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Burning Sassafras dead & alive

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by zipper1081, Jan 13, 2009.

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  1. zipper1081

    zipper1081 New Member

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    I have axcess to all the sassafras (I hope I spelled it right) trees I want. They are about 10-12 inch across. Has anyone ever burnt it before. Does it burn good?

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  2. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Better than poplar, similar to cherry. Would't kill myself for it but for free I'll take some too!
  3. ashpanannie

    ashpanannie New Member

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    Don't forget to dig up a hunk of the root for tea brewing. Yum!
  4. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    This is second hand as I have never burned sassafras(s?) but a guy I worked with has camp fires at his summer residence lake cottage. He says it's hot but it pops a lot.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    No problem burning it and I absolutely love cutting the stuff because of the sweet smell you get from the sawdust. My favorite of all woods to be sure.

    One other nice thing about sassafras is that it makes good fence posts and even without putting anything on for a preservative they will last a long time. The biggest problem though is finding one that is straight enough. Those things usually grow pretty crooked.
  6. Cedrusdeodara

    Cedrusdeodara Member

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    BTU is very low.

    here is a link about it's BTU value:
    http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/FNR/FNR-79.pdf

    It is one of the worst "hard woods" you can cut. We avoid it at almost all cost and cut almost any hardwood we can find in New Jersey before cutting Sassafras for fire wood. Nice native tree with amazing fall color, great for attacting birds, lives where nothing else can live......... We sell native trees and Sassafras is a great native.... but not a great burning wood..

    Brian
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Did you guys run short on cedars up there? :lol: I have never heard of anyone using sassafras as fence posts. I can't keep it from rotting in my wood pile. Kidding, now that you mention it I do see a lot of long dead sassafras trees still standing.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We do have a few cedars but certainly not enough for fence posts. I do remember one time we put up a quick clothes line. Went out and got 3 sassafras and planted them. Seems they lasted around 15 years or so but don't remember for sure.

    As for the burning, just because the charts say it is low, that doesn't necessarily mean it is at the bottom. Soft maple is also low on the totem pole but it burns very nicely once it is seasoned. We don't cut much of it but I will not hesitate to cut and burn it rather than letting it go to waste.
  9. zipper1081

    zipper1081 New Member

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    Huntington,WV
    My buddy has a stand of sassafras dead & alive that I could fence in the USA. They are easy to get to & most of they dont need split. I will cut some of this for next year.
  10. TKeller

    TKeller New Member

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    I agree you can't always go by btu charts but............. I agree with cedrusdeodara(brian's) post to a tee. No pun intended. It can be a beautiful tree with some of the prettiest fall leaf colors (three shapes of leaves). But it is a fast burning light firewood that sparks. Does split easy. There are many better firewood trees if they are available to you. Tony
  11. GaryS

    GaryS Member

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    Off topic but sassafras is no longer used for root beer / tea. It's toxic.
  12. cgeiger

    cgeiger New Member

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    [off topic] - True. Link to liver cancer if you eat a large amount of it - nevertheless it's been taken out of products. As for burning it, I've never tried.
  13. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    I've burned small rounds of it, reasonably well seasoned. It's nothing exceptional, but it burned OK for me. Probably equivalent to our local Poplar trees- low BTU's, but worth burning.
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