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Poplar - only when nothing else is available

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fabsroman, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Started burning my poplar about 10 days ago and I will say this, I will never put it in the racks again as long as better wood is available. Even with it seasoning quick, I will take oak over it.

    I started burning the poplar about 10 days ago. It has not really been cold over those 10 days and I have almost gone through an entire 24" wide tree of the stuff. About the only thing it has been good for is to get the furnace hot fast. Otherwise, it burns way too quick. Been stuffing the furnace with it at night, which is the only time I am burning right now, and I am lucky if I find a couple hot coals in the furnace in the morning. Good thing it really doesn't matter too much right now.

    Took the poplar in 2011 when I was just starting my wood piles. Beggars cannot be choosers I guess. Now, it is a different story.

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  2. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    Is aliantus the same as Poplar ?If so I was happy with the burn times and heat and it was free.
  3. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    We have some here as well, along with cottonwood.. Populus trichocarpa and Populus balsamifera

    It's not great wood.. for anything.. haha.

    I had a few trees fall or about to fall in the yard so I turned it into firewood (may as well right?). I've been burning a 50/50 mix of birch and cottonwood this year and it hasn't been too bad. I still can get 10-12hr fires in the stove which works fine for me.

    I won't go out of my way to get it, but if it's in the yard may as well. At least it splits nice and clean and easy.
  4. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    That's great in my book.
  5. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    When I burned poplar I don't know whether I burned more calories splitting it, or running downstairs every 15 minutes to put more in the stove!

    Poplar to me is like an ex-girlfriend: used to have it around a lot, now I've moved on to something better, it can just sit out in the cold.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I was actually quite surprised. When I starting digging into the stack for this year, I did a :eek: when I realized it was at least 1/2 cottonwood. I knew I had a BIT in there, but the middle of 3 rows was almost all cottonwood and the back and front had some in it too.

    The only major "issue" I have found is that it makes a ton of really light ash that floats around the house if I'm not careful when opening the stove door and stirring the ash around.

  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I don't mind poplar . . . but only for the shoulder season and camping. It's nothing I burn during this time of year . . . and I certainly do not go looking for it . . . but will burn it without hesitation.
  8. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    I'm going against the grain here and saying I love having Poplar around. I understand for the time spent cutn, splitn and stackin it, I get very little fire out of it, but it has its place. It's great to get a good hot fire going quick and it's great for starting fires. I find it difficult to manage an entire season without some kind of softwood.
    Applesister likes this.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yeah, it makes great kindling, but I am willing to bet that very dry oak will too if split small enough. I've been using soft maple and poplar for kindling. If I have any poplar left after this heating season, I am going to split it into kindling for next year.
    Applesister likes this.
  10. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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    Thats one thing I like about it. I dont have to split it small to make good kindling. I hate that tedious task of splitting hard wood into kindling.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Poplar has its place for burning but certainly not at this time of the year.
    Jags and Ralphie Boy like this.
  12. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    I burned almost a cord of it between early October to just before Thanksgiving. It burned fast and left a good bit of ash but it did its job. I would not have cut the stuff but an old lady we know ask me to if I would take down the dangerous tree near her fence. I couldn't tell the old girl no. Sometimes you just have to do what's right, not what you want to do.;)
    red oak likes this.
  13. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    In Kentucky you might be burning Tulip Poplar rather than a tree from the aspen/cottonwood family that is called poplar in the north. I agree that Tulip Poplar is pretty decent firewood. Tulip Poplar is not related to the 'true' poplars.
  14. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    Yep. Tulip Poplar, that's what I've burned in the past. Didn't know about the rest of your statement; Hearth.com...live and learn!;)
  15. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Poplar is great.......for woodworking!
  16. westkywood

    westkywood Feeling the Heat

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  17. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I like to put my portable treestands in big poplar/cottonwood when I have the chance. Shot a few nice deer from those trees but never burned any in the stove :)
  18. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I wouldn't rely just on it in the middle of winter when it's -20, but now that it's getting pretty warm it works just fine... at least for me. Been highs in the 30s around here for the most part... other than this weekend when it was in the 40s!

  19. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I will purposely seek some of the lesser woods (popular, silver maple, etc.) for the shoulder seasons. I prefer it, for the shoulder seasons for many reasons. Hot, fast, done. Not for this time of the year burning.

    I believe it was last year that I started a thread complaining about being 100% white oak. No shoulder wood....and I wasn't joking.

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