Many people might think that sweetgum is a poor choice for firewood because of its high moisture content. However, sweetgum is actually a good firewood because it burns hot and produces very little smoke. You just have to make sure to dry it well before burning it. In addition, sweetgum is easy to split and stack, making it a convenient fuel source. So next time you're gathering firewood, don't overlook the sweetgums in your yard.
How to select the best sweetgum firewood?
When it comes to choosing the best firewood, sweetgum is a great option. Here are some tips on how to select the best sweetgum firewood:
- Look for wood that is dark in color and has a strong, pleasant scent. This indicates that the wood is well-seasoned and will provide good heat.
- Avoid any pieces that are green or damp, as these will be difficult to ignite and produce little heat.
- If possible, choose larger logs over smaller ones - they'll last longer and burn hotter. But if you can only find small pieces of sweetgum, don't worry - they'll still make excellent kindling.
Why should you use sweetgum firewood as your fuel source?
- It's hardwood, so it burns hot and slow.
- The wood is dense, which means that it lasts longer than other kinds of firewood.
- Sweetgum trees are fast growers, so the wood is sustainable.
- The bark stays on the logs, which helps to prevent them from splintering.
The different types of sweetgum trees and what they are typically used for
There are two main types of sweetgum trees: American Sweetgum and Chinese Sweetgum. All four species are used for a variety of purposes including ornamental landscaping, woodworking, paper production, and even food flavoring.
American sweet gum is the most popular type of sweet gum tree in North America. It grows up to 80 feet tall and produces round seed balls that change color as they mature from green to brownish-red. The sap from this tree was once used as a chewing gum by Native Americans and early settlers. Today it's mostly grown for its decorative value in parks and gardens where it's prized for its autumn foliage colors which range from yellow to purple-red.
It's also common to find this type of sweet gum being used in furniture making and other woodworking projects because of its strong yet lightweight wood grain properties similar to walnut or cherry lumber.
Chinese sweet gum is native to southeastern China where it has been cultivated for centuries as an ornamental tree. However, overharvesting for the international timber trade has caused populations in the wild to decline sharply. As a result, it is now listed as an endangered species.
General maintenance tips for using sweetgum firewood
Chop the sweetgum wood into small, manageable pieces that will fit easily into your fireplace or wood stove. If you have a lot of big logs, use a saw to cut them down to size before chopping. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will dry and be ready to burn.
Use a moisture meter to check the moisture content of your sweetgum firewood. You want it to be below 20% for safe burning. If it's too wet, it won't light well and will produce excessive smoke and creosote build-up in your chimney.
Seasoned sweetgum firewood has a lower moisture content and burns more efficiently than unseasoned wood so make sure to buy or chop your wood ahead of time and let it cure properly before using it as fuel.
Tips on how to store sweetgum firewood
- Sweetgum firewood should be seasoned (dried) for at least 12 months before burning.
- Store sweetgum firewood in a dry, well-ventilated area - an unheated garage or shed is ideal.
- Cover the woodpile with a tarp to protect it from rain and snow if it is outside.
- Split the logs into smaller pieces if possible, as this will help them dry out faster.
- If you don't plan on burning the sweetgum firewood soon, store it in a cool, dark place so that it doesn't heat up and release moisture
Safety precautions when using sweetgum firewood
When using sweetgum firewood, it is important to take some safety precautions. Here are some tips:
- Use a properly seasoned log that has been cut and split for at least twelve months. Sweet gum burns hot and fast, so you want to make sure the wood is dry.
- Do not use green or unseasoned logs as they can produce harmful fumes.
- Build your fire in a well-ventilated area away from any flammable materials such as leaves, paper, or gasoline.
- Never leave your fire unattended; keep a close eye on it at all times. Extinguish the flames completely before going to bed or leaving the area.
Sweetgum firewood BTUs
Sweetgum firewood has a fairly high heat output. Sweetgum produces 20.6 million BTUs per cord.
Splitting and seasoning sweetgum firewood
Are you looking for some tips on how to split and season sweetgum firewood? Sweetgum is a popular type of wood used for both cooking and heating. It's known for its strong, sweet smell and high heat output.
Here are some helpful tips on how to properly split and season your sweetgum firewood:
- Start by chopping the sweetgum logs into smaller pieces that will be easier to work with. If you have a log splitter, this step will be much easier. Otherwise, use a saw or axe to chop the logs into manageable chunks.
- Once the logs are chopped, it's time to split them into smaller pieces. This will help them dry out faster and also make them easier to stack. Use a log splitter or axe to split the logs into smaller pieces.
- Now that the logs are chopped and split, it's time to let them cure or season. This process can take up to 12 months, so be patient.
- Store the wood in a dry, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. You can speed up the seasoning process by splitting the logs into smaller pieces.
- Once the sweetgum firewood is properly seasoned, it will be ready to use. Make sure to check the moisture content before burning.
Is sweetgum firewood good to burn in a fireplace, fire pit, stove, or campfire?
Yes, sweetgum firewood is good to burn in a fireplace, fire pit, stove, or campfire because it is dense and burns hot.
How does sweetgum firewood smell when it is burned?
When burned, sweetgum firewood smells like a combination of pine and citrus. The smoke is also known to be very fragrant.