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Box elder good to burn?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Trilifter7, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I have 2 cords of box elder that I split at the beginning of the year and am planning to burn next season. What are your guys thoughts on it.... Good wood to burn? Should I Burn it during shoulder season next year or save it for the colder days?

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  2. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    I have a lot of box elder in my back yard. I save it when one falls or dies and needs to come down. Shoulder season wood, decent stuff nothing great. Very worth burning though.
    chvymn99 likes this.
  3. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    I split with a Fiskars. Someone dropped off some 6" box elder cookies. Those things are the most knarly wood I've split yet. I gave up and found out they work awesome as splitting blocks.

    Anyways, from what I know, it is a lower BTU wood, but it'll work good for shoulder season. Should dry within a year of splitting.
    chvymn99 likes this.
  4. Augie

    Augie Feeling the Heat

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    I burned about 2 face of Box Elder this year, Good Stuff, Burned it deep into the winter. :) I always Chuckle at the wood spices elitists here...lol All of it will put off the MAX heat your stove is rated for, it is just the length of time that the wood burns that changes. Pine keeps the stove warm for 6ish hours before a reload for me, Oak or Ash almost 12 on a reload. It is all good....LOL Choose Species based on your anticipated reload schedule.
  5. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    It can be twisty, knarly n tough to split, but looks like yours was fine. Just depends how n where it grew.
    Given a choice I wouldn't struggle through a knarly one without hydraulics as the wood burns pretty quick.
    Good for shoulder season.
  6. mudr

    mudr Member

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    Ive burned a bunch of it. Drys quickly, but seems very susceptible to picking up moisture if rained on or if it's on the ground. I see it's been sitting a while in your yard, no sense in throwing it away! Should be very dry (suggest top cover) and will be perfectly fine in the shoulder or if you are ok with a quick reload time.
  7. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Burns like soft maple, I guess since it is. Stay clear of any smoke, though. Super stinky.
    ScotO likes this.
  8. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks guys for the info!

    Good point Augie, makes sense! I might try burning a few in shoulder season and see how it does.

    Thanks mudr, I'll throw a top cover on them this spring.
  9. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I've heard it's a smokey wood, didn't know it was stinky though. Good to know, lol
  10. mudr

    mudr Member

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    It can indeed smell, but the stuff I've burned that is dry wasn't too bad. There might be something to this dry wood...;lol
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  11. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    I know the box elder bugs have a odd smell to them.
    They pop like popcorn when you throw them on the stove.:)
    bboulier, mudr and Pallet Pete like this.
  12. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I burned willow and box elder for a year it was all we had the Box Elder wasn't bad it didn't burn Lon but did burn hot. The willow is another stinky story lol.

    Pete
  13. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Box elder is fine if it is good and dry. Yours will be fine for next fall. Don't expect it to give you long overnight burns like oak, hickory, or locust and you won't be disappointed.
    Trilifter7 and ScotO like this.
  14. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    When it is dry - protect it from wind. The stuff will darn near float away.;lol
  15. chvymn99

    chvymn99 Minister of Fire

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    Shoulder season burning stuff. Can be very difficult to split at times, and very heavy when wet. When dry its very light in comparision. I burned some the first season, cause I didn't know any better. But I'll pass it in the future, unless I'm hard up. Just not worth the work, IMHO.
  16. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Box elder is about the same as silver maple.....not the splitting, but the burning....
    I've not burned lots of it, but I've burned mountains of silver maple. I wouldn't be without several cord of silver maple every year. I love that stuff....

    Like augie said, all wood puts out the same "temperature", but not all of it puts out the same "heat". Some wood lasts for many hours more than others.....
    When a person says that locust "puts out a pile of heat", they are proclaiming it lasts much longer in the stove than the same size piece of pine......that's all. Box elder will put out heat, just not hours and hours of it.....
  17. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I gotta be honest here. I burned some, and it did smell bad outside, so expect some odor. I've removed all of it from my wood lot, and I go through each spring and pull all boxelder saplings, along with all multiflora rose and tartarian/bush honeysuckle. I know, I'm a little crazy, but I see those hickories, oaks, cherries, and walnuts growing down in there and I just can't be havin' boxelder messin that up. ;)

    Sure, it burns fine, I don't know, I just don't like the stuff. I know where's there's a couple way off to the south of the property here, I'll probably saw one of 'em up for some bowl turnin' as the stuff does make some nice bowls.
  18. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    Burns good. Throws heat. Burns better if it is free. I burn almost anything that is free. Burned through 2 or three cord of box last year that I took down for parents and their neighbor. That was free. Just let it dry for a year outside. Makes fire like other wood does! :ZZZ
    Trilifter7 likes this.
  19. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for all the replies guys! Sounds like I will be ok with it. I've probably burnt worse wood and didn't know it. Everything I have will burn better bc it will actually be seasoned!!

    Good to know Jags! I always bring a cord up to the house before I burn it so it will be out of the wind.
  20. Trilifter7

    Trilifter7 Feeling the Heat

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    I got the box elder from a friend. He lost the tree in the summer of 2011 and cut it up but couldn't split it. He offered me some of it if I brought my splitter over... Can't beat free wood! There was about 6 cords total from this tree! He kept 2, I took 2 and another buddy of his took 2. Should be well seasoned and ready for shoulder season next year! Think it would be a good wood to break a new stove in with?
  21. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    I split it right away so it dries. One thing about it is the bark keeps a lot of moisture in. It's a weird wood. I dried it all summer in the hottest driest drought I ever seen last year. It was cut in 2011 and was still wet under the bark. It smells too. I only use it cause where I get wood it's free and cut to length and I pick it up on accident at times. At that point I already have it in my arms so at that point I just take it and grin,,, it's free so...
  22. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    6 cord in a box elder? I didn't know they got that big.
  23. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    I have seen a few monster Box Elders. I don't know how much wood was in them.

    Yea!!!! Like the new avatar Sean!

    You must feel really relieved. That was a long one! ;lol How much beer were you drinking?
  24. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    I'm not wood ID expert, but I thought box elder have a ring of really bright red in them? I don't see any of that in the splits above.
  25. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Just ran out beer :( Gona have to buy some more than I can change back!
    Gasifier likes this.

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