Pinion wood is a popular firewood used for outdoor fireplaces and chimineas. Pinion pine wood is sometimes called the hardwood of softwoods. Even though it is technically a softwood, it is harder, more dense, and has a higher BTU than most softwoods.
Pinion firewood is popular for outdoor fires because of its nice pine aroma. The scent of both the unburned and burning wood is sometimes described as giving the feeling of being outdoors. The wood is also clean burning, easy to light, puts out plenty of heat, burns long and produces little ash. Pinion pine wood is claimed to be a mosquito repellent when burned. Some will burn the wood outdoors just to keep the bugs away.
Pinion wood comes from the pinyon pine tree, also spelled pinion or piñon. Pinyon pine trees grow in dry regions of Mexico and the south western United States, mainly in the high mountains of the Colorado Plateau in New Mexico and Arizona. It tends to grow in areas that are too dry for ponderosa pine and is often found mixed with juniper.
Pinyon pine is a small, slow growing tree, usually only 10-30 feet in height. The seeds are edible and important for wildlife. Native Americans used pinyon pine nuts as a staple food and today the nuts are considered a delicacy by many. The pine nuts you buy in the store are usually from pinyon pine trees.