Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by liberty, Jan 20, 2007.
How would Hybrid Poplars be for a fuel source if grown on a rotational basis. Has anyone done this?
Well, I'm not sure what a "Hybrid" Poplar is-obviously it's a variation of Poplar; but Poplar in general is not a desirable fuelwood-it burns very fast and burns out fast. It does however make decent kindling and quarter-splits to use to start a fire, but as a main fuelwood you need a lot of it and you need to load the stove frequently. It's one of the "gofer" woods; load the stove and "go fer" some more!
I've read a fair amount on that idea and the consensus seems to be that Poplar is Poplar and there is no way around it. If you're content burning Poplar, then by all means grow the high-speed hybrids. But there are better choices out there even if it requires a bit more patience to get the tree to burnable size. Heck, you'd be better off with Silver Maple and it will grow like crazy in the right conditions.
Poplar sucks for firewood no matter how you rotate it.
Good for making paper...thats about it!
Yup, poplar is a pretty poor fuel. I've got a pile of it behind the barn I'm trying to give away. Cut and clit for fun, but I won't burn it! Anyone here near Cornwall Ct.? You're welcome to it!
Was your mind elsewhere?:hmm3grin2orange:
That's more than a typo, must be one of those Freudian things.
What's the growth rate on the silver maple, I find it to be a fine wood, rotating a 5acre plot would be handy.
Poplar is a very low density wood. It also produces a lot of ash, and it stinks like crazy while drying. Stack up your hearth with a load of less then perfectly dry poplar and it will stink you out of the house.
i have never heard of anyone trying to grow their own firewood. how long do you plan on living?
A few things to think about, these hybrids grow 1 or 2 inches in diameter a year so harvest in about ten years, they send up new trees from root shoots so you'll never have to plant more, and once wood is dry it all has about the same BTU per pound.
well, anyone who is willing to wait ten years just to harvest poplar, has rocks in their head.
What if you wanted to be totally self sufficiant and burned the wood in an outdoor stove?
I'm thinking Poplar might take the smallest amount of land to grow a set amount of energy, and also have the shortest time from planting to harvest, for firewood anyway.
On a related note, I read about a guy who grew some of the better varieties of elm trees for use as firewood. They grew pretty quickly where he was and got to a decent size before the dutch elm disease got 'em. Still isn't a fast process, but some of those elm trees are a good bit better than the poplars. Food for thought, anyway.
Black locoust grows almost as quickly as the poplar x cottonwood hybrid and puts out much more heat, and is root suckering as well.
I wouldn't think Locust would be fast at making wood, although they get tall fast, the growth rings are tiny.
Before I relocated to where I live now we had a 2+ acre woodlot of red alder, cut about 2-3 cords out of it each year for almost 10 years, barely a dent. Fast growing and water loving, self seeding, good to cut up after 8-12 years and I enjoyed the warmth as it burned nicely (but fast) when fully seasoned. I guesstimate the ones I was dropping were about 20yrs old, 1 1/2-2' dbh. We use to leave a pile in the rain for over-nighters but also had lots of doug-fir to mix it with. Downside is a lot of creosote so monthly chimney cleaning was a rule of thumb.
(edit) Given a choice and were it my own land I'd have put in a good stand of maple as well (one of my favorite cold weather woods ta burn).
maybe a bit slower but you'll get more heat out of an 8" chunk of locoust than out of a 12" chunk of poplar/cottonwood.
and maybe length of season factors in as well, around here, locoust rings are smaller than poplar, but not at all tiny.
Had a customer a few years ago that planted them for firewood. He didn't take them down when he should have and had to pay me to cut and haul them away. They really do stink for wood and there stumps are a pain to grind, side roots everywhere.
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