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You guys were right about boxelder...

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by CowboyAndy, Jan 8, 2009.

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  1. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    I have depleted my stash of pine that I like to use for in the morning to get things warmed up quickly and when I let the fire die down too much... and am now into my stash pf about 1/3 cord of boxelder. It does burn hot and fast like the pine, BUT it smells REALLY bad and leaves alot of ash. I couldnt believe just how much ash it leaves!!!

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    It's been a long time but I don't remember that about boxelder. About 15 years ago I went on a mission determined to cut down every one here so we burned quite a bit of it...maybe 4 full cords. The biggest had about 18" trunk...thought I got 'em all.

    But couple of springs later I noticed I had let one slip by. I was right there with a saw preparing to cut it but on 2nd thought considering my lack of diligence and karma I decided to spare it. Now whenever I pass it and see what an ugly pos tree it is I'm am very pleased with the effort I took exterminating the others.
  3. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    Are you talking about the "don't burn elder" thread from a while back? I think we had determined that boxelder was safe, but Elder, which is more of a shrub, has really good medicinal properties and tasty berries, and isn't really suitable for firewood, is the one that will get you cursed.
  4. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    OHHHH Elder Berry bush with the purple berries? ...was that the tree/bush that thread was about? We have 'em around here but they have never gotten big enough to burn, actually they seem pretty delicate bush to me almost hollow inside.
  5. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

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    There's a lot of folklore about cutting an elder(yes, the one with the berries) down to use for furniture, firewood, etc. It's said the hag goddess lives in the tree, and any child put in a basinet of elder will be killed, any furniture will break and probably injure the person sitting on it, burning it will bring death into the home and it was only burned for funeral pyres. I'm assuming it *can* get big enough to make furniture, firewood etc, or why would there be so many warnings against using it for such? My experience concurs with yours in that i've never seen one big enough for any use other than using the bark/berries for medicinal use. Usually the village elder/healer/witch would be the one to tell people about curses and such, and so that would make sense for them to say since it was so valuable for medicine.


    Elderberry syrup is tasty and will kill any cold.
  6. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    No, Im not talking about elder bush, rather boxelder aka manitoba maple. I mean, Im still going to burn it and cut some more this spring because just like savageactor says they are a nussince tree and grow all gangly and ugly.

    But when I put a few pieces in, it smells pretty bad after they are going for a bit and they create ALOT of ash... not saying they are not safe, but I was really surprised by the amount of ash.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Probably a lot of us has burned it at least once. It isn't too bad but we never thought it gave much heat so it was used during the daytime or spring/fall useage. Have to admit that I do not remember more ash with it though but you are no doubt right.
  8. Der Fuirmeister

    Der Fuirmeister Member

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    It's a member of the Maple family. Around here we call it sh** Maple. There's a reason for that. Messy tree to. Like a weed. We burn it in spring and fall. Right now there's one laying out back that I cut down a year ago, but I'm burning oak 4x4s and pallet wood because it has more heat.
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I've been burning Boxelder for the last couple seasons mainly in the spring and fall. I like it better than Pine since it seems to burn a little longer and leaves some coals. It does leave more ash than Pine, but not as much as the Black Locust I'm burning now. I wonder if the thickness of bark has something to do with ash?
  10. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    I had some wood I called pine on this forum. It came from a standing dead, and it had been dead for so long I didn't remember the live tree. I told grandpa about the pine I cut down and he was dumbfounded, It's his Timber and he knows it like the back of his hand and couldn't remember any pine trees in that spot. could it be possible this was the same kind of Boxelder or Soft maple you are talking about? I sure split like pine, I didn't notice any smell when burning, though......
  11. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    ^Naw... Boxelder doesn't grow straight like pine maybe it was a dead Poplar.
  12. bsruther

    bsruther Minister of Fire

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    I sometimes mistake Boxelder seedlings for poison Ivy. Heck I just kill it all. I am letting a few Boxelders grow to create shade so that the underbrush can't grow. This helps my beloved hardwood trees.
    They do grow fast, I'll give them that. They're not near as poor of a burning wood as Catalpa either.
  13. Pyromaniac

    Pyromaniac Member

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    I have a friend who asked if I would like the old large "maple" tree he has in his backyard for firewood. It was summer and I was in full-on scrounge mode so I immediately said yes. Of course, after a month I get over there to look at it and its a boxelder that's half dead and just close enough to his garage to make me nervous. Great. Naturally, he told all my family and friends that I'm cutting it down this winter so theres no way I'm backing out of this one. Oh well,I guess it still burns!
  14. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Hah! I still have some boxelder to burn.....it's been sittin' on my back porch all winter. I use it to burn the coals down on my stove.......one split at a time, usually takes 2, sometimes 3 splits.

    The stuff smells bad when you burn it, haha, yep!

    I'm in the process of cutting every single solitary one down that's on my property.....and pulling any sprouts I see when I walk around. They're easy to spot in spring, the leading twigs are really green.

    Bottom line for me, I don't mind having some of it around to burn, I use it for quick fires.
  15. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    Good luck trying to kill them all from your property...
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