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Tell me about Box Elder

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Captain Hornet, Jun 19, 2009.

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  1. Captain Hornet

    Captain Hornet Member

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    Gentlemen, My next door neighbor has a commercial tree service. He has taken it upon himself to supply me with wood that he can't sell or needs to get rid of. Monday this week he dropped three big dump truck loads of box elder in my yard. I really didn't need it as I'm about three or four years ahead. This stuff is big with some rounds over three feet across and most else two foot. It's all cut into rounds about 15 inches long. I split everything by hand and I got to wondering if it's worth it because this stuff is tough to split. This wood smells like piss and it's really wet. Box Elder is in the maple family and I thought it'll burn okay once it dries out. How long does it take box elder to dry out. This is my first load of box elder and I just don't know what to think. Anyone have any history with box elder??

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  2. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    Good shoulder season wood. Low BTU's. A pain to split, as you mentioned. It dries relatively quickly.
    If it's split this summer, it would burn well in 2010-2011, although it doesn't sound like
    you need it for awhile.

    You paid the right price for it, delivery included.
  3. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

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    I cut up a large box elder this past winter and plan to burn it this fall/spring. I have noticed that is seems to be seasoning really fast and also that it is losing a lot of its initial weight. I will have to see how it burns but I don't have my hopes up. And you are right about splitting it, I also split by hand and besides elm I found box elder the hardest one to split.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I get lots of Boxelder from the city recycle area. Yes, it's hard to split and I found it takes a full year to dry out. I burn it mostly in the shoulder season or mix it in with better wood, it burns ok, about on par with Silver Maple.
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Burn it not only in the shoulder season, but you can also burn it during the daytime hours when you don't need as much heat as you will when that sun sets and the temperature falls like a rock.

    It's free wood and delivered. I'd use it but you might want to consider getting a hydraulic splitter.
  6. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Properly seasoned box elder will burn at a slightly slower rate than a lit firecracker. :p

    Hey - it burns - its free - but it is a bugger to split. If I were hand splitting, I would probably pass (but thats me). Log splitter - ok. I'm not sure I would want dump truck loads of it though. It will go punky faster than other woods, so you may consider burning it next year instead of waiting the 3 or 4 years for you to get through what you already have processed.
  7. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    I don't know 'bout box elder, but I have found that some wood that is a real bugger to split when green will be much easier when it has seasoned in log form for about six months or even a year. Can you buck it up, stack it off the ground, and try splitting it next year?

    Then again, it might be like euculyptus, which can basically only be split with a 20-ton plus hydraulic splitter ... or by Paul Bunyon.

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  8. EDGE

    EDGE New Member

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    To my mind, boxelder stinks--- literally. It has a foul stench that is hard to describe. It is okay for using in the firepit or for a bonfire but not in the stove.
  9. Captain Hornet

    Captain Hornet Member

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    Upstate South Carolina
    Thanks for the replys guys. I have about half of it split and it's a real bugger. I thought I'd have to get some dynamite on a couple of the real tough ones, just to get my wedges back. I probably won't get any more of it but I guess it well burn, eventualy.
  10. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I cut a couple good size boxelder down this spring, cut 'em up real nice, about 4 foot sections, and THREW 'EM ALL ON A BIG PILE AND BURNED 'EM :)

    You can come and take all the boxelder you want off my property, cuz I don't want or need it!
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