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Updated on May 13, 2019

Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for Rachel worked as a farm manager for three years in Pennsylvania. She now owns a small farm in Minnesota called One23 Farm.

Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for What kind of firewood is best for you, and why?

What Is the Best Wood to Burn in Fireplaces?

Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for Hardwood, hands down. While it takes longer to ignite than softwood, there are many benefits to burning hardwood, especially if you use your fireplace or wood stove often (e.g. to cook over or heat your home).

Hardwoods Yield Hotter, Cleaner, Longer-Lasting Fires

Hardwood is denser than softwood, meaning it burns hotter and longer. Because of this, it''t chop your own), but you need less of it, so if you use your fireplace often, the price differential should work out in the long run.

Hardwoods also produce far fewer creosote deposits and less ash, meaning your chimney will stay comparatively free of buildup and you won''moduleTable''div_table_view_47242962''table_view_47242962''style0''thead_view_47242962''centerCell boldCell tableCell firstCell''centerCell boldCell tableCell lastCell''tbody_view_47242962''oddRow''centerCell unboldCell tableCell firstCell''centerCell unboldCell tableCell lastCell''evenRow''centerCell unboldCell tableCell firstCell''centerCell unboldCell tableCell lastCell''oddRow''centerCell unboldCell tableCell firstCell''centerCell unboldCell tableCell lastCell''evenRow''centerCell unboldCell tableCell firstCell''centerCell unboldCell tableCell lastCell''oddRow''centerCell unboldCell tableCell firstCell''centerCell unboldCell tableCell lastCell''table_desc_47242962''caption_full''ve started splitting this little Black Locust log for fence rails. | Source

Exposed grain of the 1 last update 2020/06/06 Black Locust.Exposed grain of Black Locust. | Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for Source
A Black Locust log waiting to become a fence post. | Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for Source

1. Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Split-Ability: Difficult
Heat: Very High
Kindling Grade: C
Cook Wood Grade: A-

The Tree

The Black Locust is a medium to large-sized tree, with a relatively short life span. It grows 70–80 feet tall and usually has a trunk diameter between 2 and 4 feet (sometimes up to 6 feet).

Black Locust is one of my favorite for 1 last update 2020/06/06 trees, and may be one of the most underrated trees in the United States. These trees are beautiful but intimidating, with their thorny upper branches and rope-like bark, but they make awesome fence posts and rails, and they resist rot unlike any other hardwood. The wood is so heavy, and the grain so dense, that an earth-fast locust fence post can easily last 50 years.Black Locust is one of my favorite trees, and may be one of the most underrated trees in the United States. These trees are beautiful but intimidating, with their thorny upper branches and rope-like bark, but they make awesome fence posts and rails, and they resist rot unlike any other hardwood. The wood is so heavy, and the grain so dense, that an earth-fast locust fence post can easily last 50 years.

One of the really interesting things about the Black Locust is that each tree is really part of a larger colony, with their underground root structures all connected. You’ll almost never come upon a single, lonely Black Locust in the forest. Find a stand of them, and be careful which one you cut down! If the “mother” is removed, the whole colony will suffer, and many of the trees will likely die.

The Wood

Black Locust is some of the best firewood there is, period. But like all good things, it comes to those who wait. The time it takes for this super-dense hardwood to season can seem like an eternity, but in reality, it’s more like one year. No need to fret, though: Locust that has seasoned for at least three to six months can still be burned, and will burn hot, it just takes a little longer to get going.

Don’t shove too much Black Locust into your woodstove at one time, either, or you might be throwing open all your doors and windows in the middle of February. When I say this stuff burns hot, I mean it. I’ve even heard stories of woodstoves glowing orange because too much Locust was burning at once. For me, this wood can be somewhat difficult to come by, so using it sparingly makes sense for that reason, too.

Black Locust gets a “difficult” split-ability rating for a reason. Despite its small diameter relative to, say, an old oak, the grain tension is so great that sometimes splitting this wood can be a real backache. Expect lots of twists and knots, too, and heavily-branched segments, which make chopping Black Locust by hand an even bigger challenge. But with patience, a little brute strength, and a good bit of know-how, you’ll find that splitting Black Locust for firewood is just like putting together a really interesting puzzle . . . in reverse.

Red Oak Bark and Grain

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Red Oak exposed grain. I can always tell that a piece of firewood is oak because of the faint horizontal lines that run against the grain.Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for | Source
Red Oak bark. It''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileInContent3''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleDesktopInContent1''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileInContent4''{"":"","":""}''t the case. Good firewood should be seasoned for over a year, and some woods, like oak, need far longer. In general, softwoods take 6–12 months to season, whereas oak and other hardwoods take 1–2 years minimum.

Here are a few tips for seasoning wood:

  • Cut your wood in late winter or early spring, as this will allow the wood to dry nicely during the warm summer months.
  • Stack the wood slightly off the ground to ensure maximum airflow. You can do this by stacking it on a pallet or simply on two downed saplings.
  • Cover the top of the wood to prevent it from getting wet, but leave the ends of the stack uncovered so that air can still flow. If you go for this method, stack the bark wood-side down. This will help it dry faster.
  • OR leave it uncovered and let it season in all seasons! The jury is out on this one, so it''s also much easier to get a fire going and keep it going with seasoned wood, as it contains much less liquid.

    How Can I Tell If My Wood Is Seasoned?

    Seasoned wood will look greyish and dusty on the outside and whitish on the inside. It will smell more faint than fresh-cut firewood. The bark may also be slightly loose and missing in spots where it''ll make a hollow sound, whereas wetter wood will produce a thud.

    If you want to be extra sure your wood is optimally seasoned and ready to burn, use a moisture meter to check its moisture content.

Wood-Splitting Tip

Seasoning wood makes it easier to split! For maximum split-ability, cut your wood and leave it out to dry for 6 months to a year. Then split it and leave it to season a little longer before burning.

What Is Fatwood or ""?

This incredible kindling goes by many names, including "" "" "" "" and "" (often pronounced "" in the South). But what is it?

Fatwood comes from the trunks and crotches dead pine trees, where the sap has collected. When the tree rots and the sap hardens, you''ll know it''ve ever experienced!

If you have forested property and are interested in using lighter''s wise to prep your blade with WD-40 and clean it with either a degreaser or a gum-remover afterward. Otherwise, you''m out in the forest.

I would also have to travel around the United States, and eventually the whole world, in order to get a meaningful experience with each type. This article was meant to discuss some of the types of wood that I’m most experienced with.

Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for I should probably also note that I don’t run madly through the forest with a chainsaw, cutting down every firewood-valuable tree that I can find. Harvesting deadfall is a sustainability issue, and when good trees come down because of storms, disease, damage or age, there is still a part of me that feels bad for the tree as a living organism—but I love chopping firewood, and winter is cold!

I hope that more people will consider using firewood to heat their homes. The switch has been an absolute joy for me. You get plenty of exercise and fresh air chopping wood, and then there’s the personal connection you can make with the world around you. There was a time in my life when I didn’t know a Poplar from a Maple; I can just barely remember what life was like for me then, but I can tell you this—my life is much richer now.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

  • Which is easier to split, seasoned or green wood?

    It depends on the species, but in general, drier wood is easier to split.

© 2012 Rachel Koski

Related

Popular

  • Derek the 1 last update 2020/06/06 Ousley Derek Ousley 

    2 years ago

    This is the first year I have burnt wood but I have cut alot and split we have alot of Ash around here and another wood I use is mulberry which takes along time to season once season thou burns great

  • Jerry Rrhage 

    2 years ago

    I don''t be happy living out here in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. I love our cherry limbs that blow down for our fire pit, and inside when we''t burn well. I''s a wonder people don''s always fun for me to try to identify them in the winter, when you only have bark and silhouette to go by!

    We had a guy come and look at a huge black walnut that went down the farm we used to manage. He said the wood was very valuable, but that the expense of removing the tree made it a moot point. We couldn''div-gpt-ad-ArticleDesktopComment0''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileComment0''{"":"","":""}''s very heavy and dense, hard to split, and a bit hard on the chainsaw blade, but it is perhaps the most desired type of firewood around here. Caution: It burns so hot that it should be used somewhat sparingly, mixed with other types of wood. If you fill your wood stove with "hedge," you risk melting the stove. I''t grow in your area, it would be worthwhile to plant some. You can order seeds for Maclura pomifera here: http://jlhudsonseeds.com/SeedlistM.htm.

    I think seedlings are also available (for $1 each, in bundles of ten for $10) from the Missouri Department of Conservation.

  • Marie Hurt 

    Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

    Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for I don''t have a fireplace or a yard or trees. That being said, I really enjoyed reading this article. Well done.

  • Don Bobbitt 

    6 years ago from Ruskin Florida

    Great Article. And the pictures are good too. I am surprised these days at how many adults, not to mention kids who cannot tell the difference between trees, even with the leaves still on them.

    Being an old woodworker, I would try to salvage that Black Cherry for reuse in furniture these days. The discovery of a Walnut or Cherry or other true Hardwood tree is a rare thing these days and the wood is very valuable.

    Anyway, good article, I am voting it up and sharing it.

  • Peter Noli 

    6 years ago for 1 last update 2020/06/06

    I can recommend using a modern, wood boiler like my ''. So, if you own a house one easy way to save money is to use firewood instead of oil or gas. For those fellows who like to calculate how much energy is hidden in firewood compared to oil or gas I like to recommend this link. http://www.normatherm.com/Fireplace-WebApp/

    Energy, Firewood & Boiler stove

  • a Christian man 

    Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for 7 years ago 7 years ago

    In all my experiences with ash, it has been extremely easy to split! by far the easiest thing I''t you like about making wood?

  • moonlake 

    7 years ago from America7 years ago from America

    Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for Very interesting hub. We don''div-gpt-ad-ArticleDesktopComment1''{"":"","":""}''div-gpt-ad-ArticleMobileComment1''{"":"","":""}''m a little jealous of you having winter right now. My favorite season! I''ll have to google it, haha. Thanks for reading and commenting, nice to hear from Australia!

  • Beata Stasak 

    7 years ago from for 1 last update 2020/06/06 Western Australiafrom Western Australia

    Thanks for an interesting hub that complement my farming life, we use a lot jarrah for fire logs, here, in Australia, just burning nicely, now, in my fireplace as we have winter here....

  • AUTHOR

    Rachel for 1 last update 2020/06/06 Koski Rachel Koski 

    7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

    Grandmapearl - You''ll look into that Stihl lighter weight model. My husband''s why we changed to Stihl! Thanks for the great info.

  • AUTHOR

    Rachel Koski 

    7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

    Grandmapearl - I use a Stihl MS 211 - it''s MS 291. It''s great for felling and the bigger stuff. It''ve left the the 1 last update 2020/06/06 saws out in the rain, cut in the middle of winter, dropped them, ran them out of bar oil, etc., and they always start right back up.Grandmapearl - I use a Stihl MS 211 - it''s MS 291. It''s great for felling and the bigger stuff. It''ve left the saws out in the rain, cut in the middle of winter, dropped them, ran them out of bar oil, etc., and they always start right back up.

  • Connie the 1 last update 2020/06/06 Smith Connie Smith 

    7 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

    Hi Farmer Rachel: The poplar can be difficult to split, we get lots of hunks and chunks, too. We have never used a log splitter mostly because of the gasoline required. And like you say, when you split wood you are warmed twice! I bought myself a battery-powered chainsaw to save on gas and fumes, also because it is much lighter than my husband''t work that well, sorry to say. The battery packs are expensive and they only last a max of 45 minutes, plus the teeth are so widely spaced it kind of chews rather than cuts when it gets down to the last 15 minutes or so. And if I''ll just buy a smaller, lightweight gas-powered chainsaw for me! What chainsaw do you use?

  • AUTHOR

    Rachel Koski 

    7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

    LillyGrillzit - Thanks so much for your comment and following! I''t know one type of tree from another, so it''ve been thinking about adding a section about maple to this article, considering a few people have commented about it. I don''s not such a bad wood for heating. We have so much silver maple here and it can be very tricky so split. Do you use a log splitter to split poplar? We have a lot of tulip poplar and it doesn''s always a lot of it. Maple is my all-time favorite for the amount of heat, and I prefer maple for kindling. I also agree that sassafras makes good kindling and it is a breeze to cut. However, we have a lot of poplar, too. It really stinks when you split it, and it takes a long time to dry, but we use it in the spring and fall when you need to create heat, but not drive yourself out of the house! Black cherry is my second favorite for the aroma, but maple reminds me of my grandmothers kitchen. They burned apple and maple in the large cook stove--it just smells like her house and that is a great comfort. My husband and I spend a lot of time cutting, splitting and stacking wood in our solar dryer. We found the directions for making that in an old Popular Mechanics magazine. It cuts the drying time down to 1 to 3 months depending upon the type of wood. Voted this wonderful article Up and Useful and Shared. Good Job! Now following.

  • AUTHOR

    Rachel Koski 

    7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

    Ripplemaker - Thanks for reading and commenting! I''t need to heat our home. This was an interesting read as I learned many things this morning :D I never thought of chopping wood as an art but you changed my mind.

    Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. To read and vote, you can also visit this hub please https://hubpages.com/community/Hubnugget-Wars Love and blessings.

  • the 1 last update 2020/06/06 AUTHORAUTHOR

    Rachel Koski 

    7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now the 1 last update 2020/06/06 farming in Minnesota7 years ago from Pennsylvania, now farming in Minnesota

    Cowboy Tom - Thanks for reading! It''s family is from Finlayson (a lot of them still live and farm there, actually). I have seen a lot of maple and pine out there. I guess I''s interesting to see the types of wood you''m originally from northern Minnesota, and our favorite woods for heating were ash, oak, maple, and if nothing else was available, pine and poplar.

  • tmbridgeland 

    7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

    It''. And it certainly warms you twice in this heat! Brittle maple, sounds like maybe Silver Maple? Or maybe it''s about 90 here, and I got home from work, which involves sitting on my butt all day talking on the phone, and I went out and split a bunch of maple. It''m really glad you enjoyed it. And ugh, chopping in the heat isn''ve got some scarlet oak and a bit of cherry waiting for a break in the heat, too :)

  • Living Well Now 

    7 years the 1 last update 2020/06/06 ago7 years ago from Near Indianapolis

    I have a pile of Norway maple ready to split with my Fiskars when the weather isn''t had much opportunity to work with it, just a few logs here and there. In fact, I tried to split some really twisty elm into fence rails - disaster, haha. Maybe I should include elm in a later hub. As for maple, I have a lot of red, silver, and sugar. All maple seems to be unfriendly to me!

  • tmbridgeland 

    Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Buildhow to Built in Locker Front Hall Plans To Build for 7 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

    I use a lot of soft maple. This a very light wood, and if dry burns fast and hot. It is easy to split if the grain is straight, but it is often twisted. Another I use a lot is elm. This is really hard to split, but dead elms are common so it is easy to get. Also, it burns clean and leaves little soot.

    Nice Hub. Vote up.

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