Was thinking of this as had a very nice fire going in our outside wood stove area, which is really nothing more than a firepit in an aboveground cement/firebrick thing and a stovepipe. Meaning it's for pleasure fires and to keep me warm when grilling (gas grill, highly recommend).

Anyway a wood-burning truism: crappy wood that's dry and several years old beats much better wood that's damp or not sufficiently dried. Every. Single. Time.

We don't really need to burn wood - it's for pleasure - but I was dealing with the ruins of a relative's dacha the other day (coronia social isolation and all that, time on my hands). Fun discoveries spelunking around there. But I was struck that they have a massive store of wood (for the 'dark days'). Random wood piles that have been covered and just left there for use sometime in future. Who knows what wood it is, but it's probably all ten years plus aged wood.

Seriously, if I had to heat a place for real with wood, I'd find someone cleaning out an old dacha and hire some guys to truck the old woodpiles over. (The alternative with this relative's place - as they think about someday maybe selling - is they'll just burn all the stuff to free up space on their uchastok. As it is I'm going to have to find the neighbourhood junkman to cart away all the old stoves and other crap in random outbuildings...)

Repeat: old wood better than good wood.