Having fun with sweetgum

geoxman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2010
285
STL City
My tree guy dropped off about four cords of sweetgum today and this stuff is a bi%$# to split! Thank goodness for the splitter! I processed about a cord and a half today and I will finish up the rest on Monday and Tuesday. He said he was taking out a big mulberry next week, my new favorite, and that should be another 1-2 cords. Each dump truck drop off cost me a case of beer....pretty good trade for both parties involved! From what I have read sweetgum is like silver maple in BTU and should be good mixing it in with the higher BTU stuff.
Any thoughts on the wood for burning for next season?...I split pretty small

He also has a few persimmon trees to take out next week and wanted to know if I wanted them, I said yes. I know they are good BTU but how are they for smoking? TIA
 

raygard

Member
Nov 5, 2011
88
Columbia, MD
All the sweet gum that I have C/S/S has dried oh so very fast, it burns relatively quickly though. The only draw back I remember was the smell of the wood (it was real pongy) and it rotted fast.

ray
 

geoxman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2010
285
STL City
I am not too concerned with the smell of the sweetgum, as it will be for heat and the cat will take care most of the smoke smell. From what I read it seems similar to silver maple on BTU and that stuff is pretty decent in my book.
 

lukem

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2010
3,668
Indiana
Even with hydraulics, sweet gum is all kinds of nasty splitting. The value proposition between effort to process and heat output isn't real appealing.
 

geoxman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2010
285
STL City
I split some more today and it reminds me of elm. Free wood that is delivered is always good! It should be good to mix in with the mulberry, persimmon and holly. From the varying BTU charts it seems to be pretty decent, about the same as elm. Now I need just to figure out if the persimmon will be used for heat or cooking. I might dig around on some of the bbq forums
 

JBinKC

Feeling the Heat
Jan 14, 2006
304
Lake of the Ozarks
Seriously sweetgum better be kept in a woodshed because if left out in the elements for more than a drying season it will have little heating value in subsequent years as it deteriorates very quickly. All that hard work processing it becomes a waste of time.

If you have four cords of sweetgum which is plenty of wood to burn in a Missouri winter (I go through with a little more than 2 burning 24/7) I would liberally burn it next year and not consider mixing it because any left over wood likely will be marginal in subsequent years unless you can permanently protect the wood from the elements.

For BBQ smoking I think Mulberry is on par with apple to use for poultry. That wood is gold.
 

cptoneleg

Minister of Fire
Jul 17, 2010
1,543
Virginia
If its like Black Gum yes it will be ready to burn next season, and rotten the next.
 

shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
685
Kennedyville, MD
i am a complete wood parasite. i depend on locals and my keen eye to get wood for each years pile. i USED to burn gum. i have a spitter too.... no more. forget it. id rather buy ecologs.

sycamore is a close second, no more for me!

BTW, i thought the gum did burn ok, yes, it was kind of like maple. not as hot, but also not as fast.
 

geoxman

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2010
285
STL City
I finished about 2 cords and I am finished! Some of the 3ft rounds were beating the cr$@ out of me and the splitter, the smaller stuff was not so bad. I burn 24/7 with the CDW and the furnace and when cold, I can go through a lot of wood. The two cords will be good for shoulder season and it is mixed with my silver maple. The rest of the rounds will be split into large chunks and dropped in the "yard waste" dumpster over the next month or two. The persimmon is being dropped off next week and I will experiment next year with the cooker. Most fruit trees smoke pretty well.
 

buddylee

Member
Feb 16, 2011
98
middle georgia
I like it for the warmer nights in winter and summer for DHW.