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  1. philaphire

    philaphire Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    214
    Loc:
    Blue Bell, PA
    As some of you know, I don't even have a stove yet, but that's another thread for another time (I think I've boiled it down though)... so here I am beginning my pile for next year. I am blessed to have a tree guy as a neighbor so I'll be getting wood for free. I have about 1/3 -1/2 cord of oak and apple to start, and today I got a truck load of willow. I know willow's not the best BTU wise, but I also know that free delivered wood is the best to burn. My question is, what does it really mean to have a low BTU wood? Does that mean that I can fill the stove and it won't be as hot as oak or does it mean that I need to fill the stove more often to maintain the heat because it burns faster, or does it mean both? I actually contemplated not accepting the Willow, but I don't want to look a gift horse in the mouth (am I using this saying right?)

    BTW my plan is to start fires with the willow and then add oak or apple, and/or use willow for "single use" fires late fall/early spring/ or in the middle of winter when it goes up to 50 which it usually does in SE PA.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    The most drastic comparison is with soft woods vs hardwoods, but if you put a low BTU wood in, in my case the low BTU wood is Pine, the wood burns very hot for a bit, then goes to the coal stage which vanishes within 1/2 hour of flames dissapearing. With Oak or Elm (oak being best, the coals last a long time, and the initial burn isn't as quick/intense.
  3. philaphire

    philaphire Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    214
    Loc:
    Blue Bell, PA
    so it's a matter of more often reloading with low BTU wood?
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,122
    Loc:
    Midwest
    That is pretty much it. Basically all wood is about the same BTU per pound - give or take some small percentage. Also, all wood burns with a similar temperature. A bright yellow flame is the same temperature if it is coming from a candle or your stove. And to get a certain amount of heat out of your stove, you have to consume a certain fuel rate...pounds per hour of wood.

    The only difference in BTU comes in when you start talking about BTU per cord - which is essentially saying BTU per volume of wood - so the actual density comes into play. Dense heavy woods like oak and hedge are considered to have "high" BTU, while less dense woods like pine and poplar are "low" BTU woods.

    So if you need heat from 15 pounds of wood per hour, that may be one oak log or three pine logs.

    Corey
  5. philaphire

    philaphire Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2006
    Messages:
    214
    Loc:
    Blue Bell, PA
    willow rotting within a year? How then does one season it or are you saying it doesn't season?

    I talked with my neighbor and we're cool, there won't be another truck load of willow.
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