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  1. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    Messages:
    356
    Loc:
    Milford, CT
    Mother nature blew over a huge poplar tree over the weekend. It was pretty impressive. This thing is at least a foot around at the base, and it snapped it like a twig. It'll easily cover my wood needs for next year, but I've heard that poplar is not a good wood to burn. Is this true?

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Not as good as oak. It is a soft hardwood, However the price is right. It does not burn long or have the BTU of harder hardwood but burnable
    It splits up easy. Split it up stack it should be ready to use it next Fall.
  3. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
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    Loc:
    Milford, CT
    It's not so much as my location, as much as my job. I have a stupid work schedule, work 72 miles away from my house, and am gone for 12 hours on days that I work. I don't feel comfortable leaving the stove on while I'm gone for that long, so I only use the stove a few nights a week and therefore much less wood than someone who burns 24/7. I will have almost a cord left of this year's pile, and I'm sure this 80' tall tree will contribute close to another cord.

    Sounds like the poplar will be good for getting the fire established, and then I can use the harder hard woods from this year's pile.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
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    Seasoned poplar, just one season, burns just fine. Burns hot and clean with very little ash left. For the way you burn it will be just fine. Not too much in the stove at a time and you will be around to feed it when it gets hungry.

    Enjoy.

    Our motto around here is that if it will burn in the presence of sufficient heat and air, it is gonna burn.
  5. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
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    Loc:
    Milford, CT
    Frank, where are you getting 4"s from this? I put in my original post, that it's over a foot around the base. It doesn't get any thinner for at least 50' where it reaches the crown and them spreads out. (or at least used to. Now it's a playground for squirrels) It's a BIG tree.

    Yes the commute does kill me, but ya gotta go where the jobs are. I drive one of the most fuel efficient cars out there, Honda Civic, and take the train half the time. I do my own little part to save on fuel, but it doesn't count for much when every other "car" on the highway is a huge SUV. I understanding people owning those things for towing boats and horses, or trips to Home Depot. But why you need one to commute big time miles every day is beyond me. People say they feel safer in those things, but ignore that their vehicles greatly increase air pollution, let alone increase our dependence on oil, and then wonder why their children have asthma. Once I run this one into the ground, the next one's a hybrid.
  6. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    Poplar goes into the woods here. When I find a piece of it that I split a couple years ago, I toss it as far into the woods as I can. I hate the stuff. Smells like cat pee. I won't bring it into the house unless someone has already turned it into furniture.
  7. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Milford, CT
    Cat pee? That's a new one for me. Hopefully I won't make that same assessment. I've sure got a lot of it.
  8. moog5

    moog5 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    79
    Loc:
    Shingle Springs, CA
    My dad has (had) the same problem. He had at least 10 of poplars in his back yard (Bishop CA), two blew down, and the rest were cut down for safety reasons. Once they reach about 50 years old, they die off. These trees were humongous, at the base these were about 3' to 4' in dia , I recall seeing one about 5' dia in one direction (if you don't count the hollow rotted out middle portion which was full of bees). It all went into his woodpile and he burns all of it (and it doesn't smell like cat pee). They burn hot and but don't last long. If it's there in your backyard, cut it up and burn it, but I wouldn't waste time driving and loading up a truck and hauling it back home (unless your extremely limited in the kinds of wood you go cut).
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    how about a picture!
  10. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    Loc:
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    out here in Central VA it's flowering Poplar. I took about 40 feet off one in the back yard a couple years ago. cut it up and split it. It smells like cat pee. Burns too fast. leaves a big fluffy ash when it's done. They are fast growing trees. can reach 70-100 feet in 10 years. great for land that's been clearcut. I like the flowers but I have been thinking of taking the rest of the thing down because it shades the pool. I reckon if you have a limited amount of wood and it's right there, cut it and split it. That's what I did but once I built up my wood stock I stopped burning it. can't see burning it when I have so much oak and hickory. Plus it burns fastwith not much heat. Old country saying "burning poplar leads to pregnancy".
  11. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Midwest
    Burned quite a bit of poplar and now I see the neighbor has a tree down as well, so more to come. Seems to be best used for those early fall/ early spring fires where you just want to get a bit of heat in the house before bed, not stoke the stove all night long. I think there is some old saying about poplar leading to pregnancy...referring to it's low heat output and alternative methods of staying warm at night...so watch out!! :)

    Strangely, I have also had some really sappy wood that smells like cat pee... not necessarily when it burns, but when you first cut and handle it. These were lombardi poplar trees. There are a couple of different varieties, but I believe it's the lombardi that grows tall and narrow...only lives 20-30 years around here. I also found the large trunk pieces were somewhat hard to split. they had a twisty grain that the maul just bounced off.

    Enjoy it for what it is...free wood with medium BTU's.

    Corey
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