Wood in the UK and Campfires

Since Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and given it to man we have used it for both work and pleasure. A wood burning campfire is one of my favourite ways to enjoy this privilege and since being taught in (Cub) Scouts I’ve made quite a few. There are a variety of different ways to set one up and each has it uses, for instance a Jamaican-log-fire or Cross-fire (2 logs parallel with tinder between them and kindling ontop) maximizes heat retention and is best for cooking whereas a log cabin or pyramid/teepee is best for emanating heat for warmth. Whilst I know several ways to set up and light the wood I find that I know very little about the wood itself so I started gathering lists of wood/trees in Britain. It became obvious that I wouldn’t want to just stop at names so I’ve put some other bits aside for future posts.

It’s not been easy gathering this information, so many species and variants in so many places the only exacting way to keep track was referencing each by its Latin name instead of it common name.
For those of you without a photographic memory you may need to work at remembering all the flat information. One of my favourites is Fraxinus excelsior or Ash, which as the name implies is a good fire wood and helps me retain the knowledge by association.

English and Latin Wood Names and Family

Family Name (Britain) Name Elsewhere Latin
Alder (Common) Alder Alder Alnus glutinosa
Alder Alder Buckthorn Black Dogwood Rhamnus frangula
Apple Crab Apple Apple Malus sylvestris
Ash (Common) Ash White Ash Fraxinus excelsior
Beech Copper (European) Beech Fagus sylvatica
Birch Silver Birch Gray Birch Betula pendula
Birch Downy Birch or White Birch White Birch Betula pubescens
Box Box Boxelder Buxus sempervirens
Cherry & Plum Wild Cherry Prunus avium
Cherry & Plum Bird Cherry Prunus padus
Cherry & Plum Blackthorn or ‘Plum’ Sloe Prunus spinosa
Blackhaw (European) Cranberrybush Guelder-rose Viburnum opulus
Blackhaw Wayfaring Tree Viburnum lantana
Dogwood Common Dogwood Cornus sanguinea
Elder Elder Sambucus nigra
Elm Wych Elm Slippery Elm Ulmus glabra
Elm English Elm Ulmus procera
Hawthorn Common Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna
Hawthorn Midland Hawthorn Crataegus laevigata
Hazel Common Hazel Corylus avellana
Hornbeam European (common) Hornbeam Ironwood Carpinus betulus
Holly European Holly Holly, American Ilex aquifolium
Ditypic or Soapberry (Common) Horse Chestnut Buckeye Aesculus hippocastanum
Juniper (Common) Juniper Juniperus communis
Family Name (Britain) Name Elsewhere Latin
Linden Small-leaved Linden/Lime
Large-leaved Linden/Lime
Basswood Tilia cordata Tilia platyphyllos
Maples Field Maple Acer campestre
Maple Plane Sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus
Oak English Oak Pedunculate Oak Quercus robur
Oak Sessile Oak Quercus petraea
Oak Turkey Oak Quercus cerris
Pine Monterey Pine Pinus radiata
Pine Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris
Poplar Aspen Populus tremula
Poplar Black Poplar Cottonwood Populus nigra
Rose Pear Pyrus communis
Rowan & Whitebeam European Rowan or Mountain Ash Wiggen Tree Sorbus aucuparia
Rowan & Whitebeam (Common) Whitebeam Sorbus aria
Rowan & Whitebeam Service Tree Sorbus domestica
Rowan & Whitebeam Wild Service Tree Checkers Tree Sorbus torminalis
Bittersweet Common Spindle Tree Euonymus europaeus
Strawberry Tree Strawberry Tree Arbutus unedo
Willow Grey ‘Pussy’ Williow Salix cinerea subsp. oleifolia
Willow Bay Willow Salix pentandra
Willow Crack Willow Salix fragilis
Willow White Willow Willow Salix alba
Willow Almond-leaved Willow Salix triandra
Yew European ‘Common’ Yew Yew Taxus baccata
Walnut Walnut Walnut Juglans regia
Family Name (Britain) Name Elsewhere Latin


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