Is Aspen Good Firewood? A Complete Guide

Is Aspen Good Firewood? A Complete Guide

If you live near aspen trees, then you probably want to know is aspen good firewood.

If you are looking for firewood to keep your hearth warm throughout the winter, then chances are you have considered aspen. Aspen is a great firewood that burns well and has an excellent heat output. However, there are other factors that might also come into play when deciding if aspen is good firewood for you. This article will explore some of these factors so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing any firewood.

There are some detractors from how good aspen firewood is for some applications. Some people feel that aspen firewood produces too much ash and doesn't burn hot enough. There are some other negatives that people espouse, I will discuss them in this article. Read on to find out the good and the purported bad of aspen firewood.

How to know if aspen is good firewood?

To know if aspen is good firewood, you have to consider that aspen's moisture content varies greatly between being green and dry. You also need to understand the amount of heat aspen releases and in what amount of time it is burned.

Other things to consider:

  • Is aspen good firewood for burning inside and outside
  • Can you use aspen firewood in a fireplace, stove, fire pit, and campfire
  • How hard is aspen firewood to split and season

What are the different types of aspen firewood

Aspen trees are in the family of poplar trees. Two main types of aspen grow in the United States. Thus, there are two main types of aspen firewood in the United States. The two types of aspen firewood are quaking aspen and bigtooth aspen.

Aspen firewood looks like birch. It is one of the nicer-looking firewoods; especially when it's stack.

Is aspen firewood a hardwood or softwood

Aspen is a very soft hardwood. Aspen has a hardness rating of 432 lbs. This means it is very soft. As a comparison, beech has a hardness rating of 1300 lbs.

Aspen has a middle-grade density. Its density is neither high nor low. The moisture content of aspen is high when it is green. This makes aspen very heavy when it is green. When aspen is green it weighs as much as denser hardwoods.

When aspen firewood is dry, it weighs much less than when it is green. This makes it easy to haul up mountains or on camping trips.

Aspen firewood BTUs

Aspen has a low or mid-level heat output. Its lower density doesn't allow it to pack a lot of heating power. Quaking Aspen put out 18 million BTUs per cord. Some charts show some species of aspen only producing 13 million BTUs per cord.

Splitting/Seasoning (drying) aspen firewood

Splitting aspen firewood is relatively easy. Aspen can be seasoned in as little as 6 months. Some of it can take as long as 12 months to fully dry.

One issue with aspen is that it can start to rot if it is not kept protected once it has dried. Keep aspen under a cover in a well-protected place. Also, make sure you keep it off the ground. If you put it on the ground moisture will get trapped and it will rot.

Because of aspen's tendency to rot, some people like to chip their logs and then burn them. They feel they can dry it quickly and keep it dry as chips better than as logs.

Once aspen starts to dry, the bark comes off easy. You can take the bark off of your aspen firewood and use it as kindling. Aspen bark produces a good bit of ashes when it is burned.

If you find your aspen firewood making a bunch of ashes, don't worry. You can use the ash for a variety of applications. I like to use my aspen wood ash in my garden. You can also use it to make soap and many other things.

Burning aspen firewood

Aspen can be used indoors and outdoors. Aspen firewood tends to burn slightly fast. This can be a positive and a negative depending on your needs.

Burning time of aspen firewood

If you are camping or burning a fire in your fire pit, the short burn time may be just what you are looking for. With a burn time of an average size log coming in at 2 hours, you can easily enjoy a fire outside and not worry about drenching good logs with a lot of burn left in them.

You also won't have to worry as much about embers because the logs will be completely burned in two hours.

Aspen firewood produces a lot of really big, hot flames for a short amount of time. This is good if you want to roast hot dogs or sausages.

When and where to burn aspen firewood

Because aspen has a low heat output, it is not suited for burning by itself in really cold environments. If you live in the north, aspen is a good shoulder wood. It can also be mixed with dense hardwoods. In addition, if you want to get the chill out of the air, you can throw a bunch of aspen logs in the fire. The quick burn will give you some good heat for a little bit.

If you live in the south, aspen may suit your needs all year. But, if you want a fire to burn for an extended period of time, you will have to keep adding wood every hour or two.

Aspen is good firewood if the temperature is above 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything below 0 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold for aspen firewood to give enough heat.

A cord of aspen firewood produces about the same heat as 100 gallons of heating oil.

Where to find aspen firewood

Aspen trees are found in the temperate zones of the northern hemisphere. These trees can grow up to 50 feet tall and they grow mainly in moist environments. They do not tolerate southern exposures or wet ground.

The leaves of the trees are oval-shaped and they turn bright yellow in the fall before falling off for winter dormancy. Firewood made from aspen is considered substandard because it burns very hot and not too long, but it can be used to start fires with dry kindling because its bark shatters easily.

Aspen trees have a very short lifespan. They usually die off in 5 to 10 years. Aspen trees also sprout other trees from their roots. This means, in a large area, aspens grow like grass. They are plentiful, and since they naturally die off quickly, you can have a plethora of aspen firewood available to you if you cultivate them or live in an area where they are abundant.

Does aspen firewood spark

Aspen doesn't spark much when it is dry. If you burn aspen when it is green, it will smolder and produce sparks as it dries out in the fire.

How much does aspen firewood cost

If you live in an area where aspen grows, you should be able to get aspen wood cheap. Aspen grows like wildflowers, so the wood is readily available in the areas where it grows. The only real difference you will pay between sellers of aspen is for what they charge for their labor to chop it into the size pieces you want

Is Aspen firewood good to burn indoors or outdoors

You can burn aspen in your fire pit or campfire. You can also burn aspen inside in your fireplace or wood-burning oven. Aspen doesn't produce a lot of smoke or soot if it is seasoned correctly. Aspen also makes nice coals.

Aspen firewood smell

Aspen has a smell when it is wet. So when you cut and split aspen, you will smell it. When it is dry and burned, it has little to no smell.

Is aspen good firewood summary

When considering if aspen is good firewood, you shouldn't do like many people and look at the negatives. Aspen is often overlooked by many people as being good firewood. Some people take issue with it. They feel like it burns too quickly and rots easily. Others say they are crazy. These people feel like aspen is a great firewood. They burn it all the time.

Aspen does burn a little on the fast side. But this can be a plus for nights when you want to make a small fire and have it go out in two hours. I know for me, living in the south, the short, small fires are what we make most of the time.