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White Birch

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by freddy, Jan 15, 2010.

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  1. freddy

    freddy Member

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    Any comments on white birch as firewood. Scored about a cord for free and the guy said I could burn it green??? Seemed awfully moist when I split it though. Splits easy and no bark is a plus!

    Thanks for any input!

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  2. lowroadacres

    lowroadacres Minister of Fire

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    No firewood burns well when it is wet or unseasoned. My experience with birch is that it is wet until it is split and has seasoned for a minimum of a year. The same properties of birch bark that allow it to be made into a canoe works against the wood drying properly until it is split. Once it is split it is a fantastic firewood. I must say though that I am a fan of virtually any dry, solid wood regardless of its btu chart ranking. Too many years of heating an uninsulated old farmhouse with a wood electric furnace stripped me of my firewood elitism.
  3. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    dries fairly quick (I thinx after 6 mos good to go), throws good heat... little less burn time than most hardwoods, but my pile has plenty of it... save the paper like bark for kindling.. it works great! "nature's paper"
  4. freddy

    freddy Member

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    Makes perfect sense. I wouldn't of tried to burn it as I still have quite a bit of dry wood left. I wonder about the btu chart rankings. I do know that I prefer some woods that are so called "medium" on the chart over the "higher" hard woods.

    Thx! Look forward to burning it next season.
  5. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    I have been mixing it with Black Locust and cherry. Seasoned for 18-19 months.....

    Its great wood, nice score. :)
  6. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    agree with summit.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    A decent wood . . . maybe not as good as the denser woods like oak and hickory . . . but worth cutting and burning . . . especially when it's free. Usually splits up pretty easily. As mentioned, like any other wood, it really should be cut, split and stacked for 9 months to a year before using to get the most "heat" out of the wood . . . otherwise you're expending quite a bit of that energy boiling off the moisture instead of heating your home. My wife likes birch since its bark lights up very easily . . . great for those "morning after" reloads and getting the fire started from coals.
  8. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    White Birch is good firewood. I burned wood for a few years in Fairbanks, Alaska where you can burn birch, spruce, or cottonwood, and nothing else. Up there, birch is primo hardwood. Down here in PA, birch is still decent firewood, but only an average hardwood.
  9. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    I also like it a lot. Birch splits nicely, smells good, paper really combusts well. Medium on the BTU scale. My favorite all around wood.
  10. CrawfordCentury

    CrawfordCentury New Member

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    I scored a LOT of birch last year from a tree service, post ice storm. It's average firewood. I rank it just below red maple but much better than popple.

    And it does dry very quickly. If I had to, I would burn in January birch that'd been split in July.

    But do make sure it gets split sooner rather than later. Goes to pooch very fast in log length, and relatively quickly in the round. Once split, "the seal is broken" so to speak and it'll keep practically as long as you need it to.
  11. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    It seems quite wet when 'green', so I'd say burn your dry wood first. I also consider it a 'middle-of-the-road' wood. . . better than pine and aspen, worse that Oak. Don't use it during cold snaps and you'll be fine. :)


    Um . . .but what's this about 'no bark'?
  12. freddy

    freddy Member

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    Well, I guess I shouldn't say "no bark" but not like most other woods I've burned. Doug fir has a ton of bark and makes a big mess when splitting. I really like how this stuff splits! No need to buy a splitter if I can get this stuff all the time. Not sure if I can give up on doug fir though..love how hot it burns!
  13. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Surprising to see all the favorable comments on WB here.

    It was going to be my submission for the worst wood topic...and we burn a lot of junk punky crap wood that I'm very happy to harvest. We have some burning right now since it's almost 40° and more or less shoulder season to me.

    Well it seems I'm just going to give WB another try.
  14. freddy

    freddy Member

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    It is funny to read all the differing opinions. Stoves must perform differently with different types of woods. Not sure how, but how else can someone be satisfied with a certain type of wood and another not?? Assuming all is seasoned and things are working properly. It's like with me burning locust. It does last a long time but seems to put out little heat. Plus it fills my small stove up with too many coals.

    Amazing all the info. on this site! Never would of thought burning was an art form until the last couple years.
  15. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

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    If your not getting incredible heat from Black Locust then it may not be seasoned? :eek:hh:

    Honestly if I could....I would burn it exclusively.
  16. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like your locust is either wet or unseasoned. Locust will burn green, but you get much more heat if you let it season a year or two and keep it dry.
  17. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Birch is the premium wood in Alaska, spruce is 2nd & only other choice.
    I got 7+ cords seasoning. Working on getting more.
    Split the birch even the 3" & 4" rounds so it don't rot in the middle, though with no bark you may be OK.
    The bark real oily & water resistant so it holds in moisture if not split. Bark good fire starter, burns fast & black smoke (oils).

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  18. mikepinto65

    mikepinto65 Minister of Fire

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    I've got a lot of white birch mixed in with cherry, white oak, red oak, and aspen seasoning for next season. I've got about three cords curing and without a doubt the bulk is White birch with cherry a close second.
  19. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    Not at all a fan of white birch in the stove. Looks real perdy in the fireplace, though. I'd burn it if I had to, but many other firewoods around here are tons better.

    While the bark is still fresh, peel 2" wide strips off and roll them up real tight around a strike-anywhere match. They keep their shape when dry and make fantastic compact fire starters. I always carry a small bag full when canoe tripping.
  20. hareball

    hareball Member

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    Not many WB here in Jersey. When I went to Vermont alot I always liked to see how their population grew the farther North we traveled.
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