Question on type of wood to burn.. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Does anyone of this forum know if aspen is considered a hard wood suitable for burning in a wood stove? We have 2 huge aspens that we have to take out (too close to the house) and the guy that is going to cut them down asked about it. We will keep it outselves if it is good to burn, but I always thought it was rather like cottonwood - useless in a stove. Thanks.

-- Valkyrie (, June 19, 1999



I have burned it while backpacking. I was not impressed. I've lived around it for years and don't recall anyone burning it by choice. There was always something better. It may work. Where I live now birch is more common. Problem, it rots faster than it dries. Not so good.


-- Z1X4Y7 (, June 19, 1999.

Aspen, yes poplar! is considered a semi-hardwood. It's heat content is not as good as others. Importantly, it must be very dry to be worthwhile, and expect alot of ash.

-- Will (, June 19, 1999.

Valkyrie, Here in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado many people do burn aspen, probably because it's available and it's easy on saw chains. It burns HOT but really fast, so it's not the choice for "all nighter" logs, but perfect when you are awake and can feed the stove as needed. When I have aspen in the wood pile I use it for morning fires where you just heat up the house long enough for morning coffee and shower and off to work. Most all of the posts I read about firewood stress hardwoods as the only stove wood to burn, but here in New Mexico I would bet 50 to 75% of the rural population heats with wood, and 95% of that is pinon pine and juniper, both soft-woods. The major drawback to those woods is not creosote but soot build-up, but once or twice a year swabs with a chimney brush and you stay warm and safe

-- Roger (, June 19, 1999.

Valkyrie, this is OT but ... did you feel the earthquake today?
Brian, did you?

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 19, 1999.

You want HARDWOOD. Madrone and oak are the BEST. You can still burn the Aspen ... but, you definitely want hardwood. I've had to learn like you. PLUS ... make sure it's "seasoned". Needs to have been cut for at least 6 months. Wherever you store the wood ... make sure it's protected or covered. If you get dry wood wet - it's like starting all over again. Good luck.

-- Cheryl (, June 19, 1999.


Used to live in Colorado for a bit. Aspen is plentiful and very easy to split with an axe. If you don't have a gas powered log splitter, wood such as that can be a blessing. BTW, a 9-12" log splits much easier manually than a 16" log. This means a lot more cuts, but it saves you from beating yourself to death on a long log. If it's right there at your house and no hauling involved, by all means keep it. Cheryl is right about the hardwoods, but oak, cherry, hickory, and locust may be rare in your location. Got starter logs?

-- trafficjam (judgementday@ahead.soon), June 19, 1999.


Don't discard ANY wood. Burn the best you possess. When times get really rough, burn the rest. I know this may mean the demise of ant colonies, but, hey, they had their Y2K warning when the wood was sawed.

-- Randolph (, June 19, 1999.


I was amused by your comment about cottonwood. Living near the Loup and Platte rivers in Central Nebraska I have found that cottonwood is very plentiful. I have burned a lot of cottonwood in my barrel stove and found it very satisfactory. The most I have had to use to heat my home is six cord and that was a very severe winter with quite a few days way below zero temperatures. I would prefer oak, ash, hackberry ect... but any wood you can save for winter would be a plus if you were cold. TJ

-- TJ (, June 20, 1999.

Thanks everyone for your answers.

A & L - no - didn't feel the earthquake - when was it? Was in the car most of the day picking up some tires to grow 'taters in and looking for a small Y2K friendly pickup. Wonder if that was why my birds were acting funny last night - thought maybe the cougar was back in our neck of the woods again. Hmmm - last earthquake they let me know too (of course, I didn't recognize their warnings till after the fact!!).

As to the wood - do believe I will keep it. We have about 4 cords of fir/maple mix with some madrona mixed in so I could use the aspen to get the cook stove going hot and fast in the mornings as I don't usually keep it going all night - just the big Lopi. Thanks again.

-- Valkyrie (, June 20, 1999.

Valkyrie, thanks for responding!
99/06/19 09:29:46 4.0Mb VANCOUVER ISLAND REGION

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-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 20, 1999.

Basically- you can burn just about any wood. Some is better for all-nighter logs and real cold stretches. some, is fine for just tossing another log in to keep the stove going. sort of mix and match. you can even burn green wood if you have to by mixing it with dry seasoned wood.

-- farmer (, June 20, 1999.

According to the book, WOODCRAFT, by Harace Kephart aspen is a very soft wood and in the same category as spruce and white pine.

Keep the wood and use it to get a fire started.

Here's a list of the very hardest woods:

osage orange (the hardest of all) dogwood balck haw yellow locust post oak overcup oak sugar maple crab apple persimmon hickory service berry black jack oak chestnut oak mountain laurel winged elm

Kephart's books, Camping and Woodcraft, are tweo classics and full of valuable information. They are published in one volume by the University fo Tennessee Press. Available from Amazon, etc.

They are especially good reading for outdoorsmen and boy scouts. Very entertaining and pack full of knowledgeable information.

-- Walt (, June 20, 1999.

We have lots of "osage orange" here in Okla. Here it is called "beau-dark"(bois d'arc). Pecan also burns well. On my place, there's lots of hackberry, which also burns well.

-- jeanne (, June 20, 1999.

you'll chop up and burn your furiture,befoe this is done

-- doomzoobie (, June 21, 1999.

Don't know much about firewood, except that it's usually best to chop down the tree first.

-- kinda (dumb@about.this), June 21, 1999.

Is Hemlock any good to burn?


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), June 21, 1999.

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