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Fact or Fiction?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by iceman, Feb 20, 2009.

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  1. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    here in the northeast everyone dies for oak because of the high btu value...
    but from asking an old wood burner .. yes oak is good but it seems there are others that are MUCH better .. is this true?
    i know there may be a couple but he says in our area (northeast) there are many more that are better???????

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  2. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    not that i know of
  3. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    I love oak, splits well, stacks well, and a lot of btus. We have hickory which is higher btu but does not split as well. We have ash that dries faster, but hard splitting. Yep, oak is my number 1 pick!
  4. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    he did say ash was one that was higher than oak?!
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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  6. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Osage Orange, Hickory, Locust, Rock Elm, Madrone to name a few. Ash is close but not quite.
  7. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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  8. Stevebass4

    Stevebass4 Minister of Fire

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    don't think we have those in the north east
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    All those BTU tables can be confusing. Use them with a grain of salt. There are other factors and no two same species trees are the same. There could be differences in moisture content and climate and latitude can differ the denseness of same species. I suppose Ash can seem to have more BTU's than Oak if it has less moisture in it.
  10. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    I love oak for sure and by btu rating alone ash is not equal ... but ash has such a low moisture level that it can outperform oak thats not totally dry for 2 years and lets face it alot of people dont dry the oak enough to get those big BTU ratings IMHO,ash is easy to work with burns hot and makes great coals with very little seasoning time, almost immediatly after being cut .ironwood hickory locust osage etc .are not as prevalent atleast in my area and take alot of time to fully dry becuase they are so dense.properly seasoned sugar maple burns awesome so does apple too,seasoned is the key *gotta have less than 20% mositure ...even a dry christmas tree will burn better and make more BTU than a wet green Oak log
  11. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    I've come to realize that almost all wood is worthy of burning in my stove at one time or another. I don't get a lot of oak, but I really like it. Oak is definitely a hotter burning wood than ash.
  12. struggle

    struggle Minister of Fire

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    Very very little oak around where I get wood so it is not my choice wood. I think it has more to do with what's available. If you have a choice between oak and say cotton wood you would go with the oak. If you had the choice between cotton wood or nothing then cotton wood is the best one for you to burn.

    I have these in my wood stash in order of perceived quantity, ash, elm, mulberry, walnut and about a 30 pieces of oak. So for me ash wins.
  13. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It's fact.

    Wait, no, fiction.

    H_ll, I don't know.
  14. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    In point of fact, Locust is a very low moisture wood.
  15. Tree farmer

    Tree farmer New Member

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    Think everyone has mad some good points, personally I like a mix and some spp that compete with DRY oak are hickory, sugar maple and yellow birch and beech here in the NE. Oak is great but like a fine wine it takes time and aging to get the best finished product. Other species dry much faster making them more practical for timely use.
  16. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    You forgot Hard Maple, Yellow Birch and Iron Wood. All those grow in WI. Not sure what grows in the East.

    I would agree that there are many variables that affect the wood type. Even tree to tree they change.
  17. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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  18. GKG-MO

    GKG-MO New Member

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    I'm no expert but we have Hickory and Locust here in PA. Last year I had 5 cords of Honey Locust that a friend cleaned off of his farm. Some of the longest burn times I ever had. Never burned Hickory.
  19. WOODBUTCHER

    WOODBUTCHER Minister of Fire

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    Well, burning wood in my book for a "much better" result in coaling and heat output for me would be........stuffing red maple or cherry in my oslo to the likes of shagbark or pignut hickory.
    Real world difference between white oak and shagbark hickory are small (I don't see much diff). I'm a big fan of Hickory when I get lucky and can get it.....It smells really good, burns long and hot and leaves a big pile of coals in the morning.
    A stack of yellow birch will heat your house just fine but you will use more of it compared to a good old stack of hickory or oak.
    In May of 2007 we got 1.5 grapple loads of about 70% Shagbark/Pignut Hickory and 20% yellow birch and 10% Red oak. In May 2008 we got a grapple load of about 40% shagbark 50% White/Red Oak and 10% yellowbirch/sugar maple (all really good stuff)
    I'm still burning an entire row of Pignut/Shagbark from that grapple load in May 2007.....and let me tell you .....it will spoil a woodburner .......it will make a man turn his nose in the air at a stack of "lesser btu wood"
    Lets put it this way......an entire grapple load of redmaple would "tie my chaps in a not" But then again, in this economy things are tight....get what you can get.... split it and stack it now for next year and its all good.


    WB
  20. CrappieKeith

    CrappieKeith New Member

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    If a guy would just get his wood up early enough to properly dry is the main issue I've seen.
    It's physically impossible to make all of the btu's with wet or wetter woods.
    I burn ash and oak and to me I like oak better just because theres more btus per pound then ash ,but both give me all night burn times.
    As long as I can load wood on a bed of coals twice a day I'm in heaven with no gas bill.
    My flue stays cleaner too.
  21. Superlite

    Superlite New Member

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    I like Locust better than Oak, but it doesn't stack as nice, splits pretty easy. It also seems more Locust fall in the wind and rain than Oak, around here.
  22. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Ash that's hard to split??? The white ash that I have doesn't even need a full power swing with the maul to split.

    Ironwood is great to burn. I've got a few eyed up that will be in my pile this spring.
  23. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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  24. Superlite

    Superlite New Member

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    When you say Ironwood, are you referring to Hornbeam, or Persian Ironwood? I cant say I have ever come across either in a burning sense, although I have planted both. They are two completely different trees, along with about 20 or so that can be referred to as Ironwood. Carpinus Carolinia (sp?) is Hornbeam, Parrottia Persica is persian Ironwood? Or is it something completely different
  25. ikessky

    ikessky Minister of Fire

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    Hop hornbeam. Didn't know that's what it was called until I came here. Everyone in our area knows it as ironwood.

    http://www.uwgb.edu/BIODIVERSITY/herbarium/trees/ostvir01.htm

    They don't show it growing in my county, which is funny because it is definetly all over our acres of woods.
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