Firewood Choices In Vermont
(West Charleston, VT)
Boy I wish I had beech or sugar maple to burn, but I cringed when you said you burned nothing but beech for a full year. At least it was all blow down.
I do have a fair amount of yellow birch & some apple that I burn when it is 20 below here, but the pin cherry and the poplar/popple goes to start and end the year.
The red maple, white & gray birch, larch go in between. It's not that big of a deal to separate it and bring it in that way.
But as I view my wood lot there is no way I would want to pull out all the "best" BTU wood, when my stove will put out plenty of heat, even too much, so I stagger the wood to meet the season, and leave the wood lot as diverse as I can.
Thank you for taking the time to share your input and knowledge about burning firewood in Vermont. It's great to hear different stories and opinions from firewood users across the world.
I completely agree with you about harvesting a variety of different trees from a particular woodlot to keep it as diverse as possible, especially if you have a large selection of firewood types.
I'm really picky about cutting down a tree on our property. I never like to go out and just fell a healthy tree for firewood purposes. In fact, some might say I take too long looking for the perfect tree to cut down, but I love our property and don't want to over harvest one particular spot and make the woodlot too thin.
Usually, mother nature makes the selection a lot easier. Whether it's a blow down (like the beech tree we burned in our fireplace) or the tree has died for a different reason, I'm always searching for a good "firewood" tree.
Since maple and beech trees dominate our 20 acre woodlot, they're our primary fuel. However, we do have a few ash trees and elm trees that die each year which are mixed in as we go.
Since our primary heat source is an outdoor wood burner I don't have to worry about getting the furnace too hot. It's controlled by an aquastat that automatically shuts down when it reaches a pre-set temperature.
Even though the outdoor wood furnace is more than enough to heat our whole house and garages, I still love to build a fire inside our fireplace. A fireplace is not very efficient but we love to build a fire on an evening when the whole family is home to enjoy it.
Firewood For Life
Central New York Firewoods
(Pompey, New York)
I've burned wood for 38 years. The best wood is anything with a decent BTU content that is easily accessed and free.
My top choices include honey locust, sugar maple,red oak, hop hornbeam,any hickory, beech, and norway maple. But let a white pine,box elder or some other "lesser" tree blow down in my yard and it's going to end up in my stove!
Make good use of what nature provides you.
White Oak Firewood
by Steven M Nelson
I have burned firewood for 25 years now and will continue for several more years. I have utilized several species of trees for heat and oak is very abundant in my area.
White oak seasons faster than red oak because its bark isn't as thick and it can be harder to split because it's a bit more dense. Not saying red oak is second rate, but in my experience white oak is top shelf.
I also rate hickory (which has a longer period for seasoning) and beech, black birch, apple, maple, and ash high on the list as well.