Alder is good firewood for certain applications. Alder trees are in the Birch family, and they grow widely across North America. The wood from this tree is very popular when it comes to firewood because it burns quickly and produces high heat. This makes it perfect for cooking on an open flame or using in your fireplace during the winter months to start a fire or if you want a fast burn.
I have a lot of experience with different types of wood. In my opinion, alder is a good choice for firewood because it's less expensive, burns relatively quickly, and supplies a decent amount of heat.
What is an alder tree
The Alder tree is a deciduous, broadleaf evergreen that can be found all over the world.
Alder comes in many varieties and has a very attractive grain that looks great when burned. It is an excellent flavor for cooking and stays that way even after it starts to ash up, which makes it perfect for cooking certain dishes like cedar-planked salmon. The sapwood of the alder tree is usually white with some brown streaks, while the heartwood varies from light to dark brown.
Alder was used extensively by natives of the Pacific Northwest coast as fuel for smoking fish, drying strips of seaweed, smoking meat, and making distinctively patterned baskets.
The Alder tree is very flexible when it comes to growing on the surface of the earth. They are able to grow on hillsides or on level ground areas. The flexibility of this type of tree also helps them find nutrients within their environment because it will adjust its growth according to what is available nearby.
When it comes to the height, the Alder tree can either be small or large depending on where they are growing. When an Alder tree grows into a big size, they are able to produce an abundance of cones called strobiles. The Alder tree is also known for creating seeds when the climate conditions like humidity and rainfall are at their highest points in the year.
The wood from this type of tree is not very dense but it does create a high heat with small flames which makes it great firewood. However, it does not burn for a long period of time, thus the heat is lost very quickly. The Alder tree can be used to make firewood but there are other types of wood that would work much better when trying to keep a flame going longer.
Alder leaves don't change color in the fall. Instead, even when they fall to the ground, they remain green. This is due to an abundance of nitrogen available to alder trees. This nitrogen allows alder trees to leave a lot of the chlorophyll produced in their leaves right where it is at.
Alder trees have this abundance of nitrogen because of a bacteria that lives on its roots call Frankia. The Frankia convert gaseous nitrogen into water-soluble nitrogen that the alder tree can absorb.
Is alder firewood a hardwood or softwood
Alder is a hardwood. Alder is a very soft hardwood. On the Janka hardness scale, it has a rating of 590 pounds-force. Its hardness is relatively the same as poplar which has a hardness rating of 540 pounds-force. There are only a few types of wood that are softer than alders, such as cypress and basswood.
Alder firewood is not dense. It only weighs about 2500 lbs per cord when it is dry. This makes alder firewood one of the lightest firewoods in the world.
Alder firewood BTUs
Alder is a versatile and hardy fuel with a moderate BTU value. Alder is great for poultry and pork roasting because it provides a nice flavor, but it burns fast. It produces an oily smoke that's good for cooking fish.
Alder firewood produces 17.5 million BTUs per cord. One cord of alder firewood is equivalent to 100 gallons of heating fuel.
Splitting and seasoning alder firewood
Alder splits and seasons quickly, making it a good firewood for any situation. You can start splitting and seasoning alder wood in less than 48 hours after harvesting if you want to work with the natural moisture content of the wood.
But you can also let it dry out for weeks before you start splitting and seasoning it to your desired moisture content. There are many benefits of using alder as firewood, namely its price point, quick drying time, and even burning qualities.
Burning alder firewood
It may be best to mix alder firewood with longer burning hardwoods. This will help keep the fire hot and support the longer burning wood.
Because alder firewood is soft and lightweight it is easy to light; offering little resistance. Burning Alder firewood that is seasoned properly gives off less smoke than most other woods, which makes it preferable to people who are sensitive to smoke or have allergies.
It can also be used as kindling for fires if you don't want to use more expensive wood from the beginning.
Alder is best used when dried for at least six months, but it can be burned green if necessary. Alder has to be seasoned in the same manner as dry hardwood or lumber because of its high moisture content. It should not be burned in any type of manufactured stove that doesn't allow proper air control like a masonry fireplace.
Alder is a great wood to burn when you are in a drought or have limited amounts of firewood because it produces very little ash and smoke. It also generates less creosote in your chimney, which makes for cleaner burning with less soot buildup on the inside of your chimney flue. Alder is a very good firewood that has been underutilized by many.
Best time of year to burn alder firewood
Alder can produce a very hot fire because of the oils that are produced by the tree. This makes it one of the best firewoods for starting fires in colder climates.
Burn alder firewood as shoulder wood in colder climates during winter. In southern, warmer climates, it can be used as your main wood during winter. But remember you will need to continuously add more to the fire to keep it burning hot.
Does alder firewood produce sparks
Alder firewood produces a moderate amount of sparks when it is not dried enough. If you dry it to the recommended amount of less than 20% moisture, alder firewood has very little sparks.
How much does alder firewood cost
Alder is a economically-priced firewood. Alder is an excellent type of firewood that is cheap to buy and burns fast. Alder pellets are less expensive than some other types of fuel. This makes it perfect for cooking certain dishes, such as salmon, which need a lot of heat.
Is alder firewood good to burn in a fireplace, fire pit, stove, or campfire
Alder firewood is good to burn in a fireplace, fire pit, stove, and campfire. Because it is not very dense, it will burn fast in any of these fire locations. This makes it great to use if you want a short, hot fire.
How does alder firewood smell when it burns
Adler firewood has a very pleasant smell when it burns. Adler produces a mild, sweet smell. This is what makes it so good for smoking meats.
What do you think: Is alder good firewood?
My conclusion is that alder is good firewood. You probably don't want to use it as your main source of heat in the winter. Besides that, though, alder is great as kindling, shoulder wood, and mixing with other hardwoods. It is also really good firewood to cook fish, chicken, and other meats.