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I agree with Lee. Free is best (as long as it isn't pine).
I have burned oak, ash, apple and cherry (I don't have access to Walnut though I am on the hunt for some Hickory).
I like ash because it splits really easily and is readily available due to the emerald ash borer infestation that has decimated the ash tree population here in Michigan. I do find that it "pops" a little more than the oak so if I have some oak already split I will use that to feed the fire when I'm cooking.
Apple and cherry are also really good but I've found that they are a little harder to split. I like to use the fruit wood for smoking so I don't use it much for heating the oven anyway.
This would be a good topic for a poll (pardon the pun).
It will depend mostly on the area in which you live. That being availability. Maple is not readily available in my area. I think that would be a great wood for smoking, and heating if it is more abundant.
In my neck of the woods, we have several species of oak for heating. Hickory, pecan and the occasional fruitwood or wild grape vine for smoking. No pine .
I don't care what folks say behind my back........They are either braggin' or.......lyin'
Oak and hickory for general firing, apple is fantastic but hard to get here so I save it for smoking, citrus burns hotter than anything but the wood I acquired put off a putrid thin black smoke all the way to the point of ash. Could have been the specific tree, I don't know and won't ever find out again. Poplar does the same thing, but thicker smoke - and that was kiln dried cabinet shop cutoffs.
Here are some numbers that show BTUS per cord (4'x4'x8'). If you pay for firewood, maybe this will help with shopping for the best btu yield or give an idea of the heat output. These are values for seasoned (dried) cord wood.
Alder - 17.6 million btu
Apple - 26.5 million btu
Ash - 19.1 million btu
Beech - 24 million btu
Birch (white) - 20.3 million btu
Birch (yellow) - 23.6 million btu
Birch (black) - 26.8 million btu
Cherry - 20 million btu
Black Cherry - 19.9 million btu
Hickory - 27.7 million btu
Red oak - 24 million btu
White oak - 25.7 million btu
Sugar Maple - 24 million btu
Red Maple - 18.7 million btu