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is hard maple really that great?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by mn woodcutter, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. mn woodcutter

    mn woodcutter ArboristSite Guru

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    So i was looking at the btu chart and it says that hard maple has a higher btu rating than almost all others on the list. I haven't burned really any hard maple that I recall but I just got about 4 cords of it for next year. Anyone else burn much of it and what would you compare it to?
     
  2. flotek

    flotek Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As long as it's the harder sugar maple variety ( not red or soft maple) you can get some great btu output and burn times with it and it coals up wonderfully. . In a real world observation It really is great and if seasoned properly very close to red oak . I'd rank it just a hair short of oak or hickory and a step up from cherry or elm . The aroma of the resulting wood smoke has a nice sweet smell of maple syrup if it's cut at a certain time
     
  3. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Frankly I would leave that maple season another year before use. Generally the softer maples will be ready in a year or so, but not Rock- Sugar- Hard Maple. That should be treated same as Oak, Hickory and the like. Wonderful stuff at apx 15% moisture content, so so at 20%, does vary with location of course. Last winter I used mostly Hard Maple been in the stacks 3 years for the most part was just under 20% on my meter (hf- I do not know offhand what its calibration was/is, but I use a a piece of dimension lumber as a gauge/reference point) Yes I always check wood internally by either resplitting or running it through the bandsaw .
     
  4. mainewoods

    mainewoods Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I cut hard maple in the fall/winter. Cut,split and stacked, it has no problem being ready the following fall. In fact it is seasoned just fine by summer. Easy to split, burns hot, and is abundant (up here). Just about the perfect firewood,IMO. Beech and oak are plentiful, and even a little better. Oak takes longer to season, splits just as easily and burns a little longer. Beech splits a little tougher when green, but it burns hot and dries almost as fast as maple. You can't (won't) go wrong with hard maple.
     
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  5. Jed1124

    Jed1124 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My favorite stuff to burn. I find it seasoned to burn in a year, and just as good as oak in the stove. That being said I never have had enough time to season oak properly. Any oak I've ever had has never got the three years it really needs.
     
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  6. Jeremy102579

    Jeremy102579 ArboristSite Operative

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    I have some maple I scrounged back in Spring 2013.....I am very familiar with what Silver, Red, and Norway Maple look like but I still am not sure what kind this is. I did burn a few pieces of it last winter and it seemed to coal up pretty good.

    It is 1.5 years seasoned now but is there any way I can get an ID on it now or is too difficult now ?
     
  7. MuskokaSplitter

    MuskokaSplitter ArboristSite Operative

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    Hard maple is great.....and even soft maple is better than most, even though it gets a bad rep.
     
  8. CTYank

    CTYank Peripatetic Sawyer

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    IME, sugar maple is a huge step up from black cherry. Lights & burns lots better, burns to completion, leaving no unburnt coals; just doesn't have the same fragrance outdoors. Sugar maple is definitely peak-season wood; there's some here that was c/s/s four years ago, waiting for the first sub-zero night. It's that good.

    Red & Silver ("soft") maples are for kindling and summer fires in a cookstove. IMHO. If you have a choice.
     
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  9. MuskokaSplitter

    MuskokaSplitter ArboristSite Operative

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    I cant wait to burn my red and silver maple in the peak of winter -40 wind chill across the lake. It will beat the pine. I have some oak to mix in but most is soft maple. Bring it on winter.
     
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  10. 066blaster

    066blaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Hard maple is great. I put it right up there with oak. I would put it in the excellent firewood category.
     
  11. mn woodcutter

    mn woodcutter ArboristSite Guru

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    I was surprised to see it actually listed above oak on the btu chart. I'm guessing it doesn't have the burn time like oak does.
     
  12. 066blaster

    066blaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    There seems to be some discrepancies in the btu charts. They are all a little different. Oak is appealing to most people because it's a well known species. People who know nothing about firewood or trees , know oak is a good wood. That's why I can get more for it. You mention any other species and they don't have a clue if it's good or bad.
     
  13. mn woodcutter

    mn woodcutter ArboristSite Guru

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    I can see that. I was just surprised to see the btu chart that I looked at show the hard maple as the best one.
     
  14. KindredSpiritzz

    KindredSpiritzz ArboristSite Operative

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    I don't get it. I cut some sugar maple last year, split it and dried it and just recently stacked it. I was really surprised and disappointed in how light it got and it seemed almost punky to me. It was under cover for the most part but it just doesnt have the solid feel of oak i thought it'd have.
     
  15. haveawoody

    haveawoody Addicted to ArboristSite

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    One thing I love about hard maple is how easily it gets going.
    Most of the high BTU firewood are difficult to get burning and need a pretty warm fire going first, Hard maple is one of the few that doesn't.
    High BTU, easy to get going, one of the best coaling woods, long burning and makes a fine smoking wood.
    The Swiss army knife of firewood :)
     
  16. blacklocst

    blacklocst ArboristSite Guru

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    It doesn't sound like you have Sugar Maple then, properly seasoned it should be hard as a rock.
     
  17. Marine5068

    Marine5068 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sugar Maple is the actual name of "hard" Maple. It's the tree used for sap to make Maple Syrup.
    One of the best firewoods and my personal favourite.
    We have lots of it here in Ontario. Probably more here in Ontario then the whole of USA.
    A btu chart I have shows Sugar Maple(29,000 btu's/cord) as fifth from top after Rock Elm(32,000 btu's/cord), Shagbark Hickory(30,600 btu's/cord), White Oak(30,600 btu's/cord), Bitternut Hickory(29,200 btu's/cord), and the list goes on from there.
    My avatar is rounds of Sugar Maple on my wood racks under my house deck.
     

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  18. mallardman

    mallardman ArboristSite Operative

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    Hard maple is a group of trees that would include Norway maple.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Does sound punky. I 've had some while still solid was dry rotted lacked the weight of good stuff which should be dang close to oak.
     
  20. blades

    blades Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Norway while quite good does fall a bit behind Sugar, wouldn't turn it down
     
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