, rotting scent that has many people avoiding areas where the trees grow.

The wood itself is not affected by the smell of the blooms. Bradford pear firewood does not produce any kind of fragrance.

If you would like firewood that can make your home smell nice, go with a tulip poplar or cherry firewood.

Heat Output and Efficiency

With a very high BTU of <26.5 million per cord, Bradford Pear is one of the best burning firewoods. Its BTU is higher than many oak varieties and ash, though just falls short of besting hickory.

What makes Bradford Pear such standout firewood is its density, producing a hot fire that can last a long time. Often longer than oak or black locust firewoods which are favored over Bradford Pear due to their availability.

Fire Characteristics Of Bradford Pear

Bradford pear tends to burn faster than other hardwoods but is still capable of producing coals that are just as good quality as oak’, if not better. This is why it can create a lasting fire as the coals act as extra fuel to its already hot fire.

With a relatively low sap content, Bradford pear does not produce many sparks while burning. This is why Bradford pear is a safe fire despite burning very hot.

However, since the Brandford tends to burn hot, it is best to burn it in a fireplace with a controllable airflow, such as log burners, to avoid overfiring.

Does Bradford Pear Burn Clean?

Though it is a tree able to thrive in a range of soils, Bradford pear will contain low levels of moisture and sap if seasoned properly.

One of the best things about Bradford pear is that it is a clean-burning wood. Its lack of sap and moisture means that there are not many ways its wood can form smoke.

Fewer smoke results in less creosote built up, making Bradford pine an efficient and clean-burning wood.

However, Bradford pear is a very dense wood, so even though it will burn clean, you will need to spit it into thinner logs to ensure that it dries out enough. The recommended seasoning time is at least 12 months, while it can take up to 18-24 months.

Is It Okay To Burn Bradford Pear In A Fireplace?

Bradford pear is perhaps one of the best-suited fireplace woods you can get.

Similar to walnut firewood, It is a safe wood to burn with minimal sparks and little creosote build-up.

As a source of heat, Bradford pear performs well. Once you get a good fire going, its density and high coal production will ensure that your home stays cozy through the night.

Though you will want to properly air out the fire as it burns as a BTU of 26.5 can create quite a stifling heat if not managed properly, and even damage your fireplace.

How Long To Season Bradford Pear Wood?

When seasoning, Bradford pear can dry out fairly quickly, needing only 12-18 months to be ready to burn.

However, it is prone to rotting, so you have to store it in a dry place with good airflow, especially if cut down and split during winter, or during moist weather conditions. If not, you will end up with unusable firewood within a couple of years.

Pros And Cons Of Using Bradford Pear as Firewood


  • Very efficient heat
  • Clean burning
  • Low creosote production
  • High quality coals


  • Prone to rotting
  • Some difficulties preparing

How Does Bradford Pear Compare To Other Firewood?

Bradford pear works just as well as some of the more popular firewoods like oak and ash. It burns for a very long time due to its high-quality coals and can provide a heat that out-performs some oak varieties.

But its high heat of 26.5 Million BTUs per cord can be too much at times, unlike the slightly cooler fire of hackberry or tamarack firewood.

However, if you are looking for something to make your home smell nice as you bring a rack of wood inside, you are better off choosing more resinous firewood like pine or cedar, that would be great for kindling.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Bradford Pear Be Used For Smoking?

Though it is the perfect wood for a fireplace, avoid using Bradford pear to cook your food. It may be a pear tree, but it will make your food taste very bitter and unpleasant.

Instead, choose a better-flavored fruit tree like cherry or apple.

Is Bradford Pear A Hardwood Or Softwood?

Bradford pear is one of the best-performing hardwoods firewoods available. Though it is not as common as oak and ash thus is not used as firewood regularly.

Where do Do Bradford Pear Trees grow?

Though the tree is native to China and Vietnam, Bradford Pear is now planted predominantly in the eastern regions of the US.


To conclude, Bradford Pear is often overlooked in firewood communities but it is excellent firewood. Its BTU of 26.5 is better than some oak varieties and can create a cozy, warm home if the fire is managed properly.

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