When I think about cedar firewood I think about one thing.......kindling. The trees unique characteristics make it a superior wood for starting a fire.
The trees we all call "cedars" are actually probably arborvitae or junipers.
In the United States, the trees we refer to as "red cedars" are the Thuja plicate (Western Red Cedar) and Juniperus virginiana (Eastern Red Cedar).
When you think of a cedar tree perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is the unique, pleasant aroma. This smell comes from the oil found in the center heartwood of the tree. The oil is only found in older, more mature trees.
The fragrance of the oil resinates thoughout the wood leaving behind the cedar odor.
The wood from the cedar tree has many uses. Cedar is a repellant to moths and other insects which is why closets are lined with cedar. Cedar balls or blocks can also be placed inside dresser drawers to help prevent insect damage to clothing.
Cedar has been processed throughout history as a valuable resource and has been used in shipbuilding, shingles, bowls and canoes.
Have you ever tried to build a fire using newspaper? Shoving in piece after piece waiting for the wood to hopefully light? I have and it's frustrating to say the least.
Here's where cedar comes into play. Take about 3 or 4 sticks of cedar kindling and place them under the larger wood. The cedar kindling will light easily and provide a hot fire to ignite the rest of your wood.
The porous wood is lightweight and the oils create a hot, fast burning fire. The one drawback from using cedar? It pops and sparks a little bit so if you use it in a fireplace make sure you have a protective screen or glass doors.
Overall, if you have access to cedar you're fortunate enough to have some excellent kindling!
Red cedar will produce 13.0 million BTU's per cord.