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  1. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    Spent the week in Colorado. Took a long drive with my brother to go see his new home site. Along the way stopped at an antique shop and noticed it was heated with a nice looking stove...I walked up to the thing and it was stamped metal, held together with rivets. I asked the guy what he was burning and he said "junk wood". Basicly the trees around there hardly get taller than 8 feet except for some really old hardwoods that are only found around older houses and on some creek beds. most of what the guy burns is these crazy looking fibrus bushes that grow toa about 2 feet tall max and have a narly twisted almost braided looking trunk. The guy was an american indian and we had a pretty good conversation about what people heat with around there. he said from time to time he gets Pinon but that's about the highest quality wood he has access too. He cleans his chimney at least every 2 weeks. Says he has never seen anyone else around there clean a chimney and every year at least one place burns to the ground. Later in the week I was in an old mining town and went into another antique shop and they had an ancient pot belly stove with a door that didn't fit well enough to keep me from seeeing that they were burning wood. There was a bin of wood abo[tu 2 feet away from the stove.....just basicly pits and pieces that looked to have been scrounged, and there was a bin of coal about a foot in front of the stove. big 4 -6 inch pieces. Looked up and where her single wall pipe disapeared into the tin ceiling it was all black and discolored with soot. place was at least a hundred years old so I figure they've been going on that way forever.
    Saw lots of chimneys around while I was there and saw some respectable wood stacks but always soft woods. The only place I saw anything that looked like hardwood was at a "woflgang puck's " restuarant for the pizza oven. not sure what it was.

    just thought it was interesting to see how other's heat with wood and thought I would share. Gives me a whole new appreciation for my "free" oak supply.

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  2. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    109
    Loc:
    Altona, NY
    It's almost a shame that some of the coldest areas in the US have the worst wood species for getting the most BTU's. In my neck of the woods maple, beech, and elm are the highest BTU. When I went home this past summer my Father who lives in Southern MN was showing me these groves of Oak, elm, and maples that were damaged from fierce straight line winds. I noticed he left the maples on the ground to rot and asked why. His reply (garbage wood) I wanted to cry. Surprisingly elm and maple are very close in BTU ratings with the maple being much easier to split in my opinion. So I'm not sure why the elm made the cut but not the maple, I'll have to ask.
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    If maple were 1/2 the btu of elm I'd still go with the maple 1/10th the work!! Did I ever mention how much I hate elm? (but right now I'm burning almost 80% elm...so it heats my house pretty well, and free elm is hard to give up.
  4. F350R

    F350R Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    Castle Rock Co.
    DavidV
    It sounds like scrub oak, that is basically a short bushy short version of the oak trees that we had in Michigan many years ago. They have the same leaves but are like you said very short generally up to about 10 feet depending where they happen to be growing. Other than scrub oak pine is about all we have to burn around here, there are a lot of aspens but they are very soft burn very fast. Many people gather fallen and broken limbs to keep areas around the house a fire resistent zone, if you don't you should or face loosing your house to a wild fire in the near future. We do a lot of camping in the national forests and never have to take wood with us (when camp fires are legal) or cut any live trees down there is always plenty of dead stuff around.

    Mike
  5. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    I did some web surfing and I believe it's a combination of juniper and pinyon and tumbleweed that covers his place. the really twisted looking stuff I believe is Utah Juniper, even though it normally doesn't grow at that elevation. Ponderosa pine used to grow there but my guess is that heavy logging and careless fires took care of most of it. anyway I imagine that his 40 acres could provide enough to consistantly "take the chill off" if he needs to.
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