Should you burn eucalyptus firewood? If you asked this question to a handful of people there's a good chance you will get mixed opinions. Overall, I'd say the general answer would be yes.
Why such mixed opinions? Firewood in general is a controversial subject.
One type of wood might be cherished by one person and hated by another.
Price, availability, heating capabilities and overall ease of use play a factor when choosing the best firewood.
Overall, eucalyptus is a good choice for firewood. The wood produces heat somewhat comparable to oak and it leaves a nice bed of hot coals.
However, most people won't forget the first time they tried to split it. Do you want a little exercise? Grab a maul and go split some eucalyptus by hand.
Many species of the eucalyptus are referred to as gum trees. They're known for their fast growth and oil that can be used for cleaning or as a natural insecticide.
Overall, there are around 700 different species of eucalyptus. Most are native to Australia but a small number can be found in outlying area's like Indonesia, New Guinea and the Philippines.
In the mid 1800's the eucalyptus was introduced to California during the gold rush. Since then, mixed opinions have been formed about the tree and its ability to compete with other native trees.
Eucalyptus firewood is known for burning very hot. The oils in the wood along with the ability to create an intense flame has led some wood stove distributers or chimney sweeps to recommend not burning the wood.
Others who live in a region where eucalyptus is prevalent have used the firewood for years, have not had any issues and love it. If your concerned about the wood creating to much heat, mix the eucalyptus in with other firewood types.
Eucalyptus is hard to split. The best way to split the wood is about 5-7 days after it has been cut. Small cracks will appear in the wood but overall it will still be wet. The cracks will help you "read" the wood. When eucalyptus dries it's extremely hard to split. The grain begins to twist and splitting a dry piece of the wood is not easy.
To have the best experience with eucalyptus, let the wood season for 2 years....preferably more if you can. Attempting to burn the wood before it's well seasoned will have disappointing results.