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Where does Poplar fall in the BTU chart

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Cudos, Aug 26, 2009.

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  1. Cudos

    Cudos Member

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    Because its not listed on the wood btu chart here http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm

    Is it comparable to paper birch? we have lots of poplar in Alberta and can find the city cutting them down and leaving the wood for free pick up.

    Cheers

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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    In Alberta when you say poplar you're talking about aspens - Populus tremuloides or some related tree. These are at the bottom of the BTU charts, similar to cottonwood. Still, free wood is a good deal, and poplar cuts, splits, and dries easily. I don't seek out poplar/aspen, and there really isn't a lot of it around here, but it is great wood to process because it is easy. It isn't the best to burn because of the low BTU content, and others have complained about lots of ash in the stove. if I find it laying around the roadside, I pick it up. it is the first wood to go on a campfire, because it burns quickly and adding wood is half the fun with a campfire.
  3. Cudos

    Cudos Member

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    Thanks Wood duck, I should have realized poplar was basically aspen. I don't mind the lower BTU, especially if its free (-:

    Thanks
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    +1 . . . Around here poplar also equals aspen although most folks call it popple. Like Wood Duck I will cut many other species before I cut poplar, but I will cut, split and burn if it's in the way, easy to get at, etc. Right now I'm cutting some since it's growing where the Unity FD fire pond will be situated. Good wood for the shoulder seasons.
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I'm thinking it's very low on the btu chart...we burn a lot of it during shoulder season. Also it's a good wood to use in the morning to get the kids out of bed...it doesn't last long at all, no coals.
  6. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    It falls somewhere between "are you serious?" and "why bother?"
  7. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Here is another chart (bottom left).

    http://www.woodheat.org/firewood/firewood.htm

    Around here, we call it tulip poplar, tulip tree, or just poplar. It is plentiful, easy to split, seasons pretty quick, but does burn fast. But heck, it's Virginia. I don't always need to burn oak.
  8. kbrown

    kbrown Feeling the Heat

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    I always confuse poplar with cottonwood unless it's spring and then there's no mistake...damn cottonwoods make it feel like winter for another 2 months with the ground all white! The small amount of cottonwood I got seemed to be nothing but a mess when the splitter got it...twisted junk. Should it be split after a few months left in the round?
  9. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    I remember reading somewhere that the settlers used to call Poplar the "fertility wood" because when you burned Poplar in the winter you usually had to find other ways to stay warm at night.............


    NP
  10. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Hahaha, that's awesome! :coolgrin: But of course we know that sex was really invented in the late 60s by all those "dirty hippies". Before then, reproduction was asexual with very little ankle showing.
  11. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Tulip Poplar (aka Yellow Poplar, Tulip Tree) is not the same type of tree as the other poplars of the poplar/aspen/cottonwood family. As a firewood it has a lot more BTUs - somewhere near Red Maple, as I recall. Tulip Poplar is also not closely related to aspens.
  12. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I don't believe tulip poplar and Aspen(poplar) are the same. The poplar I have here doesn't season fast, I cut/split it in March and it has a higher m/c then my red oak cut/split at the same time.
  13. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    I use a little poplar. It leave soft fluffy ash and not a lot of coals. Don't leave your draft open - it'll get hot quick.
    I agree that it dries easily - in about 6 months.
    "Fertility wood" - ha ha. Now that there's funny, I don't care what you say.
    I'm cutting some up tonight for 2010-2011 season, when I'm going to try burning half my supply from my own property - poplar, white birch, cherry, fir spruce and pine.
    Good luck, Cudos, wintering in Alberta. Your cold snaps usually last longer than ours in NB.
    Happy burning.
  14. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I love starting a fresh fire with poplar because it burns fast and gets the heat up quick. Then my following loads are hardwoods for a longer burn. Last year all I had was hardwoods and missed that first, fast, easy poplar fire.
  15. Stephen in SoKY

    Stephen in SoKY Feeling the Heat

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    Ya'll made it sound so good on my thread on Yellow Poplar that while I had the fence down, I went ahead and dropped a second standing dead YP out and worked it up for next year:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We never thought poplar was worth working up, but both of these would have taken the fence down eventually, so I'm giving it a try. They were within 500 yards of the house & certainly didn't take long to process.
  16. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    Poplar = Aspen here in the AB. Everyone that has hardwoods available will say don't bother, but like you say, there is lots of it here and it's always free. If you have a newer EPA compliant stove it will burn better, if not you will just use up more. I think it is time to quit referring to this abundant heat source as Aspen & Poplar and call it by it's new name "Alberta Oak"
  17. Ratman

    Ratman Feeling the Heat

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    Vanessa showed us her wood of choice was poplar because todays EPA high efficiency stoves don't require the same quality wood your old 80's stoves did, and work just fine with poplar, or 16 sheets of twisted newspaper. Look Tom, no smoke!
    Now start twisting some more newspaper before Vanessa comes to your house and makes you watch the video, again.
    What, you haven't seen the video? Were you out that day?
    Here you go...
    http://www.ec.gc.ca/cleanair-airpur/videos/Woodstove_mgt-Eng.wmv
    :)
  18. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    My wife and I have burned popple aka aspen (but not the same as poplar) for 19 years as our nearly exclusive stove wood. We know it has about 1/2 the btu content per lb as red oak, but popple is what we have so popple is what we burn. Because it burns pretty hot and does not leave much in the way of coals, it is excellent for the coldest winter days and nights. No problem with the stove loading with coals, as from oak, and not enough heat being put out. On the not so cold days/nights, we just don't burn continuously, or burn smaller splits and let the stove burn down pretty well before adding splits. House stays fine, a little temp variation, but so what. No payment to the gas/oil/electric cartel.

    Popple is easy and clean to split. My splits are large, I give it plenty of time to dry (we burn "3rd" year wood), especially because of many large splits, and during the depth of winter we usually feed the stove just one, sometimes two, splits at a time. The bigger splits just fit through the door. With the damper set right, one split will burn 2-4 hours. A mix of big and small splits is perfect for the entire heating season. I also take branches down to about 3-4".

    Since we each have our preferences, I can chuckle at those who think aspen/popple is not worth the bother, and you can feel free to chuckle at people like me who heat our houses with it. Life is good.
  19. CO2Neutral

    CO2Neutral New Member

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    Our woodlot is softwood including a decent amount of poplar. I actually like poplar for all the above reason already mentioned (fast to grow, cut, and season). I'd also add that the burn times with a newer stove are quite good with poplar and you might be pleasantly surprised with the results. Good luck.
  20. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Ratman, thanks for posting that link. Good stuff. Vanessa sure knows her stuff and I picked up a few pointers along the way. Tom, not so sure; he must have someone helping him keep warm during those cold Canadian winters.
  21. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    You know I can't help but wonder if poplar may actually be good for those 'really cold times' of the winter simply because it doesn't leave coals. I read quite a few posts last winter about folks having too much of a coal bed buildup during the coldest part of the winter due to feeding splits all day. Well - if poplar doesn't leave as many coals, perhaps it won't build up the coal bed as bad.

    Any comments?
  22. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    It doesn't leave the coal bed like a full load of oak, for example, but 8 hours later I can light a fresh load from the oak's coal bed. I can't do so with poplar (which is tulip 'round here).
  23. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    With poplar (Aspen in my case), I can relight from coals after 8 hours (ie in the morning). It may take some patients if the stove was not fully loaded before bed, but should be able to be done.
  24. Archie

    Archie Member

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    Poplar that I get (scrounging) leaves a fine ash, few if any coals. Definitely not an overnighter, but my stove is not all it could be. Might be different with a better stove.
  25. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, too bad it wasn't the Emerald Cottonwood Borer!
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