Whatever wood you choose it will always burn better when well seasoned. Here are some thoughts on a few different types;
Alder – Hardwood member of the birch family. Tends to burn quickly with little heat.
Apple – Burns slowly and steadily when thoroughly dried and has a pleasant aroma.
Ash – Probably one of the best burning woods, will even burn whilst still green, though not as well as after it has dried. Produces a good heat and nice flames.
Beech – Good, produces decent heat and flame, though is apt to spit embers a long way.
Birch – The heat is very good but does tend to burn quickly. A pleasant smell.
Cedar – Good only when dry, produces a nice amount of snap and crackle and has a beautiful smell.
Cherry – A slow burner, and another wood with the added benefit of a lovely aroma.
Chestnut – Not good, small flame, little heating power and lots of spitting.
Douglas Fir – Not great, doesn’t produce much heat or flame.
Elder – If seasoned well it can burn ok but tends to be smoky.
Elm – Due to a huge water content this wood needs to be really well seasoned for it to burn reasonably well and even then is liable to be quite smoky.
Hazel – A very good firewood once seasoned, burns quickly.
Holly – Very decent – can be burnt green.
Hornbeam – A hot and slow burning firewood, very good.
Larch – Needs to be well seasoned but is pretty good for heat. Can spit.
Laurel – Produces a very fine flame.
Lime – Poor quality, dull flame and little heat.
Maple – Very good quality.
Oak – If not seasoned long enough (at least 2 years) can give off a nasty smoke otherwise a great firewood. Plenty of heat and a slow burner.
Pear – Good heat and lovely smell.
Pine – Prone to spitting and can be oily. Good flame and nice scent.
Plane – Not a bad firewood though can spark if very dry.
Plum – Produces a good amount of heat and is very aromatic.
Poplar – Awful – don’t bother with it.
Spruce – A quick burner with lots of sparks.
Sycamore – Burns with a moderate heat and a good flame but must be well dried.
Thorn – A nice slow burner with a good heat and very little smoke. One of the best.
Walnut – A nice aromatic wood and a reasonable burner.
Willow – Needs to be well seasoned, but even then produces little flame and is likely to spark.
Yew – Very strong heat and burns slowly. Very good.