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eucalyptus tree

sb47

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My tree guy called and asked if I wanted some eucalyptus for firewood. I'm not familiar with it.
Said he was going to take down 8/10 18'' to 24'' strait trunk trees. He said it smells real good when burned and a lot of people like it.
I can't recall ever burning it. If I did I didn't know what I was burning.
Is it any good?
How well does it cut and split?
Does it pop when burned?
Does it burn fast or slow and does it burn hot?
Can you cook with it?
Is there a market for it?
Does it bring a high or low price as firewood?
Is it rot resistant or does it punk out fast?
 
johninky

johninky

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I used a 150HP splitter 40 years ago to split 40 cords for a business owner. Splitter was custom built. Took all the machine had to split 48 inch rounds. Wood was well seasoned and just laughed at my chainsaw when I tried to see how it would cut. Sold all of my share of the wood in just a few weeks.
 

tfp

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If it’s the same kind we have here down under it can be very good. Hardwood, slow burning, good heat, no (or very minimal) popping. I only notice popping / crackling with pine with our fires here. Splits good when seasoned. There are some kinds of red gum here that have more resin / sap than usual, if they go stringy and don’t want to split cleanly (like trying to split green hardwood but it’s dry) you might have that variety and I’ve had all sorts of problems over the years trying to get that burning nice. It usually took some pine or other fast burning wood to get the heat up and combustion right. I’ve never cut it green and seasoned it myself, it’s all been dead standing or dead on the ground - there’s just so much of it available and it never snows here.

I can’t say I’ve noticed the smell when burning it. If you burn or crush the leaves that’s a different story - very strong smell, will clear your sinuses.
 
LondonNeil

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@Cowboy254

However, there are lots of eucalypts trees and I think they may grow very differently according to climate. The eucalyptus we have here, as ornamental trees in gardens, is fast growing so not the most dense. It smells strongly when green, walk by a tree service chipping one and it's so strong it makes your eyes water from 50 yards away. Splitting the logs, nice smell and manageable. I've always split when green and it's easy but it does grow with a twist and I've heard lots of stories of it defeating hydraulic splitters. It dries quickly, burns pretty well.
 
Ted Jenkins

Ted Jenkins

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We hav
My tree guy called and asked if I wanted some eucalyptus for firewood. I'm not familiar with it.
Said he was going to take down 8/10 18'' to 24'' strait trunk trees. He said it smells real good when burned and a lot of people like it.
I can't recall ever burning it. If I did I didn't know what I was burning.
Is it any good?
How well does it cut and split?
Does it pop when burned?
Does it burn fast or slow and does it burn hot?
Can you cook with it?
Is there a market for it?
Does it bring a high or low price as firewood?
Is it rot resistant or does it punk out fast?
We have a lot of it here. Probably thousands of miles of it along our freeways. Three kinds that I can think of. Shaggy Red bark and Brown bark. Do not ask me for a specific name because I do not care or know. It is not real hard for sure not as hard as aged Live Oak. It is about the same as Mountain White Oak easy to cut and split provided that you are familiar with hard woods. There is no place for an amateur as they struggle with Oak too. It does not smell real nice when it burns or can you cook with it. It burns decent and does not pop just like Oak. It often sells for about 1/3 the cost of Oak but Oak is very high. It sells for about 25% higher than Pine. During a very cold winter it will sell for about $350 to $500 when Oak is $600 to $800. No one is supposed to bring it up to our mountains but most people do it anyway. Some times because it is so plentiful it sells just like Pine. When winter hits and wood is scarce price goes up just the same. It weighs about 6500 to 7500 lbs when dry about the same as Oak. I had some eight and ten foot rounds awhile back that I did not appreciate much. I often had twenty wedges in them to split in to manageable sections to get on the splitter. I think the base of the trees are more difficult to cut and split because grain is so undecided. Thanks
 

sb47

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We hav

We have a lot of it here. Probably thousands of miles of it along our freeways. Three kinds that I can think of. Shaggy Red bark and Brown bark. Do not ask me for a specific name because I do not care or know. It is not real hard for sure not as hard as aged Live Oak. It is about the same as Mountain White Oak easy to cut and split provided that you are familiar with hard woods. There is no place for an amateur as they struggle with Oak too. It does not smell real nice when it burns or can you cook with it. It burns decent and does not pop just like Oak. It often sells for about 1/3 the cost of Oak but Oak is very high. It sells for about 25% higher than Pine. During a very cold winter it will sell for about $350 to $500 when Oak is $600 to $800. No one is supposed to bring it up to our mountains but most people do it anyway. Some times because it is so plentiful it sells just like Pine. When winter hits and wood is scarce price goes up just the same. It weighs about 6500 to 7500 lbs when dry about the same as Oak. I had some eight and ten foot rounds awhile back that I did not appreciate much. I often had twenty wedges in them to split in to manageable sections to get on the splitter. I think the base of the trees are more difficult to cut and split because grain is so undecided. Thanks
Toughest wood I have tried to split was cottonwood. Very stringy and most of it ended up just shredding up into a ball. Cottonwood also stinks like ****. I ended up just throwing a match on the whole pile and calling it a day.
Live oak is some pretty hard to split wood as well. Red oak and post oak split great as long as the grain is strait. I got a load of pig nut hickory a few weeks ago and it split pretty easy as it was mostly strait logs. Pecan can be a little tough at times but generally splits ok.
As for pine, all you have to do is give it a dirty look and it splits easy.
Been doing a little research on the web today about eucalyptus and I'm getting mixed reviews. Some say to split it green and some say to wait till it's dry. In my experience splitting green seems to be easier for most woods but is not set in stone.
I've never knowingly worked with eucalyptus and I hate to let good firewood go to waist but I also don't want huge piles of wood that I'm gonna have to fight to get worked up.
What I may try to do is go to the job site and get a few rounds and bring them home and throw them up on the splitter and see what happens. If it splits ok then I'll give him the go ahead to bring it. Having a verity of wood to burn is a good thing.
Thanks for all the input and keep posting as I have till sat to decide if I want it or not.
 

J D

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Depends on the species.
I agree... There are literally hundreds of species of Eucalypt. I have found those I've processed to split easier green. "Easier" being the operative word, it's still at least twice as demanding to process as pine (& twice that again if you let it season). That said it burns at least twice as long & sells for 1.5x the price of pine
 
trains

trains

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All depends on what species it is, and how quickly/ slowly its grown.
Great to cut a month after the tree is down, still soft, but not gummy on the chain.
split it up, and wait 3+ years to season from green, if its close grain, it takes years to season, but will burn like coal and be wonderful firewood.

I have sugargum for firewood, burns much longer than twice that of pine, its like burning coal, up there with greybox, and well beyond redgum.

You lot in the states would most likely have a hernia and heart attack with how hard it is when seasoned for cutting and splitting, but all that would be forgiven when you burn it.

I say go for it and see how it goes.
 
tomalophicon

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Did a quick google and the most likely species over there is blue gum. It's a relatively tough wood and makes good firewood. It'll most likely take 2 years to season from green.
I'm burning some right now. Burns hot, fairly long lasting and leaves minimal ash.
I cut mine from long dead trees and it's usually ready to burn.
Does this look like it?
Tom.

Resized_20210702_140801_8469.jpeg
 
Ted Jenkins

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All depends on what species it is, and how quickly/ slowly its grown.
Great to cut a month after the tree is down, still soft, but not gummy on the chain.
split it up, and wait 3+ years to season from green, if its close grain, it takes years to season, but will burn like coal and be wonderful firewood.
I have sugargum for firewood, burns much longer than twice that of pine, its like burning coal, up there with greybox, and well beyond redgum.
You lot in the states would most likely have a hernia and heart attack with how hard it is when seasoned for cutting and splitting, but all that would be forgiven when you burn it. I say go for it and see how it goes.

Southern California Euc is a good hardwood but does not command a high price like Oak. No one cooks with it. It compares to White Mountain Oak. It is hard on chains especially the stuff from the desert with all the sand in it. Oak that has fallen is full of sand too. The only types that has been hard to split is the very large bases that is more than three feet diameter. Thanks
 

sb47

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Did a quick google and the most likely species over there is blue gum. It's a relatively tough wood and makes good firewood. It'll most likely take 2 years to season from green.
I'm burning some right now. Burns hot, fairly long lasting and leaves minimal ash.
I cut mine from long dead trees and it's usually ready to burn.
Does this look like it?
Tom.

View attachment 919892
I have not seen the wood yet. He won't be doing the job till Sat. Not sure what type of Euc it is but I'm in south east Tx.
 
Cowboy254

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Some good things mentioned in this thread. There are 700 odd species of eucalypt with a density (in their natural habitat in Australia) ranging from 680kg/m to 1130kg/m air dry density (ADD). Red oak is at 700kg/m (according to wood-database.com). There's huge variability in hardness, ash content, ease of splitting, bark thickness and drying time. All that said, the most common eucalypt planted in the USA is blue gum (e. globulus) and also some red gum. Both in Aus have an ADD of around 900kg/m. I understand that blue gum grown in California is less dense than the trees grown here, the red gum may or may not be since it tends to grow much slower than blue gum anyway. @Plowboy83 cuts and sells red gum in California and seems to like it. Ash content of blue gum is higher than red gum. Blue gum hardens dramatically as it dries so use semi-chisel if you're cutting dry wood and be prepared to sharpen lots. Cutting it green is much like any other hardwood.

One positive thing is that the climate in Texas is probably closer to that of SE Australia where blue and red gums are common compared to California. The weed-like growth of blue gums (and correspondingly less dense wood) in California might be less pronounced in Texas. If they are straight trunks, they're probably blue gums. On the other hand, people may be less inclined to buy it if they're not familiar with it.

So, specifically (IMHO)...

Is it any good? Yes
How well does it cut and split? Fine to cut when green. Can vary to split by hand but ok if you go around the rings initially
Does it pop when burned? Not as a rule.
Does it burn fast or slow and does it burn hot? Slow burning. I burn it overnight. Plenty of heat.
Can you cook with it? Smells ok when burning but not a cooking wood.
Is there a market for it? I'm pretty sure you'd sell it.
Does it bring a high or low price as firewood? Red gum sells for extravagant prices here, there seems to be some romantic appeal. Blue gum is just as dense but gets chucked in with 'mixed hardwood'. In Texas, could be anything.
Is it rot resistant or does it punk out fast? Red gum fence posts last 20 years in the ground easy. Blue gum probably shorter but will last several years in/on the ground. This tree had been down for 7 years.

16th Nov1.jpg

24th Nov 1.jpg
 

sb47

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Some good things mentioned in this thread. There are 700 odd species of eucalypt with a density (in their natural habitat in Australia) ranging from 680kg/m to 1130kg/m air dry density (ADD). Red oak is at 700kg/m (according to wood-database.com). There's huge variability in hardness, ash content, ease of splitting, bark thickness and drying time. All that said, the most common eucalypt planted in the USA is blue gum (e. globulus) and also some red gum. Both in Aus have an ADD of around 900kg/m. I understand that blue gum grown in California is less dense than the trees grown here, the red gum may or may not be since it tends to grow much slower than blue gum anyway. @Plowboy83 cuts and sells red gum in California and seems to like it. Ash content of blue gum is higher than red gum. Blue gum hardens dramatically as it dries so use semi-chisel if you're cutting dry wood and be prepared to sharpen lots. Cutting it green is much like any other hardwood.

One positive thing is that the climate in Texas is probably closer to that of SE Australia where blue and red gums are common compared to California. The weed-like growth of blue gums (and correspondingly less dense wood) in California might be less pronounced in Texas. If they are straight trunks, they're probably blue gums. On the other hand, people may be less inclined to buy it if they're not familiar with it.

So, specifically (IMHO)...

Is it any good? Yes
How well does it cut and split? Fine to cut when green. Can vary to split by hand but ok if you go around the rings initially
Does it pop when burned? Not as a rule.
Does it burn fast or slow and does it burn hot? Slow burning. I burn it overnight. Plenty of heat.
Can you cook with it? Smells ok when burning but not a cooking wood.
Is there a market for it? I'm pretty sure you'd sell it.
Does it bring a high or low price as firewood? Red gum sells for extravagant prices here, there seems to be some romantic appeal. Blue gum is just as dense but gets chucked in with 'mixed hardwood'. In Texas, could be anything.
Is it rot resistant or does it punk out fast? Red gum fence posts last 20 years in the ground easy. Blue gum probably shorter but will last several years in/on the ground. This tree had been down for 7 years.

View attachment 919976

View attachment 919978
Looking at your pics, that wood looks a lot like the bagged wood we commonly find at local gas stations and hardware stores. People that buy from me complaining about it. The most common complaint is it's hard to get started and once it does get going it burns up real fast. I've also been told it throws a lot of sparks and embers. Not saying it is the same wood but it sure looks like it to me.
I'm not against having more free wood on the lot but if I'm gonna put in the work I want a duel purpose wood that can be used for both fire wood and cooking wood. My standard red oak, post oak, water oak, live oak, pecan, hickory, mesquite, mulberry are 100% saleable and plentiful and work great for any fire needs. I'm not yet convened I want the eucalyptus. I hate to pass up good firewood though.
 
Cowboy254

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The most common complaint is it's hard to get started and once it does get going it burns up real fast. I've also been told it throws a lot of sparks and embers. Not saying it is the same wood but it sure looks like it to me.

Not likely to be the same stuff. It doesn't throw sparks and embers and won't burn up fast. If the stuff people buy from servos is hard to get going then burns away fast it might be low density stuff that is still half green.

There's only one way to find out if it suits your needs or not. Can you post a few pics of it?
 
Ted Jenkins

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Looking at your pics, that wood looks a lot like the bagged wood we commonly find at local gas stations and hardware stores. People that buy from me complaining about it. The most common complaint is it's hard to get started and once it does get going it burns up real fast. I've also been told it throws a lot of sparks and embers. Not saying it is the same wood but it sure looks like it to me.
I'm not against having more free wood on the lot but if I'm gonna put in the work I want a duel purpose wood that can be used for both fire wood and cooking wood. My standard red oak, post oak, water oak, live oak, pecan, hickory, mesquite, mulberry are 100% saleable and plentiful and work great for any fire needs. I'm not yet convened I want the eucalyptus. I hate to pass up good firewood though.
Those that like to camp or heat will love it but you can not cook with it. Here it is seasoned ready to go in under three months if it is green. It must be split though. I only know about Tyler as a source for good Oak. Nobody can bring wood into California now so hauling is not an option. A dozen cords would only take you a week and remember there are going to be some people buy some bags for emergency winter heating. Thanks
 
Jeffkrib

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Honestly just take it and give it a go, it’s all part of the learning experience. I will try any wood at least once to personally find out what it’s like. Better than using the internet (us) or worse still getting a Facebook education.
 

ericm979

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If it's blue gum, the most common Eucalyptus in CA and probably the US, it splits reasonably well when wet but can be a bear when it's dry. You'll need a power splitter with a lot of force for that. The wood is very dense. You'll get a lot of BTUs from it. It takes two years to dry.

Here it brings a medium price for firewood. Your market may vary. Some people think it burns "too hot" or does not burn well, probably because they didn't dry it long enough. It really holds on to its water.
 
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