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How well does BIRCH burn?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by woodburn, Aug 13, 2008.

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  1. woodburn

    woodburn Member

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    I was just offered some birch wood. I have always burned mostly oak and cherry. I know birch probably won't compare to those, but is it still a choice wood? I checked out the main informational article about heat values in wood, but I also wanted feedback from people here who have burned it. I am not sure if it's white birch, paper birch, or yellow birch. I live on Long Island if that helps.

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  2. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I've heard about that Long Island Birch. I've heard it's pretty good firewood.

    Matt
  3. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    If you are a predomantily softwood burner, then paper birch is a "treasure to behold"..
  4. woodburn

    woodburn Member

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    So even though it may not be oak, it's still some good stuff? I think white birch may be the same as paper birch. I was just searching online and found some pictures of paper birch- the pictures I see look like the only birch I have seen around here- they have a white papery bark that likes to flake off.
  5. woodburn

    woodburn Member

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  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'd take it in a heartbeat. As a matter of fact, send it out to me.
  7. Noah

    Noah New Member

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    It better burn, that's all we have around here, well that and spruce but the birch burns longer. I have never burned anything else, I wish I could get my hands on a pile of oak.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    White/Paper Birch is good firewood, it will burn similar to your Cherry. Yellow and Black Birch is even better.
  9. donatello

    donatello Member

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    It doesn't just burn nice, but smells GREAT %-P ! My wife caught me sniffing BIRCH once :red: , how embarrassing...
  10. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    About half the wood I burned last year was white birch...burns just fine. The bark is a great starter (or restarter after an overnight burn) too...goes up like napalm.

    Its not oak and it doesn't have the same btu's, but it burns fine and produces good heat without monster ash piles.
  11. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    We've got a lot of white birch on the property, not as good as oak but not bad.

    Burns fine if you let it dry.

    Bark is water proof ( the indians made caonoes out of it), so make sure you split the larger pieces so it can dry.

    The dry bark makes great fire starter, like hot intense newspaper.
  12. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    The bark takes a flame really easily because of the oil content. I use it as kindling all the time. I actually save the stuff.
  13. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Name one wood that doesn't burn, or burns badly.
  14. Jay777

    Jay777 New Member

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    Woodpecker.
  15. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    "Name one wood that doesn’t burn, or burns badly."

    Exactly. Cherry and white birch have nearly the same BTUs, 20 million/cord. When you remove the extremes of the scale (osage, cedar), white birch is in the middle of the pack BTU wise.

    Birch has a slightly sweet smell and looks good on the indoor rack. It tends to dry fast.

    Birch should be split and stacked shorty after it's down because it tends to rot faster than most species. If that's not practical, at least buck it into larger pieces and put it on pallets off the ground, especially with all this rain some of us have had.
  16. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Touche!
  17. Jay777

    Jay777 New Member

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    Yeah, those feathers smolder something awful.
  18. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    Adios Pantalones - 13 August 2008 09:14 AM
    Name one wood that doesn’t burn, or burns badly.


    IPE or ironwood . Supposively is fireproof due to its extreme density. It is supposed to have the same fireproof rating as concrete.
  19. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    LOL-well, considering it doesn't grow on this continent, it's not a concern. I've used it as a core wood in making bows. (It's ipe, not an acronym "IPE". A pet peeve from bow making days).

    Plus- I had a reaction to breathing the dust even sanding it. I suppose that if I was in Brazil, or had a huge amount of decking scrap, it might be a concern (some reports of smoke toxicity as well... not sure if substantiated).
  20. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    In extreme northern Wisconsin ironwood is the wood of choice!
  21. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I think there are like 50 different woods that I've heard called "ironwood". American hornbeam (carpinus carolinus), hophornbeam, one that grows in the desert, a bunch of tropicals. Oi.
  22. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    You just need a bad cook.
  23. jjhof0306

    jjhof0306 New Member

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    Birch is good firewood. We burned yellow and grey birch (these may be the same - depends on who you ask, I guess) back in Vermont, along with some awesome rock maple. The birch smells like incense when it burns. It's especially nice in a campfire.
  24. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Grey and yellow/golden birch are 2 different animals.
  25. woodburn

    woodburn Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I'll scoop it up.
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