KNOW ANY FAST-GROWING TREES FOR FIREWOOD?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
Good, accessible firewood is getting harder to find here in northeastern Kansas. Does anyone out there know of any really fast-growing trees we could plant in our woodlot?
-- Faith E Battels (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2001
read about a "NEW" poplar,, some type of cross bread,,, supposed to mature in 5 - 8 years,,, mature as in FULL SIZE tree,,, Ill have to look for the article
-- Stan (email@example.com), January 08, 2001.
Black Locust.Very dense wood with high btus. Can coppice for further production. Plant in full sun for best results of any fast growers.They are invariably pioneer species.
If you don't burn it ,you'll have fence post stock.Nitrogen fixer.Also used as a nurse tree for black walnut plantings.
The hybrid poplars are fast growers,but light wood,and thus fast burners.
-- sharon wt (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 08, 2001.
There are also hybrid willows that make slightly better firewood than poplar, but not much better. Check out the catalogs that sell nursery stock, and most of all check out your local extension office. They should have quite a bit of information for you on what grows well in your area. You could plant poplars and willows to hold you for a few years while other better firewoods are growing. And also make sure you have a good windbreak around your buildings, as this will reduce the amount of heating you need.
-- Kathleen Sanderson (email@example.com), January 08, 2001.
By all means do as suggested and check with your extension office. I have order blanks and tree manuals that will get you the right tree for your area. Most of them come from the Kansas Forrestry Service out of Manhattan, Kansas. They are typically dug one day and brought to your extension office the next. What is best of all is that you can't beat the price. Very cheap.
If I didn't want to purchase trees, I would use elm. It if fairly fast growing, and on the good, better, best scale, it comes in on the low side of better. It can be tough to split, but for maximum firewood production from what I've read, it will be used before really getting to splitting size.
Maybe some of Kansans should go to the SE part of the state and buy some land with coal on it. Care to burn coal?
Glad to see another Kansan posting. I'm from Hutchinson.
-- Notforprint (Not@thekeyboard.com), January 08, 2001.
I planted about 50 hybrid poplar that were supposed to grow 5-8 feet a year. Only ten lived, and they grew about 1-2 feet a year. I wish I had known to call the extension service before I bought them and gone with a better tree for this area. I ended up planting aspens and birch and they grew great. Also, cottonwoods grow fast here (zone 5).
-- Julie (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2001.
Around here, farmers have started planting their fields with some kind of fast-growing wood. I think it's for paper mills. Not sure what kind it is, but I'd bet the Snohomish County, Washington, Extension Office could tell you.
All I know is from driving by the fields. One year, little transplants. Three years later, fifteen foot trees. Two years after that, it looks like a forest. Really amazing.
-- Laura Jensen (email@example.com), January 09, 2001.
Laura, Those are more than likely Cottonwood trees. I think they are harvested every 7 years.
-- Laura (LauraLeekis@home.com), January 09, 2001.
Around here, it's Pople trees, the local name for Poplar. But like cottonwood and willow, it's gopher wood. The pulp companies use it too, clear-cut an area, and it's covered in poplar seedlings in just a couple year's time.
-- Julie Froelich (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2001.
For my money, I'd go with Ash. It grows quite fast and is easy to split; plus, it burns hot, clean, and long. I like locust too, but would perfer to use the wood for other things, rather than firewood...like fence posts!
-- jimR (email@example.com), January 09, 2001.
People I knoiw call Poplar trees Gofer wood. Put it in the stove and go for more.
-- JLS in NW AZ (stalkingbull007@AOL.com), January 09, 2001.
Ash is great for firewood,when I lived where I could get it,I loved it.Naturally low moisture content,so it dries quickly.Great timber tree too.Not as fast growing as locust,but not bad.
Elm,on the other hand is traditionally known as "deadman's firewood".Takes forever to dry and burns cold with lots of ashes.I tried it once.Yuck.I'll stick with maple,oak, ash, and beech. I made shitake logs out of the elm.Best use I could figure.Slippery elm is the species I had available.Perhaps yours is a different elm.
Alot of tree seedlings survive poorly where there is grass or tree competition,by the way.Study done in PA a number of years back show the state should have been 90% conifer,based on all the seedlings that had been planted since the 20's.It is instead abt.10% and most of that is natural regeneration.
So plant in old field and mow btwn rows,like christmas tree growers do,til seedlings are above the competition,Or clearcut and burn, to prepare the site.Not what you wanted to hear.
-- sharon wt (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 09, 2001.
As mentioned above, virtually any fast growing tree will also be fast burning. Do you have any good quality hardwoods (ie. maple, oak, ash, cherry)? If you do, the key is to harvest them and let them re- sprout from the stump. Since the root system is already in place, several shoots will emerge and be well nourished by the roots. It is best to thin to a manageable number, say 6 or 8. (I'm thinking a stump 18" in diameter). This is the fastest way to produce quality firewood. GL!
-- Brad (homefixer@SacoRiver.net), January 09, 2001.
Brad-black locust is the exception to the rule.Fast growth,especially from sprouts(coppice),and excellent btu's.That's why it's recommended for a firewood planting.I have a spot were I have some I don't want,because it's part of the garden.I have to fight to keep them from taking over.I don't use herbicides,only mechanical means.Black locust is tough and pretty darn agressive.
Maple does sprout good,esp.red maple.Perhaps a medium harvest would be an option for you,Faith,with an eye to stump regeneration.Cut stump high,for best sprouting.Also cut in early summer.
Oak a pretty good sprouter. Ash and cherry never did as well,but would sprout some.Of course that was a good thing,if timber production is what you look for.Then you want seedlings,not sprouts.Sprouts result in poor future timber quality.They grow all together, and rot, and ruin the butt log. Great to thin out, for firewood,if you have them,though.
-- sharon wt (email@example.com), January 09, 2001.
i burn all wood and fire wood is a very low value crop it is all the timber which is not valuable enough for saw logs or food for wildlife/livestock or wildcrafting .if you have the land and the time for planting trees think and plant higher value trees walnut trees are a good choice, chestnuts, mulberries ,oaks are good cadidates.black locust and catalpa will make good fence post and trimmings can make fire wood but the post are a higher value usage giving you a better return on your investment.I would recomend a book called Tree crops by Smith it was writen in the 30s but covers the usage of tree crops as a high value return. i wish i just had the time to remove all the trash/weed species and low grade trees from my woods it would be terific to plant high grade specieson that land . a company called OIKOS TREE CROPS p.o. bax 19425 Kalamazoo, Michigan 49019-0425 is a good source for uneqe varieties also look at Bear Creeek Nursury,box411 Northport ,WA 99157 . Hope this gives you some food for thought , i have been there and most of my wood comes from developement sites and i salvage it before it can be wasted burned in huge bonfires just for cheep removal
-- george darby (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2001.
My family and I lived in town for several years before we found our little place in the country (6.5 acres ,big oaks,[which I'd NEVER cut for firewood!] good garden, nice little pasture) We've always used wood as our primary heat source, even while in town. We always cut types of wood that are considered "brush" by farmers and land owners: Honey locust...good heat...LONG thorns... can burn it green (watch your flue for creosote ,tho!) and it seems to grow pretty fast
Osage Orange...(or "hedge" around here...USE ONLY GREEN...will melt down your stove when seasoned...
Dead standing elm...when an elm tree dies, and the bark has flaked off its ready for the stove. when its green its terrible! (We have lots of dead elm around us) this is mostly what we burn
I guess I inherited an attitude from my parents about cutting trees for fire wood; that is, never cut trees for firewood that could be useful for other things...A beautiful old oak tree takes 80 or 100 yrs to grow...one winter to use up in the fire place...but one that's rotten and hollow needs to come down any way
If I cut a tree to make a chair it will last for several generations, but the same wood in the stove will only last a short while...My thoughts on wood heat...( I can't imagine poplar being a first choice for firewood, tho)
-- Eric Davis from n. MO (email@example.com), January 12, 2001.
I see where Lehman's carries a Garden Way Country Wisdom booklet (16 pages) on "Fast-Growing Firewood". Free shipping if order is over $10.00.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 2001.
George - food for thought, indeed. Monocropping is an industrial-age mentality, whereas homesteading is about resource management, biological diversity, self-sufficiency, right?
I am surprised to see people responding in a fairly narrow fashion about wood use. Granted, the question was about firewood, but aren't we supposed to "THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX"?
I appreciate everyone sharing experience on firewood - really! But this fellow is thinking of PLANTING, and that's of little use without MANAGING, and that means investing time and knowledge...
So, anyone got anymore tips or recommendations for books on wood-lot management?
Great topic, by the way.
-- Bob (email@example.com), January 12, 2001.
Faith - maybe more info would help. How big is your woodlot? What kind of trees do you have now and how many or what percentage of each species? What do you use them for, if anything? Why do you not have enough firewood now from this lot? Is it too small? Lack of rainfall? Are you expanding the woodlot, or filling in where trees were removed? Do you plan to harvest by machine, or by horse? Do you want animals in the forest? what kind? Does anyone know about compatibility of those animals with your forest, e.g., certain species resistant to your mischievous goats?
More food for thought...
-- Bob (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 2001.
Try this one - it' Story Book's Woodlot Management title :
-- j (email@example.com), January 12, 2001.