Question: I live in Kansas and burn mostly Osage-orange (locally called hedge), which is an incredibly dense and hot-burning wood. The dry weight of Osage-orange averages 4728 lbs per cord versus 4200 lbs/cord for white oak. It is rated as potentially producing 32.9 million btu's per cord - compared to 29.1 for white oak, 27.5 for shagbark hickory, and 24.2 for green ash, for example. A stove must be well made because Osage-orange can produce so much heat, especially when lots of coals accumulate - which can get to about the same temp as coal. Many old stoves that used Osage-orange were ruined from overheating. Airtight stoves are less susceptible to heat damage because one can better control the temperature of the fire. My question here is whether soapstone stoves (i.e., Woodstock and Hearthstone) are capable of tolerating the extreme burning temps of Osage-orange or coal? Answer: These stoves are not designed for coal. However, the fire beds are lined with double soapstone and/or firebrick and should have no problem holding up to the temps produced by your wood, especially since you can control the draft. Another plus is that the feed air in these units comes from above or on the side of the fire, meaning that the coals burn with less fury than if it came from underneath. You can be sure that your use in Kansas is not more damaging to the stove than a New Englander in an old farmhouse stoking his stove with ash, oak and hickory.