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Mother nature provides?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by madrone, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
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    1,290
    Loc:
    Just South of Portland, OR
    I was thinking the other day about what my preferred species for firewood would be, based on my burning habits, climate, etc. My conclusion was that Douglas Fir and Big Leaf Maple have ideal btus/burn rate for this area. They also happen to be very abundant native trees to this area. Now, as a scrounger, I get all kinds of wood. Native, non-native, softwood, hardwood, pretty much the gamut. I dig me some nice dry red or white oak, but usually save it up for the week or two of real winter we get here. It's too dense for daily use most of the time. Our native oaks, however, tend to be lower btus, and less common.

    My hypothesis is this: were I to burn only native trees as firewood in the ratio they are represented regionally, I would have an ideal mix of firewood for the burning season in this area. Does this hold true where you live, or have I had too many beers?

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
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    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    You have had too many beers. ;lol 1:45 is time to go to bed madrone! ;lol My area has many different types of native trees. Ideal for burning. So if I burn Ash, hard Maple, Cherry, Oak, Elm, Hickory, etc. I have an ideal mix of firewood. I tend to burn more Ash than anything though. It is plentiful and drys fast. I also have a good supply of free White Ash and White Pine as long as I get my butt out there and cut it. Sounds like you have a good supply of wood. Nice BTUs you have there for this season and next. Good luck scrounging. I haven't had a good scroung lately. Later.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  3. AJS56

    AJS56 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Messages:
    217
    Loc:
    Central Lower Mich
    Interesting thought... we have quite a mix on our proprty and in this area - oaks, beech, ash, maples, hophornbeam (Ironwood) and also pines. I cut and burn a mix though I don't have pine on my property. I tend to use more of the oak/beech when it's coldest out, and others duting the whole season. I guess you use what you have and try to burn it how and when it best suits yoiur needs.
    Thistle, ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  4. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    4,206
    Loc:
    Central IA
    I have access to all the Oak/Hickory I could ever use (keeping the woods clear of snags/deadfall is a never ending process - even with only 10 acres,its all done by me with no large or special equipment) Though I subscribe to USFS & State DNR recommendations of leaving 2-3 snags per acre for wildlife habitat/protection.I still scrounge when time & circumstances present the opportunity.

    Everything from Silver/Norway Maple,Mulberry,American/Grey/White Elm,Cottonwood,occasionally Black Cherry,Black Walnut,Hophornbeam/Ironwood, Honey Locust,random Pines/Spruce/Eastern Red Cedar too.I burn them all,saving the densest woods for the coldest days/nights or when I'm away from home more than 7-8 hrs.The only wood I wont bother cutting or bringing home is Ailanthus/Tree Of Hell. Not worth my time,effort or the gas for that nasty stinking stuff.
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Michigan
    Generally you are right but there still are a few areas where getting firewood is a real problem. East of the Mississippi River most of us are really blessed with a good variety of trees and most have the really good stuff too. I know we should never be in want for firewood.
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    8,426
    Loc:
    So Cent ALASKA
    I burn the native birch & spruce. Not much variety.
    Not many trees other than the native ones make it here.
    Spruce/birch for shoulder, spruce/birch during winter
    2 choices:
    I don't have to "over drink" to "over think" about what I'll burn ;) LOL :)
  7. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,492
    Loc:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    oak, locust, maple hick, and sass ( in that order) make most of my stacks,also have some mulberry, osage, ash, elm and black birch. Most from my property or nearby NForest
  8. TreePointer

    TreePointer Minister of Fire

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    Sep 22, 2010
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    2,383
    Loc:
    Western PA
    I'm in prime black cherry area. It meets the needs of the indegenous cabinet makers. ;)

    Actually, we are blessed with plenty of good hardwoods here. After harvesting oak ash, beech, hard maple, locust and some cherry, I don't have time to get the lesser BTU woods.

    Maybe this also means that we weren't meant to live in large numbers in the desert, above the tree line, or in the tundra.
    Thistle and Backwoods Savage like this.
  9. albert1029

    albert1029 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    392
    Loc:
    Southwestern PA
    I think I mentioned before that one house away from me my wife's Grandfather tunneled from his basement into the hill and mined his own coal right beneath the locust and cherry trees I scrounge through...don't think there were many mature trees in this area back then, he had a big garden where the forest is now....I find coal on that hillside all the time, I think about him when I do...found 2 big pieces today...Mother Nature does indeed provide...

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  10. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Shenandoah Valley, VA

    Good stuff Albert - my grandad had a root cellar in Fairmont WV that had a small mine going right into a coal seam. I remember repeatedly getting busted trying to sneak into there. His whole family mined, except dad- he went up to Pittsburgh to make steel.
  11. Oregon Bigfoot

    Oregon Bigfoot Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
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    271
    Loc:
    Northwest Oregon
    I'm liking the birch I got from the next door neighbor. The smoke has a sweet aroma to it. But I'm not liking the blue spruce I got from a friend last April. I used it up already, low heat at 16% on the moisture meter, and it was a pain to split, had to split some using the Husqvarna.
  12. Oregon Bigfoot

    Oregon Bigfoot Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 21, 2011
    Messages:
    271
    Loc:
    Northwest Oregon
    I'm liking the wood mix here in Oregon! Try seasoning the Oregon Oaks two summers! I did that and its night and day the extra btu's you get.
  13. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    So Cent ALASKA
    Spruce is best split by hand , green & at -10°f.
    Or have a hydraulic ;)

    Shoulder season wood & good for short day fires. Dries faster than birch.

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