Black Locust Firewood Recommendation

by Brian Blackak
(Agawam, MA )

I have to go with black locust. The bark is thick and can be messy, but who cares, we wouldn't be heating with wood if we were worried about the mess. It burns wicked hot and long, it's as hard as steel.

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Aug 29, 2018
Don't laugh!
by: Mike

I always want good quality oak and maple. Ash ranks high with me too but nobody gives the lowly elm tree it's due!

Yes it sucks to split and many folks say it stinks to burn but elm puts off lots of BTUs and it has a very respectable burn time.

DED die-off is a real problem in most parts of the country and it seems just about anywhere you look there is standing dead elm for the taking. I can't count the times I have dropped a big dead elm to find 18% or lower moisture content on solid, no-punk wood.

It is plentiful, often standing dry and gives off good BTUs. For that, I put up with the splitting nightmare and could get to appreciate the smell of burning elm!!

Just sayin'

Apr 11, 2016
Locust Firewood
by: Anonymous

I moved to rural Virginia in 1989 and decided to heat with a wood stove.

I read an article at the local library that rated firewood by the number of BTUs it generated. On that list locust was number one, ahead of oak, hickory, maple, etc.

Interacting with locals I learned they also ranked locust as number one, saying it was quick to dry out, quick to start burning and the best for heat. All of which my experience confirms.

The only problem I have had with locust: there's not enough available.

Oct 14, 2015
I Love Black Locust
by: Jim F.

Black locust generally has a shallow root system. Therefore we get a lot of blow downs. That makes the wood gathering MUCH easier. I like how hot it burns too.

Our other tree is Norway Maple which we have plenty of since it's a fast grower. I don't find much on any web site about the good/bad of Norway maple. Anyone have something to offer?

Sep 02, 2013
Black Locust Firewood
by: John T

I agree Black Locust is excellent firewood if it is available. But it is difficult to work with and often very branchy. It is extremely dense and can be hard to split by hand. It burns hot and leaves a good bed of hot coals if dried properly.

While I do not pass up an opportunity to add black locust to my firewood pile, my personal preference is white and red oak or hard maple, all of which are readily available in our area of Michigan.

I like to add some dried Jack Pine to the pile to start or enhance a simmering fire in our wood furnace add on. It starts easily and burns hot. It also makes a good spring and fall firewood where you may want a hot fire for a short period on those chilly mornings. With all that said, if it burns I can find a time of the year to add it to my firewood pile. There are few species I pass up.

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