Does Basswood Make Good Firewood? How To Use It Right

The hardwood basswood tree is indigenous to the Eastern part of North America. So, is basswood good for firewood? 

Is Basswood Good For Firewood?

Basswood firewood is suitable for fires and will serve you well. Additionally, it doesn’t emit sparks or overpowering odors because it burns quickly and splits readily. However, basswood is more useful as a kindling material.

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The basswood tree, also known as American Wood or American linden, is a common sight throughout the central and eastern parts of the country. 

The 80-foot-tall tree has a broad, straight trunk and a lovely canopy; in the summer, clusters of golden blossoms cover its surface. I had invited some guests for drinks and dinner, and after much fun, I wanted to end my evening with dessert and chat by a cozy fire.

I used some basswood fire woods, and the experience was different from what I expected. Typically, the wood produced a lot of smoke, and I had to supplement it with other fire woods. 

One of the key benefits I noticed about basswood is that it easily splits and is dry and lightweight with a small axe. Basswood is more effective as a kindling material.

Is Basswood Good for Wood Burning?

Typically, Basswood is effective in burning kindling material rather than as the main firewood. It is because the tree has favorable qualities that limit its burning effectiveness. 

For instance, basswood has a poor BTU rating; thus, it wouldn’t be useful if you want it to last for a long time. Additionally, basswood creates less sparking and popping resulting in a more tranquil fire.

When it comes to making coals, basswood could be better wood for coaling because it is not thick and dense like other kinds of hardwoods. Additionally, there are other factors that influences whether basswood is good for burning:

  • Amount of smoke produced
  • Buildup of creosote
  • Heat efficiency
  • Moisture levels

What Wood should you not Burn?

Treated or Coated Wood

Wood that has been treated contains a kind of arsenic, and wood that has been painted, dyed, or varnished has various chemicals. 

When these compounds are burned, they release deadly gasses. Avoid plywood as well because the adhesives used during manufacturing give off harmful odors when burned.

Recyclable Cardboards

Small recyclable cardboard can catch fire rapidly, making them ideal for igniting a roaring fire. But the next instance you need to start a fire, avoid using cardboard, which is frequently treated with chemicals. 

Instead, use the approved fire starters, which are sold in camping supply stores, or small pieces of wood that have been chopped with an axe.

Wet Woods

Keeping your firewood dry is the greatest method to guarantee that it is always available in the fireplace. To begin with, dry wood burns more readily than damp wood. 

More significantly, wet firewood produces smoke and quickly builds up creosote in the chimney lining due to moisture. Creosote accumulation is a major factor in chimney fires. 

It cannot be totally avoided, but using dry firewood and keeping the chimney cleaned annually can lessen the likelihood of buildup.

Wood Pallets

It’s a good idea to find use for wood pallets; don’t burn them. 

Moreover, many of these pallets have been coated with the herbicide methyl bromide to avoid the spread of the green ash borer, a bug that causes havoc on growing ash trees. Dumped shipping pallets are a favorite material for enterprising craftsmen. 

Therefore, never ignite a pallet with the stamp “MB,” which denotes that it has undergone chemical treatment. It’s best to refrain from burning pallets completely, especially if there isn’t a stamp.

 Is Basswood a Hardwood?

Basswood tree is a hardwood; however, because of its low density and hardness, it is referred to as a soft hardwood. 

It is a soft hardwood belonging to the hardwood family of deciduous trees. Basswood is a member of the hardwood family because, like all hardwoods, it is derived from a deciduous tree. 

Flowers, nuts, and fruit are produced by basswood trees, which have board-shaped leaves. Additionally, the pores’ structure is evident. Therefore, all these features make basswood a hardwood.

What is the Best Firewood to Burn?

It is important that you know which types of firewood will give you the best outcomes for your heating needs.

Typically, the best firewoods to burn are the hardwoods. Most hardwoods are thick and produce less smoke.

The following are some examples of hardwood trees to use as firewood:

Hickory Tree

The hickory tree is one of the best trees to use as firewood because it is dense and burns longer compared to other kinds of trees; you can use hickory to start a fire, build a great bed of coals, and leave it burning all night. 

You might still have a heated bed of coals in the morning to light another roaring fire quickly.

Another excellent feature is the pleasant, smoky aroma that hickory firewood emits when burning. Because it burns cleanly, you won’t need to worry as much about creosote accumulation in your chimney or dangerous smoke entering your home. Also, hickory tends to crackle nicely without spitting out sparks. 

Therefore, it lessens the danger of fire while making it more appealing.

The Oak Tree

The oak tree is also an efficient tree to use as firewood because it burns persistently for a very long time. In addition to that, it is quite dense, and produces a lot of heat. 

Moreover, because oak is so common throughout most of America, you can get it practically anywhere. Oak can take one to two years to season well.

White oak, which is non-porous, makes for superior fuel than red oak. White oak burns hotter and lasts longer than red oak because it produces 29.1 BTUs compared to 24.6 BTUs from red oak.

Beech Wood

In terms of heat, beech wood produces compared to other hardwoods, beech wood is tough to beat. Additionally, it is excellent for wood-burning fireplaces, and if it is properly seasoned, this wood burns with a nutty aroma.

So clean is beach wood that it can be used in a firewood stove. Therefore, they make an ideal choice if you are sensitive to smoke, or of you live in an area where authorities have placed strict measures on the quality of the air. 

Because the fire from beach wood is steady and consistent, you do not have to tend to it often. This means that you can have the fire burning as you carry out other home activities.

Despite being naturally dry, beech wood still requires treatment. For the greatest burning effects, beech wood must, unfortunately, be treated for at least one year, if not two. 

However, once it has been properly seasoned, this wood dries to an amazing 12% moisture content, unlike the 20% typical wood.

Key Takeaways

  • Basswood is ineffective if you want a fire that will last a long time.
  • Basswood is a hardwood tree but is categorized under the soft hardwoods’ trees
  • It’s not advisable to use processed woods because most contain toxic chemicals
  • Typically, hardwoods are the best trees to use since they are thick and dense

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