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White birch for firewood

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by rob066, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. rob066

    rob066 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Is White Birch any good for firewood? Thanks in advance. Rob
     
  2. smokinj

    smokinj Addicted to ArboristSite

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    20 million btu per cord about middle of the road..I would take it.
     
  3. Ductape

    Ductape Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'd happily take it for free. If I were paying 300 cabbages for a cord of firewood and it was mostly white birch........ I'd feel cheated. Like J sez.... decent middle of the road firewood.
     
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  4. doobie57z

    doobie57z ArboristSite Operative

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    I burn in a franklin stove,i like birch, it dries quickly and lights well. Then I toss in other stuff, usually maple around here.
     
  5. spudzone

    spudzone ArboristSite Lurker

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    Definitely underrated IMO. Be sure to start it hot and burn off the VOCs before choking down the stove- the bark is a prodigious soot and black smoke producer. It's the wood of choice in much of Canada due to it's abundance.

    Easy to split and fun to mill too!

    Chris
     
  6. pipehead

    pipehead Farticus Maximus

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    Burns well. It doesn't keep that long, however (begins to rot rather quickly).
     
  7. Medman23

    Medman23 ArboristSite Lurker

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    As others have said, it burns well, but fast. It takes longer to dry if not split fine, as the bark retains moisture in the wood. I have burned white birch for a few years, mostly during shoulder seasons. The best is two years dry. Carpenter ants love the stuff, as do paper wasps.
    It is not the wood of choice in this part of Canada, but west of Lake Superior it is the best of what is available. My parents lived out west for ten years and burned only white birch with no problems. Just a lot more wood moving.

    Ryan
     
  8. Mike PA

    Mike PA AboristSite Guru

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    Keep it dry. It will rot away if it just thinks it might get wet. Otherwise, it burns - just quickly. A good gopher wood.
     
  9. banshee67

    banshee67 Poulan Wild Thang

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    dont know about white birch, but i got some black birch outside :greenchainsaw:
     
  10. Tree Pig

    Tree Pig A.K.A. Stihl-O-Matic

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    Makes decent firewood, as stated does burn fast. Also IMHO you have to split if fast it rots from the inside out unlike most other firewood.
     
  11. DSS

    DSS uneducated rif raf and lovin it

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    Exactly, you have to split it almost as soon as it hits the ground. The bark is so tight that it holds the moisture in and it rots from the inside out.

    I burn lots of it, not great wood, but not bad. Careful of flare ups.

    Yellow birch is a much better wood.
     
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  12. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    White, river, and brown birch are usually judged inferior to black and yellow birch. However, all make good firewood. Study them all.

    Yellow birch may be the most underrated hardwood of them all, either for burning or for making good furniture.
     
  13. logbutcher

    logbutcher Banned

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    Paper/White Birch is the choice for firewood where it grows most in northern regions. Here in Downeast coastal Maine it's a "pioneer" species fast to take over following cuts of spruce/fir woodlands. It's easily 50% or more of our 5-8 cords/year out of the woodlots for our 100% wood heating. It is a "tolerant" fast growing species allowing other trees to take over.

    As said, it does pooch (rot ) in a year IF you don't slice the bark when bucking; even then it won't store well for more than a season. Usually splits easily, is lighter than most woods, and starts fast if seasoned.

    Good carving wood, mills well for flooring or furniture, and the bark is still used by skilled craftsmen for canoes.

    I do have a serious case of Oak Envy.:jawdrop: Why most of the finer hardwood species --oaks, hickory, wlanut, etc...-- are abundant too far south in the no-snowbelt is beyond me.:confused:
     
  14. Wood Doctor

    Wood Doctor Edwin

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    Tight Bark

    Terrific information. I had forgotten about that tight bark holding the moisture in. Two weeks ago I bucked up a truckload of white birch and stacked the rounds. The tree was about 25 years old and threatened a house, so it had to come down.

    I'll split it next week while still green. The ends are already checking up. Some peoiple use white birch logs to decorate the fireplace in the off season.
     
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  15. StihlyinEly

    StihlyinEly Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What Chris said. We only have middle of the road wood here. WB, black ash, red maple, all hovering around 20 MBTU/cord. I've been burning about 9-10 cord/year of that mix, though I'm moving exclusively into black ash this coming year because of its abundance and ease of splitting. By far the best splitting wood of the three because of its straight grain and lack of knots.

    Boy, could I go for some black birch firewood. GOOOOOOOOOD BTUs there! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  16. dancan

    dancan Tree Freak

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    Here's a part of ad from Edmonton ,
    FIREWOOD CHOICES ARE
    POPULAR $175.00 PER CORD BAGS $4.50
    SPRUCE/PINE MIX $250.00 PER CORD BAGS $5.00
    TAMARACK $325.00 PER CORD BAGS $6.00
    BIRCH $400.00 PER CORD BAGS $7.50

    I think that they are quite proud of their birch (yes it's white birch ) and delivery is extra .

    :cheers:
     
  17. StihlyinEly

    StihlyinEly Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Lots of places in the Great White North where white (paper) birch brings a premium for fireplaces because of the romance of it all. :) :)

    I burned half a cord of tamarack two winters ago and it put out a lot of heat. Got a nice tidy BTU rating, does tamarack. ;)
     
  18. AKKAMAAN

    AKKAMAAN AboristSite Guru

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    Betula pendula, silver birch, and Betula pubescens, white birch....

    Birch is an amazing tree that have made people, in the arctic region, happy for 1000+years....
    The outside bark is so water repellent so it makes very good roofing, and it last almost a lifetime.....
    A few strips of that bark in the hikers back pack is a "life saver" while hiking....great fire starter....
    The birch bark is also used for a lot of nice handcraft and art, especially in the Scandinavian native culture, the Lapplanders....

    Yes that bark, is devastating for the seasoning of birch, if logs not get split soon.....if logs are split, the bar wont do nay harm if logs are stored dry, and off from the ground...

    This bark peels easy off the the living tree in the spring, just before leaves bud out....and the tree wont die from that harvest either....cut through the bark vertically with a sharp knife, and peels off around the stem....huge sheets will come out, and they will be about 1/16" thick...

    This wall art work is made from birch bark....
    [​IMG]
     

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