Popular... its a great wood

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,062
Woolwich nj
This past weekend its gotten colder. Sunday i fired up the stove. I put some oak in it and pretty much had to let it go out right away as the stove was putting out to much heat. Monday I needed to run the stove again but this time I checked the poplar pile. This wood was cut up this january and put in the shed. I split a piece and put my MM in it only to fined it to already be 19%. I put it in the stove and ran it up to temp. I loaded it half way with poplar. Stove ran great. The cat was anywhere from 900 to 1100 degrees the stove was 350 to 400 degrees. I dampened it down and had some coles in the AM to refire the stove. I had poplar befor but not in any real quanity and not for shoulder season. My home never went over 70 and stayed comfortable. For me i wouldn't burn it in the dead of winter, but for when its cool out its the go to wood. I'm liking poplar alot
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Adabiviak

Feeling the Heat
Dec 7, 2008
356
Sierra Nevadas, California
Poplar from four months ago was dry? Man, the last time I tried to burn poplar, the individual rounds kept leafing out fresh buds for at least that long (took a couple of years before it was seasoned as well, plus it smelled bad). Maybe a different species? I might give it another try if I come across it again.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,062
Woolwich nj
Poplar from four months ago was dry? Man, the last time I tried to burn poplar, the individual rounds kept leafing out fresh buds for at least that long (took a couple of years before it was seasoned as well, plus it smelled bad). Maybe a different species? I might give it another try if I come across it again.
The variety that I am burning is tulip poplar it has no odor and is a very light wood very low on the BTU chart and dries super quick

Verry green color.. even when dry..
 
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spudman99

Member
Jan 26, 2018
131
Yardley, PA
Tulip poplar is very common here in the Mid Atlantic, builders used it as a fast growing tree in subdivisions. Usually has about a 20 year life span. Cut and split and in the sun, 4 months is plenty of time to dry. Lousy to burn but not a creosote generator and like above, perfect for less hot shoulder season fires.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,281
Eastern Ontario
Poplar (aka White wood) only good for drawer bottoms and sides
in furniture building and pulp for paper other than that not worth the effort
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,062
Woolwich nj
Poplar (aka White wood) only good for drawer bottoms and sides
in furniture building and pulp for paper other than that not worth the effort
Its definitely worth it. Because with out it I wouldn't have been as comfortable. With other hardwoods i would have been opening windows. Im not suggesting people sit on cords of it. Im stating there is a use for it. In the first post i thought i made it clear that i wouldn't want to burn this in the dead of winter
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
786
Union Bridge, Md
Tulip poplar is very common here in the Mid Atlantic, builders used it as a fast growing tree in subdivisions. Usually has about a 20 year life span. Cut and split and in the sun, 4 months is plenty of time to dry. Lousy to burn but not a creosote generator and like above, perfect for less hot shoulder season fires.
They can have well over 100 year life spans. And 5' DBH. They are fast growing and typically have the most strait trunk of any tree around.
 
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Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,669
Southern IN
Poplar (aka White wood) only good for drawer bottoms and sides
in furniture building and pulp for paper other than that not worth the effort
Its definitely worth it. Because with out it I wouldn't have been as comfortable. With other hardwoods i would have been opening windows.
I think that up in ON, they have what they call "Poplar," but it is Aspen which burns up like cardboard, damn near. Our Tulip, though I would rate it medium-low output, still has more BTU than Aspen. They also use Tulip for furniture...
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,281
Eastern Ontario
I think that up in ON, they have what they call "Poplar," but it is Aspen which burns up like cardboard, damn near. Our Tulip, though I would rate it medium-low output, still has more BTU than Aspen. They also use Tulip for furniture.
Unrelated to poplars
The tulip trees of the genus Liriodendron (family Magnoliaceae) are sometimes referred to as tulip, or yellow, poplars. Known for their showy flowers and distinctive leaves, the genus consists of two species, the Chinese tulip tree (L. chinense), native to China and Vietnam, and the American tulip tree (L. tulipifera), found throughout eastern North America.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
10,669
Southern IN
Unrelated to poplars
Right, Tulip is actually in the Magnolia family as you said. Totally different wood than what you have up there. It burns up pretty quick, but not that quick, to where it's almost pointless to mess with if you have any other choices. I mainly use Tulip for kindling, and just burn a few splits of Red Maple or Black Cherry if I need a little chill-buster fire.
 

Cluttermagnet

Minister of Fire
Jun 23, 2008
928
Mid Atlantic
Lots of Tulip Poplar on the east coast. I have burned a lot of it. Seasons faster
than Oak. Often a year is good enough. It puts out about 2/3 the BTU's of Oak-
not bad. Burns faster and produces a lot of white, fluffy ash- but you can squash
that ash down and keep building fires on it. Works best for me burned in
combination with some Oak or other denser wood, say 1/3 Poplar, 2/3 Oak.
Some folks think of it a s trash wood but it's really pretty good firewood. Probably
a bad idea to burn only Poplar- it could get out of hand and overfire like Pine,
but a mix is good.

As a bonus, it makes pretty good siding for out buildings. I think a lot of barns
had Tulip Poplar for the 'siding'. Weathers very well and holds up.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,062
Woolwich nj
I think that up in ON, they have what they call "Poplar," but it is Aspen which burns up like cardboard, damn near. Our Tulip, though I would rate it medium-low output, still has more BTU than Aspen. They also use Tulip for furniture...
I did not think that people would call aspen poplar.. guss that would make a difference sence its a totally different wood...thanks for the info
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,260
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Like pine, there are lots of old wives tales about low density woods like cottonwood, poplar, aspen, etc. repeated by people who have little or no experience burning it in a modern stove after properly drying it. Lots of people burn nothing but these low btu woods and are able to stay plenty warm and not smell like cat piss!

Check out the firewood charts, you will see that these light woods are worth much more than nothing.
 
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Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,062
Woolwich nj
Like pine, there are lots of old wives tales about low density woods like cottonwood, poplar, aspen, etc. repeated by people who have little or no experience burning it in a modern stove after properly drying it. Lots of people burn nothing but these low btu woods and are able to stay plenty warm and not smell like cat piss!

Check out the firewood charts, you will see that these light woods are worth much more than nothing.
I agree what what you stating. I have loads of oak and cherry around me so that is my go to wood. Iv known about poplar for years but never grabbed some, some of the posts suggested dont bother. I ran across some last winter and burned it and I thought it did well. I thought it would be a great shoulder season wood for my area and, well.. its free. After this last cold shot.. im gonna keep some on hand for the beginning and end of my burning seasons. I got to heat with my stove and not get blown out by excessive heat
 
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Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
786
Union Bridge, Md
Not that much Poplar around here for some reason. One big one on my neighbors property but never really seeded out to start young'uns for some reason. The Ash and American Elm settled in around instead. No more Elm left now from DED and now the Ash on they're way out from EAB What will be left are stray Locust a few Oaks, Altissama (Tree of Heaven), and Walnut and maybe a stray Black Cherry and Choke Cherry. Maybe that's good enough.
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
863
SE PA
The wood may not smell, but the sap under the bark stinks terribly of stale beer.
Years ago I had a large Tulip Poplar come down in a storm, and that tree was easy to split, dried fast, and lit very easily. This year, I had another taken down, and I've never seen straight wood so hard to split. The Fiskars literally bounced off leaving a 1/4" deep line, my maul just left a wet divot, it took 8 or 10 full force swings of the sledge and wedge to split each round. I've left some for later in the hope it will be easier when it dries a little, but I'm not optimistic.

On the other hand, it is so light that I could lift and move a 24" round without any effort, and that feels good. We'll just have to wait and see how fast it dries and how well it burns, but in just one (wet) month, I can see that my Poplar stack has shrunk at least 4 inches, while the oak beside it hasn't appreciably shrunk at all. I need shoulder wood, I'm plagued with too much oak and hickory...

TE
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,281
Eastern Ontario
Poplar also has great grain structure and can make awesome furniture
As a Furniture Maker for the last 25 years Poplar would be my last chose
for anything other than Cabinet backs drawer bottoms and sides
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,803
Downeast Maine
As a Furniture Maker for the last 25 years Poplar would be my last chose
for anything other than Cabinet backs drawer bottoms and sides
Really? I've seen a bunch of beautiful stuff made from it. What makes poplar a bad choice?
 

Kevin Weis

Minister of Fire
Mar 3, 2018
786
Union Bridge, Md
Historically it was the last wood of choice for furniture parts that were easily seen until later in the 19th and into the 20th centuries when the good stuff started to run out. As was said above it was religated to drawer bottoms and sides, the back of cabinets and so forth. It expands and contracts severely with moisture in the air and cracks easily as such. If it was used for fronts of furniture it was usually heavily stained. I myself don't think it's that ugly but just IMO. I have a 19th century wardrobe that is actually all poplar from Pennsylvania which is pretty rare, usually Black Walnut was used there.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
2,803
Downeast Maine
Historically it was the last wood of choice for furniture parts that were easily seen until later in the 19th and into the 20th centuries when the good stuff started to run out. As was said above it was religated to drawer bottoms and sides, the back of cabinets and so forth. It expands and contracts severely with moisture in the air and cracks easily as such. If it was used for fronts of furniture it was usually heavily stained. I myself don't think it's that ugly but just IMO. I have a 19th century wardrobe that is actually all poplar from Pennsylvania which is pretty rare, usually Black Walnut was used there.
I learn more every day. The other day I saw a house with hand milled poplar boards on the inside and it looked great. Lack of dimensional stability is definitely a downside.