Is Leyland Cypress Good Firewood?

Leyland Cypress or leylandii is one of the fastest-growing conifers and is easy to find around houses and gardens. But does it make good firewood?

Let’s Find out!

Leyland cypress is not good firewood to use in a fireplace. At best it can be used as a firestarter or in an outdoor campfire. In terms of heat output, it is less than mediocre while being a fairly ‘dirty’ burner creating a lot of smoke and creosote.

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Varieties of Leyland Cypress

In the following table, you will find out how two different types of Cypress wood differ in specifications.

Type of CypressMediterranean CypressAustralian Cypress
BTU21.7 million per cord21.7 million per cord
Weight dry33 lbs/ft3 (535 kg/m3)41 lbs/ft3 (650 kg/m3)
Weight wet12% heavier in summer and 3-4% heavier in winter12% heavier in summer and 3-4% heavier in winter
Seasoning time6 months to 1 year6 months to 1 year
Resin/Sap contentModerateModerate
Splitting difficultyRelatively easyEasy
SmellFresh, pine-like, balsamic undertoneDistinct, fragrant 
Coal productionLowLow
Kerosene buildupModerateModerate

Here is another, more complete firewood weight and BTU chart.

Heat Output and Efficiency of Leyland Cypress

Leyland Cypress wood ignites quickly and burns quickly. It has little long-lasting value. Because of this, it can be said that it is not the most efficient wood to burn. It tends to snap and spark which makes it best for outdoor fires rather than burning at home. 

Fire Characteristics of Leyland Cypress

What should you know about burning Leyland Cypress? That it is very resinous. This makes the wood easy to ignite. You can expect a roaring hot fire from this wood, yet it typically burns very quickly. 

Because it is so resinous, Leyland Cypress has large flames when it burns. It is best to burn outside because it tends to crackle and spark. 

Creosote Build-Up

The resins in Leyland Cypress wood are known to create a lot of smoke when the wood is burned. This makes the level of creosote build-up when burning it high compared to hardwoods like locust firewood or oak firewood.

The more wood is burned, the more it layers the inside of the chimney with flakes of creosote. If left, the flakes build up into a thick tar that is harder to clean and dangerous. 

Amount of Smoke

Leyland Cypress firewood produces less heat than other wood. This is especially true when it is compared with hardwood. It is also less dense.

Because Leyland Cypress is not as dense as other wood, it also contains less organic matter. The lack of organic matter means it contains less fuel, so its combustion process is less complete and the wood smokes more when it burns. 

Another factor that increases the smoke level from Leyland Cypress is the amount of sap in the wood. The sap in the wood hinders the burning process and, therefore, Leyland produces more smoke. 

Does It Produce Coals and Why Is This Important?

When burning, Leyland Cypress leaves behind little to no coals. This is important to know because this makes the wood inappropriate for overnight burning. This is because the fire will quickly die out and there will be few if any coals left over to restart the fire. 

Is It Ok to Burn Leyland Cypress In a Fireplace?

It is ok to burn Leyland Cypress in a fireplace in small quantities, but if you do so, you should make sure you use a fireguard. For this reason, some prefer to keep Leyland Cypress for use in outdoor fires only.

Overall Leyland cypress is more suitable for kindling or starting a fire rather than it is as a heat source.

How Long Should You Season Leyland Cypress?

Leyland Cypress should be seasoned for between 6 months and 1 year. This wood is quicker to season than hardwoods which typically take between a year and 2 years to season.

Seasoning Leyland Cypress is also faster than some other softwoods. 

Pros and Cons of Using Leyland Cypress as Firewood

– It is cheaper to purchase than
– seasons quicker than hardwood
-It burns up quickly
-t leaves behind little to no coals is
-prone to sparking and crackling
-produces a lot of smoke
pros and cons of using Leyland cypress as firewood

How Does Leyland Cypress Compare to Other Firewood?

Leyland Cypress is different from other firewood. It is a softwood and shares a lot of the typicalities you would expect from a softwood. But it is very different from other common firewood such as Oak and Birch.  

Here are a couple of ways Leyland Cypress is different from other hardwoods:

  • It is less dense
  • It contains less organic matter
  • It burns more quickly
  • It creates hotter and larger flames that give off more smoke
  • It is quicker to season
  • It sparks more and crackles more
  • It leaves behind fewer coals

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to some questions you may have about firewood. 

Is Leyland Cypress Good Firewood?

Yes, Leyland Cypress is good firewood. It is great at creating large and hot fires. However, the wood does not burn for very long and leaves behind little to no coals. 

What Does BTU Stand For?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is used to determine how much energy fuel has. When it comes to firewood, BTU determines how much energy firewood has. 1 BTU equals the amount of energy it takes to heat 1 lb of water by one degree Fahrenheit.  


Here’s what you should know about burning Leyland Cypress

  • Leyland Cypress burns quickly
  • It creates substantial smoke
  • It is good for initiating a fire
  • It should be seasoned for 6 months to 1 year before burning
  • It is best cut in the fall or winter when it is driest
  • Leyland Cypress tends to snap and spark while burning

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