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Poplar Worth the Scrounge?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by mayhem, Dec 8, 2008.

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  1. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    My brother works as the property manager for a retirement place for rich people around here and he called the other day to ask if I would be interested in some poplar. He said they all blew down this past spring and they just "dumped it out back". Free to take it if I want it. I have not yet seen it so I don't know the condition of the wood, if its all rotten and waterlogged, still in logs, giant rounds or what.

    My only experience with poplar was that as a kid my mother had a handful that were probably closing in on 100 years old, they were all a solid60 feet tall + and had trunks that must have been a good 4 feet in daimeter...but I've never burned it.

    My guess is it spretty soft and has a low btu rating, similar to pine...on the other hand free wood is free wood. I can always bring it home and its there if I need it or we have a warmer day and I want to keep the stove going at a lower temperature.

    Opinions? Free wood is good wood, just wondering how well or poorly poplar burns...lots of ash and no coals too, right?

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  2. caber

    caber New Member

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    Poplar burns fantastic. Just not for very long. It's good for short, hot fires in the shoulder seasons. It's great to use a piece to jumpstart a fire you're starting from coals. If you have an abundance of it, you can use it on days you're home instead of using up your good hardwoods.

    If it sits on the ground, it will rot real quick. But once split, it seasons in a heartbeat.

    If I didn't have so much on my property, I'd jump on an opportunity like that. Hmmm... actually, I;d do it anyway just to save my stuff for another season.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I get about half the BTUs out of the free Poplar that I cull of my land compared to the Black Ash that I pay $95 a cord for. I will only cull the stuff that is easy to get at and is unsightly viewed from my yard. The rest I leave for the birds.

    Before I had a woodshed, I would use the Poplar for sacrifice wood as the base of my woodpile.
  4. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    So its probably worht my time if its reasonably acessible and not rotten yet...good daytime and when I'm home to watcht he stove burning, but I wouldn't want to use it overnight.

    Sounds good to me. I'm coming up on my 2 weeks vacation next week so I'll be doing some hauling here and there and finally get to splitting the last few cords I've piled up.

    Thanks guys!
  5. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    A wise man once told me burning any wood beats trying to burn a snowball. :roll: If its free and you don't have to work yourself to death, then I would burn it.

    Shipper
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Same here!
  7. beau5278

    beau5278 Member

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    To me,it wouldn't be worth the hassle but my main wood supply is 100 acres of mostly rock oak.As the others have said,it burns ok just fast,use it on warmer days and days when your close to tend the fire and it'll be good.
  8. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    If it was me, I'd take as much of the best of it as I had time and energy for. Free wood is always worth a certain amount of trouble. Pick your limit.
  9. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    If you dont want it, just let me know and I'll "dispose" of it for you.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    You need to come to indiana, I can keep you cutting around the clock!
  11. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I wonder if it would be worth it, hauling 1/2 a cord at a time getting 12 mpg.


    2028 miles round trip @ 12 mpg = 169 gals fuel X $1.95 gal = 329.55 X 2 = $659.10/cord.


    Hmm, let me consult with the wife and i'll get back to ya...
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    sounds like a no brain-er!lol
  13. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Just got back with a load of poplar in the truck. Its not a big load, probably about a third of a cord. Everything is in 3-6 foot logs, arrow straight, no branches, almost no visible knots...logs vary from 5-6" up to probably 15-16" diameter.

    Got a good load of weekend wood, probably a month's worth of weekend day burns.

    YAY!
  14. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    1/3 of a cord is legally referred to as a facecord. Poplar is great to burn and usually easy to cut and split. Some of the bigger stuff I've done is a bear to pull apart after the split.
  15. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Uh oh... I guess I'm an outlaw.
  16. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Yup... that's about it, we've burnt tons of it...everything has it's place.
  17. Jeff S

    Jeff S Feeling the Heat

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    Being my first year burning wood I have been using a lot of popple(Aspen) that has blown down in my woods.All ready have a good supply of hard wood but most won't be ready until next year.I suspect I will still burn popple in the spring and fall and any days I'm around to feed the fire until I clean all blown down trees in my 10 acre woods,After the woods is clean then I will selective cut popple as I feel I need it.
  18. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ^For years I've been cutting and even brush hogging poplar as a nuisance tree but I decided to leave them alone with the emerald ash borer getting closer. I'll miss our stately upright ash trees but I could live with burning poplar...
  19. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Growing up on my parent's farm, Poplar was all we had. I helped my dad clear acres of Poplar to create pasture and we burned every stick, mostly in the cookstove. We had a buzzsaw hooked up to the tractor with a long wide belt. Had to lift every log up onto the table to cut it.
  20. syd3006

    syd3006 Member

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    I will be out of poplar by midweek but have been burning it exclusively until now. I have about 3/4 of a cord of birch to burn next which should take me into January and then a couple of cords of ash. I have become fond of the poplar though, it heats nicely might burn a bit faster than some of the other hardwoods but it's very plentiful in this area. To answer your question I would say definitely worth the scrounge.
  21. JerseyWreckDiver

    JerseyWreckDiver New Member

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    I got a load of free poplar two years ago - Burns fast as hell cause it's so soft (lights easy though) but stinks like mad, real bitter smoke. I pass on it any time it's offered to me since then. I'd rather take up the space in my sheds and my time walk to and from the house brining it in on something more worthwhile.
  22. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'd have to say it isn't dry enough by that description. Doesn't smell bad if well dried.
  23. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Actually Kenny, you have it backwards. 1/3 IS the legal term, face cord is NOT. Just about all states say that the only legal defination of firewood is by the cord, weight or cubic feet, or fraction there of.

    I havent had any that smelled bad, even boxelder that I have burnt. The only thing that I have founf to smell really bad is some REALLY punky maple that I have. Lighter than pine, burns like a bat out of hell for about 20 min then its gone!
  24. Adabiviak

    Adabiviak Feeling the Heat

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    I had a similar offer a few years ago, and brought it home. Even cut into rounds, it sprouted leaves and little branchlets from where the branches were removed. I let the rounds season for two years and they were a pain to split. Specifically, when splitting them, there'd invariably be strings that would keep the pieces connected to each other (as opposed to a 'clean' split). It was more of a hassle than most wood, but if someone offered a free tree again, I'd take it.
  25. caber

    caber New Member

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    I get a nice clean burn from ours. No smell at all.
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