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Sweetgum, Liquid Amber Wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Mr A, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
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    597
    Loc:
    N. California
    Is this terrible firewood? I got a truckload for free, so the price was right.
    Edit: I have been burning mostly walnut this winter. I found this BTU chart http://www.thelograck.com/firewood_rating_chart.html Ranks sweetgum just 1.5 BTU's under walnut. I have never used sweetgum , so from what I get from online research is to split now with a hydraulic for this coming winter, '14, or it will rot by the next year. I have 4 cords of 1-1/2 year seasoned oak, so it looks like it will help get me through next year and allow the oak to get to premium status.

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  2. buddylee

    buddylee Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
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    Loc:
    middle georgia
    It's been keeping me warm for the last 3 days. Splitting can be a pain. I look it as a step up from pine.
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
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    1,005
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yeah, I cut down two of those trees in 2011 before I knew what they were. It took almost an entire day to split them and I was using hydraulics. Forget trying to split them with an ax. The strings from them are insane.

    Pluses:
    Seasons quick
    Lights quick with all the strings

    Cons:
    Tough to split
    Low BTU content
    Smells terrible when on fire
    Burns really quick
    Leaves a ton of ash

    I will avoid it from now on unless the racks are really, really empty. Decent wood for the shoulder season and probably for getting a fire up and running, but it sucks for the long cold night and/or very cold days.

    If I were to get a truckload of it already bucked, I might take it since most of the work is done. Again, it would depend on what the space in the racks looked like.
  4. tigeroak

    tigeroak Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Messages:
    182
    Loc:
    kansas illinois
    I cut up about 2 cord 3 year ago and left in rounds till last spring and it split great by hand. Poped open just like it was oak straight grain. Almost every one was split with just a 8 pound maul, a few had to use wedge. I will take a bunch more but will let it set 2 years before I split it , and yes it has a smell all its own.
  5. MaintenanceMan

    MaintenanceMan Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Hard to split, rots fast, stinks like hell, but heats the house. I guess it just depends on what your options are. When I split mine up I had virtually nothing else and was trying to get a year ahead. Thank goodness I had access to a splitter.....
  6. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Nov 18, 2005
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    860
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Shame the bark is so similar to oak. Don't ask how I know.:confused:
  7. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    5,640
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    Southern IN
    Looks pretty close to soft Maple and Walnut in BTU. We've got some around here but I've never tried it, and probably wouldn't if it's going to be that bad to split. Already cut, with a splitter...go for it and report back. ==c
  8. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Nov 18, 2011
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    Loc:
    N. California
    Well, I decided that this hard to split, cow pie smelling, fast rotting, mediocre at best firewood would go back into the scrounging pool. Not less than 10 minutes after putting it up on Craigslist, it was gone! "Kinda looks like oak" says the smiling scrounger. Got rid of some camphor too.
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Did you at least give a round a shot with the ax or splitter?
  10. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    N. California
    Nope. Didn't find much info about it being any good. I have limited storage and I am 2-3 years ahead.
  11. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Was just hoping you gave it a go just to see what it was like, and that I could hear you cussing about it. lol

    Man was I pissed after spending an entire day splitting that stuff up. I kept telling myself "I don't remember splitting wood with the hydraulic splitter to have ever been this hard" and "If this is really this hard all the time, the heck with using firewood". It had been a couple years since I cut and split wood with my dad, so my memory wasn't crystal clear and I had no idea of how to identify trees. My dad was always the one that did that. Sweetgum is what I got for my first foray on my own, and he laughed pretty good when I told him how tough it was.
  12. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    N. California
    I just hope the guy that picked it up doesn't decide bring it back
  13. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Now that would be hilarious.

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