Almond Oak And Eucalyptus Firewood
by Tom Germino
(Los Banos, Cal.)
Here in central California, we have many choices of good to superb trees to burn. The top three (IMHO) 1)almond, 2)oak and 3)eucalyptus, in that order.
I often wonder how they, especialy almond, would stack up against other woods that are highly spoken of, namely towards the East because I'm here to tell you, almond is nothing short of awesome.
It is everything you want in a firewood, maxed out. By far, burns the longest, leaves very little ash and burns nearly as hot as eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is full of oils and man, you've got to be careful with it. It can rage. Brutally hot.
I've read that the fastest forest fires in the world are the eucalyptus forests in Australia, up to 40 mph. I believe it but my God, it can be like going against the devil himself when it comes to splitting it. One tough SOB. Wiggely grain that slants and bends. Even the little pieces can sometimes test you.
When I know I'm going to be working eucalyptus, I know I'm going to war. Me and my mauls against the unforgiving and the unrelenting. But I won't pass up a chance to put it in my stacks, it's still a great burning wood.
I wish some magazine or whom ever had the resources to do so, would do a burn comparison of the great woods from across our country. I'd even supply them with the three mentioned above.