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WHAT SO SPECIAL ABOUT WHITE BIRCH ?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kwikrp, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. kwikrp

    kwikrp Feeling the Heat

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    I saw these people at Home Depot going crazy about buying bags of white birch ??? She said thats all they will burn, I dont know why?

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  2. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    First of all, they are not serious wood burners... no self respecting wood burner buys their wood by the bag, especially from somewhere like home depot.

    That said, they are probably burning in an open fireplace for ambiance, as the birch gives kinda a pretty colorful flame.


    I like to burn birch because there is lots of it in my woodpile!
  3. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    Certainly casual fireplace burners. Some buy it just for looks. Put it in the fireplace, nicely arranged, and never light it. Or for the holidays, burning birch gives off aromatics that some people really like. Paper birch has about 80% of the btu content of red oak, and about 150% of the btu content of aspen.
  4. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I like white birch a lot, can't say I'd go crazy for it, though. Good shoulder season wood, smells nice, reasonable BTUs, splits so easily, dries fairly rapidly. Attractive for stacking in the log holder near the fireplace.

    Makes sense that it would be sold by the box stores. Birch grows fairly straight and quick.
  5. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    two by fours might be cheaper
  6. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I have about 1/3 of a cord of it not anything special that i can tell
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Yuppy wood... looks good with the bark on both in the fireside log holder and on the open hearth. Burning it has an OK smell but any quantity sitting in a log holder leaves the stink of cat piss.
  8. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    As mentioned . . . it's the "pretty wood" you see pictures of in catalogs like LL Bean . . . they never show you a Maine deer camp with bunch of guys who haven't showered in a week sporting stained hunter orange coats sitting around a home-made barrel stove and a pile of knarly looking elm or ash stacked on the floor beside the stove and a pile of returnables on the other side of the stove. Nope . . . they always show a bunch of pretty people, frolicking around in pretty clothes near a pretty stove with a pretty basket full of pretty birch wood on one side and a couple more pretty people sitting together in an over-sized chair reading a book together. :) ;)

    That said . . . growing up Dad burned birch and I thought it was fine for burning . . . and then I began to read about some folks here who dislike birch wood and I resolved to not burn very much . . . and then I stumbled across the BTU sheet of various woods and realized that the BTUs are pretty close to the other wood I cut (ash, maple, cherry, etc.) and so I've gone back to dear, old Dad's philosophy of "if it's dry, it will be cut up, split up, stacked up and burned up." A nice bonus by the way is that it seems softer to cut than some woods with similar BTU ratings (i.e. maple, cherry, ash.)
  9. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    1) It's better than Aspen

    2)It's everywhere

    3)If doesn't grow big enough to ever have to split it.

    Wait! Did someone say it splits nice? :wow: You must be the Dude puttin' it in lil bags and selling it to HD :lol:
  10. meathead

    meathead Feeling the Heat

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    I'd shop from any catalog with that on the cover. I don't care if it was Martha Stewart Magazine - if that was the cover shot I'd buy something.
  11. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah it's a very pretty wood but it just doesn't keep very well...maybe people are buying it for kindling. The bark on it catches pretty easy.
  12. SAABMaven

    SAABMaven New Member

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    White Birch is the only wood that lasts all night in my stove. It burns less hot and for longer than the ubiquitous Maple; the BTU content may be comparable to other hardwoods, but its characteristics seem to be different. The bark strips off easily whilst stacking; regardless of looks, it seems to impede drying. I keep the bark for firestarter.

    I don't know much about wood, but it's nice to be able to sleep through the night! :)
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    For kicks, we sometimes go out in our woods and with a jack knife, we peel off some paper from the birch and then make Christmas cards with it. You can write letters with it if you like. Do it for someone special and they will really appreciate it. For cards, use glue and sparlkies (spelling?). Use your imagination.
  14. Valhalla

    Valhalla Minister of Fire

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    Many good sized splits of White Birch are stacked high on andirons in our unused fireplace. It looks nice, but it is really an emergency wood supply kept in the house. If I can't get to the woodshed because of deep snow, in the stove it goes.
  15. oconnor

    oconnor Minister of Fire

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    The only reason that I can think of for it lasting longer in a stove is that it is WET (burns less hot and burns longer usually equals wet in my stove)! If my birch isn't split in 1/4s, then the logs never dry out, according to my stove temps and moisture meter. The bark does make great fire starter though...
  16. 8nrider

    8nrider New Member

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    hey backwood savage nice!!! i sent my mother a mothers day card while hiking the long trail in 82' stuck a stamp on it w/ alittle shoe goo and it made it to her. i like the white birch early morns . don't need kindling if you have afew coals. i don't know about the btu's usually throw some littles of ash in w/ it.
  17. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    lol thas funny stuff right there , i dont care who you are ..
  18. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'm a nobody with an opinion but I fail to see the humor. I've burned many cords of Birch in my lifetime and never cared for the sour smell it left in the house. If you split it right away, can keep it really dry, and have 2 years to season it, the stuff burns great.

    I think the yuppies are buying smaller Birch in the round. The small stuff does have a very pretty look to it as the bark is still thin. Large rounds have bark that is just a PITA and tends to fall off as it dries.
  19. TreePapa

    TreePapa Minister of Fire

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    Birch won't usually grow well enough around here to be much of a consideration. Folks have a few white birch trees in the front yard 'cuz it's purty and they stay small while the ash, magnolia, eucalyptus, pine, etc. get big. That being said, I did score a bit of birch (trimmed branches, nowhere near a truckload) a few years back and it burned okay in my open fireplace. As I recall, it seasoned fairly quickly too, and yes, split easily. It wasn't as purty as the stuff in the catalogs, though. Home Dope don't have birch around here -- they've got pine or almond wood (lots of orchards in the Central Valley).

    Peace,
    - Sequoia
  20. wolfkiller

    wolfkiller Burning Hunk

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    Paper birch is all I like to burn. That is only because it is the best wood there is (Around here). It does not grow very big but it needs split. Unsplit birch has about a 7 min time elapsed in between seasoned and rotten. It sure busts easy with a maul at -42. I just finished spliting some.
  21. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    It's not the best firewood but looks great just sitting there.. The bark is a good firestarter even when wet.. When I go camping I look for laydown white birches and peel off some bark to help start the campfire.. Once it hits the ground it rots really fast so you gotta grab it quick if you cut one down..

    Ray
  22. barbsat

    barbsat New Member

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    The logs are pretty. That is all that is special. Birch is a decent firewood before it begins to rot.
  23. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    Any chance you own a cat????
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