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Anyone Burn Hackberry?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Todd, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I picked up some free Hackberry yesterday at the local city recycle yard and never burned the stuff before that I know of. BTU's are similar to White Birch from what I found. How does this stuff burn?

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  2. bruce56bb

    bruce56bb New Member

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    todd

    it burns just fine.

    stringy to split when green, but seems to split better once seasoned somewhat.

    bruce
  3. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    451
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    South Central Minnesota
    I've got about 5 of them in my yard. Messy trees but tough as nails. Decent firewood, about the same BTUs as red elm or black walnut but much easier to split than the elm ;-)
  4. Risser09

    Risser09 New Member

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    Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    I got some hackberry from work when they trimmed some trees. To date it's the toughest wood I've ever split. Check out the growth rings on some of your stuff. I counted 20 rings in about an inch. I have some 2" cross sections that are dry already and are as hard as concrete that I couldn't split with a 4lb. maul. I can't wait to see how this stuff burns.
  5. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    Northern Kentucky
    There's a lot of Hackberry around here. At first I thought they were Slippery Elm since the leaves look similar, but I discovered they were Hackberries. When I first split and burned some last year I kinda thought it was crap wood. After paying close attention to the way it burned, I changed my mind. It burns much better than Silver Maple, IMO. I wouldn't attempt to hand split it though.
    The only thing I don't like about it is that every time I split a log, I know the ram will have to go through a full stroke. Even then, you gotta kinda rip it apart.
    I'd never pass up free Hackberry.
  6. SnaykeByte

    SnaykeByte New Member

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    Loc:
    Greenwood, Indiana
    I have about a cord of Hackberry and most of it is dead and a bit punky, but it burns ok.
  7. BJ64

    BJ64 Minister of Fire

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    NE Oklahoma
    I agree the stuff burns fine.

    The worst about hackberry is it is prone to rot. It does not keep well over two years unless kept in a dry place.
  8. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    I remember it being very tough to split as well. Burns great.
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Thanks guys, I don't have a whole lot of it, someone beat me to most of it, but I'll keep my eye out for more and burn it in the shoulder seasons.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    ive burn it green before,good stuff
  11. prtp3warrior

    prtp3warrior New Member

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    East TN
    I will attest to how hard it is to split. I am also pretty sure it is actually a type of elm.
  12. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    There are a lot of different types of Hackberry.
    I think it is in some way related to Elm.
    It's classified with Hemp.
  13. countrybois

    countrybois Member

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    NE Illinois
    I'm burning some as we speak..... this is actually my first year burning any. This was split in February. Burns nice. It's very stringy so kind of tough to split by hand.
  14. Naandme

    Naandme New Member

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    Loc:
    Eaton, Indiana
    Its a great burning wood, we burn alot of hackberry here in Indiana due to having a large amount in fence rows. I burn mostly oak, hickory, ash, hackberry, black locust, and maple. I have found it a tough wood to split but it burns very well and seems to last.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Dont have much on the place I regularly cut,but have got some scrounging & cutting for hire some years back.Agree with everyone that its pretty stringy & difficult to split but burns good if dried well.
  16. KYrob

    KYrob Member

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    KY
    I burn it a lot. It's heating the house right now. I find it splits very easy but do get a tough piece occasionally. The loads I brought home were cut into 4 foot pieces. It split easy if I hit on the fresh cut end but if I tried to split the end that was cut a year or so ago, it was like a rock and I would have to turn it over. Overall, I really like it.

    Rob
  17. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Hackberry is in the Elm family, Ulmaceae. However, elms are the genus Ulmus, Hackberry is a different genus Celtis, species, occidentalis. I agree with all the others, decent fire wood, splits hard...very stringy. But I have taken a lot of free Hackberry and as with any species, it varies from tree to tree. I have had some the I would rank much higher on the BTU charts than where it is. If its free, its hard to beat.
  18. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I haven't burned any. I am just north of the limit where Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) is common. There are practically none of them in this area, but it is common about 70 miles south of here. We do have a few Netleaf Hackberry which only get about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, at least around here.
  19. 3fordasho

    3fordasho Feeling the Heat

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    Posted about hackberry 2 years ago in this thread.... burned a bit more since and found it to be pretty decent firewood. The hackberry around here grows very slow and survives in poor conditions. Seasons fairly quickly and retains pretty good weight once seasoned. Before I rated it comparable to black walnut but now after burning a bunch of both I like the hackberry better for output, coaling and length of burn. The black walnut smells better when burning, leaves very fine ash and not many coals for restarts. Hackberry is very easy to identify due to it's unusual bark. Also the bark is pretty thin compared with other trees resulting in more wood/less bark in your stove.
  20. Sharkman

    Sharkman New Member

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    I am a newly minted country boy, converted from a 53+ year existence! as a city boy. I have some acreage, here near Lake Tenkiller, in Oklahoma. One of the trees on my property needed a couple of branches cut back, so we did that, a couple of days ago. I thought, before cutting it, that it was a Cottonwood. After cutting and seeing how dense and old (lost count at 147 rings, there were likely 50 more, on a 10" diameter branch) it was, I thought it might be an Ash tree. Someone then called it a Hackberry. Can anyone give me an idea, what it is from these photos?
    I have several varieties of trees, mostly nut trees. There are walnut, hickory, pecan, red and white oak, Blackgum oak, and a dozen or so Sycamores, in the pasture.
    I'd sure like to know what this old tree is. I think I need to cut it down, as it is two trunks, intertwined, with one trunk rotting from the 10' height, downwards, and the other, is rotting from the ground up.

    Attached Files:

  21. HackBerry

    HackBerry New Member

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    Yep, that's Hackberry. The wart like bark is the tell tale. I have acres of the stuff in Grant Co. It's sort of a junk tree but it makes good firewood. A gnarly old tree like that might test your patience with a splitter. If it's rotting on the stump it will be down in the near future. Hackberry rots at an alarming pace.
  22. Sharkman

    Sharkman New Member

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    Thank you. I appreciate the input.
    The rotting looks old, but I'm not sure. It was that way when I first saw it, when we bought the property, three years ago. It doesn't seem to have changed much, but, I had a red oak, that didn't change it's appearance much in that time frame, either, and it split one morning, back in November, taking out a portion of the roof, on our house. This Hackberry, is not all that near any structures, but could block the driveway, and could crush vehicles that park near its umbrella. So, yes, I think we're gonna give my new chainsaw a workout on this one.
    Here's a photo of the oak that rotted and split.

    Attached Files:

  23. jdonna

    jdonna Member

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    I like hackberry, decent wood. I have burned some this year and like other said it stays pretty dense and heavy seasoned.

    I do notice it pops and crackles a bit like pine when it is first burning, checked the moisture at 16%.

    Can't wait for next year when more of it is seasoned.
    Sharkman likes this.
  24. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    I burned a bunch last season and have a bunch, maybe1,5 cord or more, that will be ready next season. I've had long burns with good heat even on very cold days. I've not had problems splitting it except for crotch pieces. Get it off the ground because as tuff as it is, if left on the ground it rots quickly.
    Sharkman likes this.
  25. Makers Mark

    Makers Mark New Member

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    Southern Appalachian
    I like it. Burns good. if it's straight it splits pretty easy. Will take all I can get.

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