black locust

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Dr Bigwood

New Member
Dec 13, 2005
48
Dowling, MI
Hey there
Wondering if any of you out there have any experience burning Black Locust in your wood stove? I might have a line on a sizable quantity but am not sure how well it burns???

Thanks

DB
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
85,957
South Puget Sound, WA

Dr Bigwood

New Member
Dec 13, 2005
48
Dowling, MI
Thanks BeGreen! I guess I will cut up my Father Inlaw's Black Locust!

Appreciate you directing me to that thread. I did search for Black Locust and I got an error message?

Thanks!
db
 

Chief Ryan

New Member
Mar 17, 2008
172
Long Island NY
It burns a long time. Puts out a lot of heat. A little tough to get going though. One of the highest BTU values.
 

iceman

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2006
2,403
Springfield Ma (western mass)
send to me for testing!!!!!!!!!
 

Bigg_Redd

Minister of Fire
Oct 19, 2008
4,153
Shelton, WA
Dr Bigwood said:
Hey there
Wondering if any of you out there have any experience burning Black Locust in your wood stove? I might have a line on a sizable quantity but am not sure how well it burns???

Thanks

DB
I burn it as often as possible. It's about as goo as firewood gets around here.
 

jpl1nh

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2007
1,593
Newfields NH
When it's really cold it's my first choice for long overnight burns. Split it large for just that purpose. I'll also burn red and white oak in those situations, but I like black locust even a hair better. Always take all you can get!!
 

bsruther

Minister of Fire
Oct 28, 2008
889
Northern Kentucky
It's one of the best hardwoods to burn. We have a lot of honey locust around here which is very good to burn, but no black locust.
I plan on ordering some black locust seedlings from the department of forestry this winter so I can plant them on the property.
Black locust is supposed to be one of the fastest growing hardwood trees. It's also supposed to be somewhat invasive, but I don't care, I want them to thrive.
 

Dr Bigwood

New Member
Dec 13, 2005
48
Dowling, MI
My father in law has many black locust on his property. The previous owner tried to control the evasiveness of the black locust by cutting notches in them. Thus causing them to die slowly.
Can't remember the term for this method????? Shunting?
So now there are great number of standing dead black locust.
 

Woodland Country

New Member
Nov 20, 2008
20
Woodland, Ca
BeGreen said:
I'll know next year once our stuff is ready to burn. It's supposed to be first rate firewood. A little harder to get burning, but once it's going, the fire, heat and coals are noted to be excellent.

https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/20677/
Same here. I'm putting up a cord from a neighbor's tree right now. Should be good to go next year.

BTW, just got a tip from a friend: Dude is bulldozing 200 acres of mature almond. As much wood as I can haul for free. After this I should have wood for at least the next 2-3 years.
 

Bigg_Redd

Minister of Fire
Oct 19, 2008
4,153
Shelton, WA
Woodford said:
It's one of the best hardwoods to burn. We have a lot of honey locust around here which is very good to burn, but no black locust.
I plan on ordering some black locust seedlings from the department of forestry this winter so I can plant them on the property.
Black locust is supposed to be one of the fastest growing hardwood trees. It's also supposed to be somewhat invasive, but I don't care, I want them to thrive.
They are very invasive and they do grow very fast. Plant one an next spring you'll have 6.
 

MadTripper

New Member
We have a lot of it in our area. It is invasive but there are bore beatles having their way with most of them. Most get to 6 or 8 inches and die out. This is by far my favorite wood to burn. It crushes your chain but burns great. It does have a tendency to pop and throw sparks more than your average wood so keep that in mind. Most of it gets used as fence posts around here. You can stick one in a swamp and it lasts 40 or more years. I put 24 of them in this spring for our orchard and garden. Here is a quick shot of my setup.

September08+037.jpg


BTW, if you have some dead locust where the bark is falling off, save it. The dried bark makes great kindling that burns incredibly hot.

Tripper
 

Eric Johnson

Mod Emeritus
Nov 18, 2005
5,871
Central NYS
Dr Bigwood said:
My father in law has many black locust on his property. The previous owner tried to control the evasiveness of the black locust by cutting notches in them. Thus causing them to die slowly.
Can't remember the term for this method????? Shunting?
So now there are great number of standing dead black locust.
It's called girdling.

Black locust has long been considered a weed tree, mainly because it grows fast and has a broad canopy that shades out other, more valuable species, like pine. It doesn't have much commercial value because there is no market for locust lumber. However, it has some interesting characteristics that have made it desirable for some applications, mostly in the past. For one thing, the wood doesn't rot, is very strong, and grows straight and tall. That makes if perfect for fenceposts and other applications requiring strength and longevity. Check any old fenceline in areas where it grows, and the posts are probably black locust. My parents have a tree farm in central Wisconsin, and the fenceposts there are locust and date back to before the Great Depression (not the one we're heading into now). The fences are still standing in many cases.

It's also a legume which means, like beans and other nitrogen-fixing plants, it actually improves the soil it grows in. If you look at a pine plantation with black locust growing in or near it, the pine trees that have escaped the shade but are near the black locust stand, actually are bigger than their counterparts farther away.

And finally, as noted earlier, it's about the best firewood, pound for pound, that you will find in North America. My dad just started burning some that he cut a couple of years ago, and now says it's his firewood of choice. This is from a guy who has burned nothing but red oak for the past 40 years. Apparently it's lighter than oak, but burns hotter and longer. That's important to a guy in his late '70s.

There's quite a bit of black locust around here in Central NYS where I live, but I have yet to get my hands on any. I do bicycle past many black locust stands as part of my summer exercise routine, and I have to stop periodically to wipe the drool off my handlebars.
 

Dr Bigwood

New Member
Dec 13, 2005
48
Dowling, MI
Yes, girdling.. Thanks Eric.
A lot of older gents around here where I live have used black locust as fence post and also as siding on there out buildings. Really neat that it has multiple uses. The wood is lighter than red oak and burns hotter and longer? Wow! Sounds like miracle wood! Thanks for sharing that good info Eric.

Beautiful land you have there Mad Tripper!
 

Duetech

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2008
1,436
S/W MI
There is a chart of the btu content of wood connected to http://www.chimneysweeponline.com but I can't find it on their site. The list is informative though not comprehensive. I down loaded the page for information from somebody here in the hearth forum. There are only four with greater btu output and two with the same. So I guess according to the list it's tied for fifth place in output.
I have burned black locust and wish I had some on my place. It's a real hot long lasting fire but watch your moisture content. Let the wood age or you may find the wood corrosive to your stove when burning.
 

MadTripper

New Member
Dr Bigwood said:
Standing dead black locust is ready for burning right?
Sure will! I had to grab some last year in the dead of winter and it burns great. The closer I got to the stump, the more moisture I found but still nothing of concern. I'm out to look for some today as I have some other wood I need to grab out the tracks. I really like standing dead timber. Very little clean up as all the little branches are removed when you fell it and it can go directly into the stove so there is a little less handling.

On a side note, a friend of mine needs some boards replaced on his trailer. Everyone told him to go with rough cut pine but I suggested finding some black locust. My neighbor has a mill so I asked him if he would be willing to saw some if we purchased a new blade for him. We still have to get together but I figured that deck will last our lifetime.

Tripper
 

ccwhite

Member
Oct 14, 2008
238
Steubenville, OH
I burn a lot of black locust and I love it. It burns like coal. Don't pass it up you'll be glad you grabbed it. Save some of your bigger chunks for overnight fires.
 

DaveBP

Minister of Fire
May 25, 2008
1,157
SW Maine
It doesn’t have much commercial value because there is no market for locust lumber.
Eric, there is still a market here in Maine with the wooden boat builders. Just hard to find straight, long boles to make timbers of. Of old it was referred to as American Teak for its appearance and its rot resistance. I sawed some years ago that ended up as the cabin sole in a 50 year old teak-planked wooden sloop. Biggest uses were mine timbers and railroad ties.

Just can't imagine driving rail spikes into locust ties all day.
 

Duetech

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2008
1,436
S/W MI
Dr Bigwood said:
Standing dead black locust is ready for burning right?
Stuff that is standing will be better than stuff on the ground. Check the wood when you split it for moisture. MadTripper hit the nail on the head when he said it would get wetter closer to the stump but the stuff higher up would be closer to ideal if the weather has been dry for a while. Spring and fall will drive moisture into the wood even high up. Split the bigger rounds as stated earlier for overnight burns. A nights sleep is more restful when you don't have to contend with loading the stove. :smirk:
 

Dr Bigwood

New Member
Dec 13, 2005
48
Dowling, MI
Thanks for the tip cave2k..... There are a lot of trees on the ground. Fell because they were girdled.

I'll burn the standing tree first. Will be mindful of the moisture near the stump.
 

savageactor7

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2008
3,735
CNY
Dr Bigwood the only caveat with locust is that the coals last forever and makes reloading the stove difficult. We use to be loaded with Locust here but have gone out of our way to remove all but 1 or two just for the scent of the blossoms. If you split it smaller and mix it up it'll work for you otherwise I don't think you'll be pleased burning just locust...Oh and give it an extra summer to season if you don't make the smaller splits.

I'm in the minority here but consider it a pain in the ass wood....and watch out for those thorns too.
 

MadTripper

New Member
Awww, you took the surprise away. The thorns are the best part!

I have a large fire box so I don't really have an issue with the coals. Additionally, I split most of my goods in the 6" to 8" range. I'm quite sure you can split and cut it to match your application, it will just take some testing.

Tripper
 
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