Box elder firewood is a type of hardwood that comes from the box elder tree. It's not too dense, burns hot, and has few sparks.
Box elder firewood is fairly easy to split and season. It is not difficult to find because it grows in central and eastern United States. Box Elder trees are also known as "Ash-leaved maple". If you're looking for cheap, fairly good quality outdoor wood, then box elder might be perfect.
Just be sure to take some safety precautions if you decide to burn box elder in your fireplace, such as keeping a screen in front of the fire and not leaving the fireplace unattended. Box elder is also a good choice for campfires.
Box elder firewood overview
Hardwood or softwood: Hardwood
Green weight: 3590 lbs. per cord
Dry weight: 2630 lbs. per cord
BTUs per cord: 18.2 million
Density when dry: 30.2 lbs/cubic ft
Hardness: 720 lbs. force
Seasoning time: 6 to 8 months
Smell: Slightly unpleasant
Where does it grow: central and eastern United States
Burn indoors/outdoors: outdoors
Does box elder burn well indoors?
Box elder is a good choice for outdoor fires, but it's not recommended to burn indoors because of the smoke it produces.
It's not that you can't use box elder firewood indoors, you just need to be very careful about venting the fire correctly. Otherwise, you could have a lot of smoke in your house very quickly.
Best way to use box elder firewood?
Because box elder firewood burns fast, it is best suited for starting a fire. You can use box elder as kindling to get your fire started. You can also use box elder to place above your kindling because it will catch fire quickly. After getting a few box elder pieces burning, you can put harder, denser wood on top to build your fire.
If you choose to use box elder as your main firewood, you will have to feed the fire often to keep it hot. You can also mix box elder will silver maple or oak to get a long lasting hot fire.
Box Elder or Ash?
This is a very common question that we answer on pretty much every question and discussion about wood splitting questions. Box Elder wood is a hardwood, and Ash is a softwood. Softwoods are not as dense as hardwoods, so they usually don't produce as much heat. Hardwoods also tend to burn for a longer time than softwoods. So, if you're looking for the most heat possible out of your wood, then you would want to choose a hardwood.
With that being said, box elder is a low density hardwood. It doesn't hold to some of the same qualities as denser hardwoods. Green ash and white ash are denser than box elder. They also burn hotter and longer than box elder.
So, is box elder good firewood?
Overall, box elder is a decent firewood choice. It's fairly easy to find and split, but it's not recommended for indoor fires because of the smoke. It does produce decent quality firewood outdoor; just be safe when you're burning box elder!
Box Elder firewood BTUs
The heat produced by box elder firewood is low for a hardwood, but is not too bad. At 18.2 BTUs, you can definitely warm yourself by the fire. This is enough heat to heat your home if you continually add box elder wood to the fire.
Splitting and seasoning box elder firewood
Box elder firewood can be difficult to split. It tends to break up and splinter when it is dry. Splitting box elder when it is still damp will make it easier.
Box elder firewood seasons very quickly. It can usually be seasoned in as little as 6 months. You can even burn box elder firewood when it is wet. It will just let off a little bit of a stink, more smoke, and a few more sparks.
If box elder wood is left as big logs, it will rot in most cases. Many box elder trees rot even while they are still standing. Another thing to consider if you are thinking about cutting down a box elder and splitting it is the number of limbs it has. Box elder trees have a lot of limbs. This can make it very labor intensive if you don't have the right equipment.
Storing box elder firewood
Box elder firewood should be stored in a dry location and off of the ground. Box elder firewood should be burned within a year of first cutting it. It will tend to get too dry and rot if it is left too long.
How does box elder firewood smell when it is burned
Some people might say that box elder has an unpleasant smell when it's burning, but others say it doesn't have much of a smell at all. The smell mostly is due to how wet the wood is when you burn it.
Box elder tends to have a slight stench when it is wet. Burning box elder when it is wet will allow that wet wood smell to fill the air.
Is box elder good firewood summary
It takes a little bit of work to make the best use out of box elder firewood, but it can be done! Box elder is not as dense or high-BTU content as other hardwoods like oak and maple. It does produce decent quality firewood outdoor. You can also burn box elder indoors just be safe.