Is elm a good wood for burning

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kingfisher, Jul 22, 2009.

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  1. kingfisher

    kingfisher
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    Does anyone burn elm? I have a chance to buy 8 face cords of elm and ash mixed for 150.00
     
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  2. smokinj

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    yep, burns good and at that price its great!
     
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  3. Wood Duck

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    Its not a scientific survey, but judging from the posts I read on this forum, elm might be the most commonly burned firewood. It definitely is in the top ten. I guess that is because American Elm is still a pretty common tree in many places, because it grows fast in spots like roadsides and fence rows, where it needs to be removed occasionally, and because several diseases kill the trees and leave them standing dead, which makes them an obvious target for firewood cutters. I haven't actually burned any, but there is a bunch in my stacks waiting for the winter of 2010/11. I think it will burn great - it is medium density/btu content for a hardwood. It is known to be a pain to split, but you seem to have found a way to avoid the hassles of splitting.
     
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  4. Wood Duck

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    Is the price $150 per face cord, or $150 for 8 face cords? The first seems pretty high, the second very low.
     
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  5. Vic99

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    Burns alright. Horrible to split.
     
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  6. firefighterjake

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    I burned a whole lot of elm last year . . . and will burn some elm along with ash and maple this year. In fact, if it wasn't for all of the standing dead elm I had on my property, my first season of burning would have not been a very good year. As it was, the standing dead elm (which was dead dead -- i.e. bark was falling off the tree) was great since it split easily and was well seasoned.

    If well seasoned elm burns great . . . it's definitely not like ash though as fresh cut elm (or even elm that isn't dead dead) can be stringy and tough to split and takes a bit longer to season compared to ash, birch, etc.
     
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  7. kingfisher

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    150 for 8 cords of mixed elm and ash cut and split and very dry
     
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  8. smokinj

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    8 face cords 2.6 cords
     
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  9. intc97

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    I burn almost all elm in my CB 6048. Have alot of standing dead elm in my woods. I wait till it is at least -10F and I split by hand with two wedges and a maul. Good exercise in the middle of winter.
     
  10. Jags

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    I hope you were posting this as you were running out the door to claim it for yourself. ;-)
     
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  11. Hurricane

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    I would consider not cutting and splitting anymore if I could get dry wood at that price. I enjoy the exercise but I could find another exercise like hunting, fishing, goofing off.
     
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  12. LLigetfa

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    Even if they aren't real cords, at that price I would retire my saw and splitter!
     
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  13. Todd

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    Great deal, you should be out the door by now, get going!
     
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  14. wendell

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    +1 x 10

    I burned 100% elm last year, will burn 80% this year and 100% next year so it better burn well. :)
     
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  15. kingfisher

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    Checked out the deal on the wood and passed on it . The guy pushed it all in a pile and it was all mixed with dirt and most of the wood was rotten. I did find a bunch of birch trees to cut down for next years supply. Found an add on craigs list for wood and the women has about 20 birch trees she wants gone. Went and looked at the trees and there is some good size trees
     
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  16. kingfisher

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    I wonder about how many face cords I will use for one season. I already have about 8 face cords and my wife thinks I'm going overboard
     
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  17. Jags

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    Oh - I would say about 15 (or 5 full cords).
     
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  18. SlyFerret

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    Doesn't the face cord to full cord ratio change depending on the length of the splits?

    The way I understood it, a face cord was a single row of splits, 4 feet high, and 8 feet long.

    I always start getting confused when talking about firewood in anything but actual full cords, since it's a clearly defined value.

    -SF
     
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  19. LLigetfa

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    Get that Birch split right away. It will rot quickly if left in the round. If it's standing dead, it could be half rotten already. Watch for widowmakers.
     
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  20. rdust

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    This season is my first and I'm figuring 5 full cords and hoping it'll be more like 3 full cords. This is figuring for 24/7 burning which I don't plan to do but you never know! I have about 10 full cords so 30 face cords on hand.(not all for this season)
     
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  21. rdust

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    Face cord equals 4'x8'x16"
     
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  22. rdust

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    ..
     
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  23. LLigetfa

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    In lack of a legal definition, a face cord is generally considered to be 4 feet by 8 feet by whatever length suits the seller. If bucked to 16" length, it works out to a third of a cord. If longer, you get more. If shorter, less.
     
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  24. wolfram

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    In some towns and provinces, it is still illegal to transport elm since firewood transport is the primary vector for the spread of Dutch Elm Disease. Not sure that the average non-wood-burning cop would know an elm though. The disease is caused by a fungus that drives the tree to essentially kill itself in the process of defense. Bark beetles cruise diseased firewood piles and pick up the fungus and transport it to nearby elms that may still be alive (for a while).

    Elm without bark is ok and elm with bark is ok if it is cut in late fall and burned before the beetles emerge in spring. Elm cut in the summer should be debarked immediately if you want to store it while saving nearby elms.

    We are still losing elms here, but the main cause of spread is through the roots. We burn it since it burns well, but don't store it with the bark on and we don't move it offsite.

    A similar story is playing out here with the emerald ash borer.

    One thing I should add, contaminated pruning tools move the elm disease too. Arborists clean with a 10% household bleach solution after dealing with an elm.
     
  25. wendell

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    Thanks for that explanation. I had wondered why it was called a disease when all I hear people talk about are the beetles. Having debarked a lot of elm, I am amazed at the number of beetle larvae under the bark and all the trails they leave. Is this species drawn to the elm for other reasons or just because it is compromised? Is it a specific species of beetle?

    Nice to learn something first thing in the morning.
     
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