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Poplar?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by wg_bent, Dec 20, 2005.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    O.k. Is it?

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    The Bark

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  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yup. When you stack it put a big rock on top of the pile so it doesn't float away in a light breeze.

    Actually the stuff is a delight to burn. It just burns fast and ain't something you use for overnight burns. Well, I did a lot of nights when I didn't have anything else. When the stack is low, the furniture even starts to catch your eye.

    Keep it well covered though. It soaks that water back up really fast.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Brother said "the furniture even starts to catch your eye"


    LOL!!!! :lol:
  5. alphahugh

    alphahugh New Member

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    I have some Catalpa logs cut about 3 years ago ,can they be burnt
  6. gumbydammit

    gumbydammit New Member

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    I dont think I agree about it not being worth it.
    I have burned a ton of the stuff.

    I will give "paradise wood" and poplar one thing....they burn clean and quick.

    I find that during the 50-55 degree nights, a quick fire using them is very nice.
    Trying to burn even maple at those chill times, caused the front door to be opened.

    They also have thier place under larger oak or maple all night logs as a "primer."

    I guess I would not pay for a load of the stuff...but besides packing the stove more often, it wont hurt you at all.
  7. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It's all fiber and lignun when you get right down to it. If you don't mind filling the stove more often, or if you live in a more temperate climate, why not?

    I suspect they burn a lot of poplar (aspen, whatever you want to call it) in Colorado, and they're probably grateful for it. I wouldn't bother with it, but that's because I live in a very cold place and have a large supply of very dense hardwood at my disposal. If all I had was popple, you know I'd be burning it.
  8. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    What Warren is showing looks like yellow poplar, or tulip tree as some have pointed out. I can't say from experience because they don't grow here, but looking around on the 'net it looks like it.

    What caught my eye was Eric's comment regarding people in other areas being glad to have it. I can tell you that if given a choice, I would burn nothing else, particularly if properly cured. But what we have around here are Balsam Poplar (also sometimes called trembling aspen, black poplar or Balm of
    Gilead).
    They are classified as a hardwood and when dried properly, but not too much, they have a wonderful hot even burn and leave very little except a fine white ash. Virtually no creosote. Burn times are still pretty good, or you can throw a bit of birch in with it. About a 70% poplar, 30% birch mix is about perfect. Also, the bark is typically hard and smooth and creates very little mess. Here are some pictures of the bark and leaves.

    Willhound

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  9. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Will,

    WADR, where do you come up with exactly "WHAT IS PERFECT", especially given the huge discrepancy in density between yellow birch (or black birch, for that matter) and gray birch, which is REAL junk. As Eric said, aspen might be good when that's ALL that's available, but it's hardly a hardwood. Agreed, it's NOT a conifer, but if you stuff your stove with it, you're not gonna get any overnight burn with it, unless it's a 50-55 degree night and you're throttling the air intake such that there's almost no heat getting produced.

    AND, the same applies to your woodpile, ie, you'll be stacking and storing a fuel of very limited BTU content. Personally, I want the densest fuel I can get. If it was my fuel oil tank, I wouldn't wanna be STORING watered down fuel oil just because I got a good deal on it.

    Dylan[/quote]

    Grey birch ? Black birch? Hardwood or softwood ? One of the things I find interesting on the forum is the regional differences in the names for various trees.

    It's all relative. Besides birch, the only other available hardwood we have here is Balsam Poplar. (Any material I've been able to find classifies it as a hardwood.) I would love to be able to burn maple, oak, hickory or any of the other hardwoods you guys are always talking about, but they just DON't grow here. Or even within 300 to 500 miles of here. I always say that it hardly seems fair that the areas that get all the "good" wood are, on average, 20 degrees warmer than here.
    As far as the relative merits of burning Balsam Poplar, I can only tell you that in over 30 years of wood burning experience I will take poplar any day.
    2 qualifiers - 1) of the wood we have available here 2) not the same stuff Warren is talking about. Maybe it's OK, I don't know.

    Most of that time burning poplar was in the first generation "airtights" like Fishers or Timberlines. Stoves we wouldn't even seriously consider these days. And yet, poplar (ok, maybe some birch mixed in as I mentioned in my post) kept us warm all night at -40. No bull.
    Now, the other thing to realize is that our average houses have minimum of R20 in the walls and R40 in the ceilings. Most newer homes are insulated even better. And no uninsulated crawl spaces or anything either.

    So, if I had a ready supply of maple, oak etc. would I waste my time on poplar? Maybe not. But like I said, for what we have here, it heats good, burns very clean if dried properly, and is readily available. Sounds like three of the best qualities we look for in wood to me.

    Willhound
  10. gumbydammit

    gumbydammit New Member

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    I'll pop in one more good thing about Poplar(pun intended): once split, you can burn the stuff in about 8 weeks if free air dried with a hood over it in breezy conditions.

    While it might give less btu's per foot, the stuff is WAAAAAY easier to split, load and cut than any of the other "burnable" woods.

    Cardboard? 8-/

    I hope you are not saying that cardboard will do the same job, cause it wont even come close.

    Heck, I burned pine slabs from the sawmill and pallets in my barrel stove when I was a single man.
    Hot, fast and only one chunk of oak per night would get the slow burn.
  11. gumbydammit

    gumbydammit New Member

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    By the way...I burn the exact stuff shown in the first two posts of this thread.
    (And another type with the smooth bark.)

    You wont have issues with it.
  12. wvstriper

    wvstriper Member

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    I have some Catalpa logs cut about 3 years ago ,can they be burnt?

    I'm burning some catalpa right now (mixed in with some red oak). It's not my 1st choice; I cut up a downed tree from a pasture last year (2004). It seems to burn fine, just not as fine as oak : )
  13. gumbydammit

    gumbydammit New Member

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    I have never seen that stuff before.
    Interesting wood.
  14. gumbydammit

    gumbydammit New Member

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    I think you are right, now that I have blown both pics up.
    That stuff burns a long time!
    Not like Poplar at all. (Though, I dont know what Locust really means)
    Anyone know of a good site on the different kinds of trees?
  15. Donna

    Donna Member

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    Hi All,

    Golly, where was all this Poplar information when I was having a lively discussion with a friend over wether or not to burn some free poplar. I wanted to use it, he said it was junk, not worth the place it took in the wood pile. I bowed to his 20+ years of wood burning and didn't take the wood (free).
    Maybe I made a mistake.
    I kept a few pieces just for fun. It is so light, its wierd, like balsa wood. It burns fast and clean. Wouldn't want to try to heat a house with it, but it is wood, and it does burn.

    Best of the season,
    Donna
  16. gumbydammit

    gumbydammit New Member

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    LOL, since I saw this thread and the oak ran out on the porch, I have been burning nothing but, just to see how much I consume. About two to one ratio.
    (I do, however, have my eye on the furniture currently)
  17. Heatmiser

    Heatmiser Member

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    I think it looks like locust as well...though the pictures could be clearer. I cut down 3 or 4 of them with a friend a few weeks ago and got a 1.5 cords out of it. Hard, dense and tough on the chains. I've read ratings as high as 29 million BTUs a cord.
  18. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    It's not Locust. I have some locust logs I split today along with this stuff. Different animal What is odd about this wood is that when frozen, it is so wet and heavy, it almost feels like green oak. the locust does have this very stringy layer beneath the bark, and it stinks when the bark is removed. This stuff is heavier than the locust, and the color of the wood is accurate in the picture..very yellowish green. The bark is MUCH thinner than the locust. I'm pretty convinced it is Poplar, but if I'm wrong, I'm certainly willing to be wrong.
  19. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I know what that stuff is now. It's mulberry. I got some more of it a couple weeks ago. The stuff is awful heavy when green, and dries quite a bit lighter. When dry it feels almost like pine, but burns a whole lot better. Not so fast and furious.

    I've come across some mulberry in larger trunk sections that have significant bright red streaks in the wood.
  20. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Also, I had about a 10" poplar get blown over in my yard on Sunday. Never gave the particular tree much thought till it blew over, then I had to know what the thing was. Looked up on the web, and bingo... poplar. Clearly, not the wood in the original post.

    Given this thread's opinion, I'll cut it up and split it since it practically fell into the stove by itself anyway. Gotta love it when the only thing you have to do is cut and split it in your own yard.
  21. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Went to to dump to unload the yard waste that we don't compost, came home with a load of poplar rounds, some cut to 16" some around 30-32" anwhere from 6" rounds up to 14" got over a 1/3 of cord will burn in fall of 07...The smell is vile stacked between two trees far away from wood shed and other stacks...Mrs. Vintage told me it smelled like poop...We are up in northern vermont and quebec and most people don't burn it but if it is easily accessable will take it.
  22. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you sound like your describing red oak. that usally smells like a big load of crap for about a month
  23. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    This is poplar. After a week the smell starts to wain . Wish it was red oak..I have heard of some people using poplar to make furniture or cabinets with it??? I have also "heard' that once it dries it is pretty hard....
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