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Soft Maple for firewood

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by rob066, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. rob066

    rob066 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Over the years I have sold some soft Maple for firewood. My customers had never complained about it. I have been cutting quite a few soft Maples around a stone quarry I work at for clearing. My question is how is soft Maple for firewood? Is it okay to sell whole loads of it ? Or should I mix it with with other hardwoods such as I did in the past? The ones I want to sell is what was cut and split in the spring. THANKS in advance ROB
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  2. Hedgerow

    Hedgerow HACK

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    It totally depends on what your customers needs are? The BTU's on Silver Maple are almost identical to other trees like Douglas Fir, Sycamore, and Norway "red" Pine... It season's quickly, and ignites well.. It even burns hot... But it doesn't have a good sustained burn time like say, Oak or Hickory... I personally love burning the stuff, but you REALLY NEED some good hardwood to mix with it. Then do your best to educate folks how best to use the different varieties...
     
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  3. geoxman

    geoxman ArboristSite Lurker

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    I agree with Hedgerow. I love burning the stuff mixed with other denser woods. It is also great for shoulder season by itself. I am an urban scrounger and I always find downed silver maples that people let me chop up and keep the wood. As Hedgerow also stated it seasons real fast as well. good luck with your customers
     
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  4. OhioGregg

    OhioGregg Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Soft maples, like the Silver Maple, not high on the desirability list, but works well for folks with a fireplace, or mixed with harder woods as mentioned. Or like my friend rms62Moparman says, "It burns better than snowballs!":hmm3grin2orange:

    :cheers:
    Gregg,
     
  5. Hedgerow

    Hedgerow HACK

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    Ain't that the truth!!! :big_smile:
     
  6. woodbooga

    woodbooga cords of mystic memory

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    If split and stacked and kept covered now, it should be good to go for milder March/April/May heating. Silver's a good wood along with popple, hemlock, etc for late season heat, allowing you to make the good stuff last longer for use when you really need it in deep winter.
     
  7. Coldfront

    Coldfront Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I don't complain about just a "little" bit of soft maple in a load. I do burn soft maple but what I get for free. I would not pay money for a load of soft maple. To me soft maple is almost the same as burning Aspen (poplar) or pine. Certainly not worth the same price as hardwood. If someone tried to deliver me a load of soft maple I would refuse it. Not much coals a lot of ash and burn fast. With that said I will burn it no problem if its free.
     
  8. RunNGun17

    RunNGun17 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I had a cord or Silver Maple last year. I used it in March. Burned hot, ignited VERY easily, but burns fast. Ended up making two fires a day, one in the morning and one after work. I wish I would have kept all of it and split it smaller all for starter wood.

    Mixed in you probably wont notice, but selling nothing but soft maple and the buyer not being educated on what they are buying, they will be very disappointed.


    Def. better than snowballs for sure! haha made me laugh.
     
  9. logbutcher

    logbutcher Banned

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    " Dance with one that brought you."

    Red/Soft Maple is one of the dominant species along this Maine coast, along with Paper/White Birch and too many Spruce and Fir.
    I do have a serious case of O.E.(Oak Envy:msp_scared:) for those in more southern climes like N.H. :bowdown: But you burn what your woodlots give you. It takes more cordwood for sure than the Hickories, Hard/Rock/Sugar Maples, or other high BTU species, butt it does the job. Better than Elm damnit.

    And, we're better off than those way north of us with ONLY softwoods to burn. No whining here.
     
  10. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I sell a lot of soft (Red / Swamp) maple, and some times pure cords of it. No complaints.
    It's fine firewood.
     
  11. logbutcher

    logbutcher Banned

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    No way OldTimer. It's among the lower grade firewood species for those heating with wood. IF we had other higher BTU species to harvest here, I'd use them like we had in northern Mass: hickory, ash, oaks, Sugar Maples. You've got better wood in N.H. for firewood than Red Maple.

    If we had to buy firewood, Red Maple and Paper Birch would not be acceptable for wood heating. For entertainment fires, or supplemental heating "up from" a fossil thermostat at 65 F, yes.

    Complaints.:msp_mad:
     
  12. rmount

    rmount ArboristSite Operative

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  13. ponyexpress976

    ponyexpress976 nipple fritters

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    Jbh

    Just be honest about it. Then what can they really say? If you advertise as silver maple give them all silver. If you advertise as mixed you better put some other stuff in there to keep them happy. Throw in a good amount of cherry or ash and call it a day. It's not the best and it sure does burn better than snowballs.
     
  14. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    Here's My Evaluation

    For firewood used to heat buildings, I would rate the following common species above soft maple: Ash, Oak, Hickory, Locust, Mulberry, Hackberry, Red Elm, Yellow Birch, Black Birch, Apple, Pear, and Walnut.

    I would rate the following common species about equal to soft maple: Chinese elm, White Birch, Russian Olive (large variety), Gingko, and Sycamore.

    I would rate the following common species below soft maple: Linden (basswood), Willow, Cottonwood, and most evergreen trees, such as pine, cedar, spruce, etc.

    All of these have other properties besides heat content that have to be considered, such as drying time, ease of splitting, and rot resistance. Soft maple dry rots and becomes punky faster than any species I know of, even when stored indoors.
     
  15. laynes69

    laynes69 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I also think its great firewood. I like larger splits when burning it. As long as its seasoned correctly it puts out good heat. Its not locust or oak, but it does the job. Its much better than cottonwood or poplar. I don't have a problem going overnight with it either.
     
  16. Steve2910

    Steve2910 AboristSite Guru

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    I ended up w/ about 5 cords of it this year. It dried fast, even as a pile of unsplit rounds. The green rounds I split (judging by "feel"), were probably ready to burn after 1 month of MD summer. I'm planning on burning most of it in the shop, since somebody is there to keep the stove loaded. I'll save my Hickory/Locust/mulberry for the house. People who buy firewood around here think Oak's the only game in town, so I'll sell my Oak.
     
  17. ponyexpress976

    ponyexpress976 nipple fritters

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    Sounds like your area needs some education if oak is the only game in town. Im guessing a lot of D.C. yuppie money in your neck of the woods?
     
  18. logbutcher

    logbutcher Banned

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    Your BTU ratings are on target and listed on many sites including the sticky here.
    Red Maple will rot, not as fast though as unscored Paper Birch. Scored Paper Birch still rots in a year or 2 in this climate in cover.

    However, for those heating with wood ( 24/7, no central furnace, no fossil thermostats ) ONLY species' BTU's count...depending on what grows in your woodlots. Those "other properties" don't mean jack, jack.

    Help me: the O.E. syndrome persists. "Will work for Oak."
     
  19. Coldfront

    Coldfront Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Well the question wasn't about burning it as most of us do, but selling it as firewood? You better make sure the customer knows what he is buying. Around me you would have a whole lot of pissed off people if you were selling it at hardwood prices. It might be worth half price.
     
  20. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Hogwash. It's not White Oak, it's not Red Oak, but standing next to the stove in the evening after being outside in 10* weather for a few hours your ass can not tell the difference.
    Besides, I never said it's the best, or even close to it. I said it's fine firewood and I sell a lot of it with absolutely no complaints.
    Well, I do have one 83 year old man who wants none of it. He insists it will not burn in his stove.
    He also wants no Ash, burns too quick.
    Another wants ONLY white wood like Maple and Ash, no Oak.
    Another wants anything but white birch..
    And some would biatch if you hung them with a new rope.
     
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