I have 2 acres of woods and 3 acres of field in NE Ohio. I'd like to "plant some firewood" for the future. Any suggestions?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,698
07462
I haven't been able to find much information about this. Is there a specific link or page you have in mind?
I believe the hybrid of the American elm w/ Russian elm, should be labelled disease resistant, another tree that I'm interested in trying (to replace dead ash stands is the hybrid American Chestnut, this is sort of like a black locust in wood density but it wont die out like locust nor will it spring out in patches from root structure like locust (which makes it invasive in many area's)
great video for American chestnuts
 
  • Like
Reactions: qwee and stoveliker

Deppizzymo

Member
Feb 28, 2022
55
Missouri
I believe the hybrid of the American elm w/ Russian elm, should be labelled disease resistant, another tree that I'm interested in trying (to replace dead ash stands is the hybrid American Chestnut, this is sort of like a black locust in wood density but it wont die out like locust nor will it spring out in patches from root structure like locust (which makes it invasive in many area's)
great video for American chestnuts

If you are interested in the American chestnut, read about the Ozark chinquapin foundation. Extremely interesting. Another chestnut variety that suffered from the blight. Instead of hybridizing they are painstakingly finding blight resistant specimens and hand pollinating them with other resistant specimens to create better and better resistance each generation. I have two growing in my yard.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,208
Long Island NY
The university of TN also has a program growing chestnut. Since 1959 or so. I visited this once. After seeing the still large trunks and stumps in the woods, I hope this will succeed. But let's not cut them (for firewood)...

 

hickoryhoarder

Minister of Fire
Apr 5, 2013
733
Indiana
I would try to encourage the hardwood mix of your region. Throw seeds from your woods in there, and go heavier on the trees you like best for firewood. Locust is a pioneer species (one of the first to come up in fields), and also dense firewood, so it seems good. Red maple can grow in dry or wet sites. I like it for firewood (silver maple isn't good). Oak is inclined to drier or medium moisture areas, though it's great firewood. I don't think of oak as liking clay, but seedlings sprout by the dozens from acorns every year in our yard, which is mostly dense clay.

Sweet gum is incredibly easy to get going in south central Indiana where I live; not sure how it goes up by you. We just threw the gumballs in an area we wanted to have trees, and away then went, mixed in with oak, hickory, redbud, and maple. Sweet gum does well in drought, and it does well in semi-swampy areas. But, I don't like it as firewood, at all, though it has BTUs.

Hickory and oak both came up in our mixed area in volume, no attempt to make it happen (but very near seed trees). Redbud is real easy to get going, and drought resistant. It is so-so firewood. You might consider apple -- get both the firewood and fruit. Native black cherry grows pretty fast, is a natural species in most any northern woods. Good firewood and can be ready to burn in less than 9 months.

In moist clay I suspect white oak will do much better than red oak.

To get faster growth, thin out excess seedlings, vines, and non-natives. I'd try to get grape vines out of there as soon as you notice them (when very young). And any honeysuckle, which is virtually all non-native and loves to be a pioneer.

Ash seeds in everywhere in our yard, but these days I don't know if any of these grow to maturity.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sloeffle

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,208
Long Island NY

patrickk222

Member
Mar 28, 2021
111
alderson wv
from what ive planted in the past 3 yrs id say plant black locust, wild black cherry, pin oak, red mulberry, red and sugar maple, and osage orange in my experience the top 3 quickest growin of the trees are osage orange , black locust and wild black cherry and i planted the locust last yr and 1 is 6 and half to 7ft already and the other is well over 10 ft and as for osage i planted 2 this yr 1 is at about 5ft and other is at about 3and half ft or so and my wild black cherries i planted this yr 1 is about 5ft the other around 4ft
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deppizzymo

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
1,071
Central Ohio
In Ohio, you shouldn't need to plant anything. The field will eventually revert to forest from the neighboring forest provided you do something to protect the seedlings from deer. That said, you might not get any firewood trees in your lifetime.
I have 12 acres that says otherwise. The property is filled full of Russian / autumn olive and soon to be dead ash trees. The forester from the state of Ohio told me if I wanted it to revert it back to a true forest I should just mow it all down and start from scratch, similar to what the OP is doing. It's a great deer and animal habitat so I'm just going to leave it alone.

I've taken some great classes from the state of Ohio on how to manage forest lands. I'd recommend contacting your local state forester and get their opinion on what you should plant. They will advise you on what to plant based off of your intended long term goals. I wouldn't expect anything even close to being harvestable in 20 - 30 years.

One thing that I did learn in all of the classes I took is that around 20 - 30% of the seedlings you plant will make it to be a full blown tree. If you want a higher % of your seedlings to reach maturity I'd highly recommend using tree tubes. They do a couple things, they keep the deer from eating your seedlings, and they create a micro-environment inside the tube to help the tree grow better. Good luck!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bobbob

armanidog

Feeling the Heat
Jan 8, 2017
403
Northeast Georgia
Around my area, when you plant saplings, you have to put a 4 foot circle fence around it. A deer will girdle young trees or keep eating any branches in reach. Also rabbits will girdle them.
Some folks use pipe or trunk wrapping to protect small saplings but when the branches become available the deer will eat them back. Too many deer means they will tear up young trees when food is scarce.
I've had them girdle 15 foot high saplings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sloeffle