Wood stoves burn all types of natural wood, and hardwoods like ash, birch, maple and oak provide the longest burn time. Softwoods like alder, balsam, pine, poplar and spruce burn more quickly and create more creosote, although they usually are less expensive to purchase.
Wood should be well-seasoned before burning. Green wood contains excessive moisture, which causes it to smoke. Treated lumber and manufactured woods like plywood and particle board should not be used in wood stoves because those materials can emit hazardous fumes. Driftwood also produces harmful fumes when burned, and it contains salt that can corrode a wood stove.