Rating 10 corresponds to wood which gives the greatest heat per dm3 (litre) and 5 to the wood which only gives half as much heat. All firewood must of course be properly dried and stored carefully. 

Charme Hornbeam 10
Chêne Oak 9.9
Frêne Ash 9.2
Érable Maple 9.1
Bouleau Birch 8.9
Orme Elm 8.4
Hêtre Beech 8
Saule Willow 7
Sapin Fir and Pine 6.7
Aulne Alder 6.7
Pin Sylvestre Scots Pine 6.7
Mélèze Larch 6.6
Tremble Aspen 6.5
Tilleul Lime 5.7
Peuplier Poplar 5.1


It is best to order wood from your wood merchant in early summer, as the price may go up later in the season.

Make sure that you buy seasoned firewood that has been cut and dried out for at least a year, as freshly cut wood has a very high moisture content and will leave creosote deposits in your chimney.

Wood is sold by the stère (cubic metre) and there are 1000 dm3 in a stère. The price varies with its efficiency as heating material. It can be ordered by length (usually 50cm) although some stoves may take shorter lengths of wood.

Looking for log fires, pellet burners, wood burning stoves?

Pop into the Gaieté du Feu showrooms at 2480 Av Julien Panchot KM 3, route de Thuir 66000 PERPIGNAN Tel: 04 68 54 13 33

There’s no smoke without fire

Flames burning wood in a fireplace

Fire damage resulting from a chimney fire is one of the most common insurance claims in France. Any chimney that is in use needs to be swept at least once per year. Many insurers will NOT pay out for fire damage without a cleaning certificate (“certificat de ramonage”) which your chimney sweep (ramoneur) will leave you when he cleans your chimney.

Of course, the most important reason for keeping your chimney clean is the risk of fire and the danger of breathing in carbon monoxide which stays in the house instead of being released through the chimney

Useful vocab with ‘bois’ (wood)

gueule de bois – hangover
bois de chauffage – firewood
bois de construction – timber
bois de pin – pine
bois mort – dead wood
charbon de bois – charcoal
chaudière à bois/granulés de bois – wood/ wood-pellet fuelled boiler
chèque en bois – rubber cheque
feu de bois – wood fire
toucher du bois – touch wood




  1. A stere is an official measure in France – – will give you all the details you need.

    Contrary to the information given in your article, a stere is only a cubic meter if the logs are 1m in length. The shorter the logs, the fewer the air-spaces between them. Thus a stere of logs in 50cm is 0.8m3 and a stere in 30cm is 0.7m3.

    Anne Dubail –

  2. Never heard of a rubber cheque for un chèque en bois. I’m used to hearing bouncing cheque.

  3. Stere is a movable measure with many suppliers cubic meter is more measured , stere allows for off cuts to t be considered as part of the measure,meaning one does not receive a full cubic meter in my dealings in the past.

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