Silver maple is an abundant tree in North America. But is it good for firewood?
Table of Contents
- Does silver maple wood make good firewood?
- Are Silver Maple Trees Good for Firewood?
- Is a Silver Maple a Hardwood?
- How Long Does It Take for Silver Maple to Dry Out?
- What is Silver Maple Wood Good For?
- Key Takeaways
Does silver maple wood make good firewood?
Yes, silver maple is a very good choice for firewood. It is affordable, available, produces sufficient heat, catches fire quickly, and contains low moisture levels. In addition to that, silver maple is not difficult to split. More importantly, this is a clean source of heat.
The cold season requires sufficient stockpiles of firewood. When you are choosing the firewood to use, you must make a prudent choice to avoid wasting time and money.
Factors to consider when choosing firewood to use include affordability, the level of moisture content in the wood, availability, and the difficulty in splitting.
In addition to that, you ought to evaluate the amount of heat that your wood can generate and whether this will be viable and sustainable.
The silver maple is an ideal wood for firewood. In addition to being affordable and available at your local firewood supplier, maple wood burns well and produces moderate to high heat. This deciduous tree burns long enough, produces a good aroma, and makes quality coals. However, with so many types of maple wood species, it is difficult to decide which tree species make good firewood.
Regardless of this, the silver maple tree is one of the best-known maple species for firewood.
The silver maple tree is a prevalent and fastest-growing maple species. Also known as Acer Saccharinum, it is commonly grown as an ornamental tree in the eastern US.
It is considered primarily for its shade and decent heat output whether you are starting a campfire at home or smoking meat.
However, there are still concerns about whether silver maple makes an effective firewood considering that it is soft maple wood.
Here, we will look at silver maple as firewood and whether you should consider it for your fire pit, campfire, or wood stove.
Are Silver Maple Trees Good for Firewood?
One way to check whether the wood is good for firewood is by considering the heat output. Generally, the amount of heat produced by burning firewood is measured in the British Thermal Unit (BTU).
The higher the BTU rating, the more energy is required and the higher the amount of heat produced. Silver maple generates about 20.1 million BTUs, which is a bit low compared to red oak, white oak, birch, and other types of maple trees.
Despite this, silver maple can still make good firewood since it catches fire quicker and generates enough heat to keep you warm during the cold months.
This is especially true if your home is well-insulated. Furthermore, silver maple makes an excellent choice for shoulder wood, which burns well when you don’t need a lot of heat.
On the other hand, you may need to combine it with another high-heat output wood if you live in colder regions.
With a fire starter, you can quickly start a fire and enjoy moderate burn time. Like other maple trees, silver maple produces quality coals that will make your fire last for several hours.
Another benefit of silver maple, when used as firewood, is that it has a lower moisture level when contending with other maple woods.
Consequently, it tends to dry out quickly, and it can burn well when properly seasoned. Furthermore, it is very easy to split since it is among the softest maple varieties; hence, you won’t require much time and effort. It is also a clean burning wood, and it does not produce a lot of heavy and suffocating smoke.
Like most maple species, the silver maple tree produces sap. The amount produced, however, is relatively low compared to sap produced by the red maple firewood.
The sap is also watery and not as thick as that found in other wood varieties like pine and cedar. As a result, silver maple firewood produces very minimal amounts of creosote, making it non-toxic when used in an indoor fireplace.
Additionally, this maple species is resistant to rot and has minimal spark production, Because of this, you can use it both indoors and outdoors. You will have no difficulty finding a silver maple tree considering that it is one of the most prevalent maple trees in the US.
Is a Silver Maple a Hardwood?
No, silver maple is one of the 4 maple species that fall under the soft maple category. The others include red maple, bigleaf maple, and boxelder maple.
Ideally, silver maple is characterized as being lighter, softer, and a bit weaker compared to hardwood maple trees.
However, it is worth noting that, although being a soft maple, silver maple can still be used for various purposes, including those that require woods with moderate density. It falls in the category of some hardwoods, which means that it can serve as a substitute for hard maple where hardness and strength are not key factors.
How Long Does It Take for Silver Maple to Dry Out?
While some local suppliers offer seasoned silver maple firewood, you may still need to prepare your wood logs for the best results.
Generally, it takes at least 90 days to get a small silver maple tree seasoned properly. Yet, it may take up to two years of seasoning to get the best quality product. If you want your silver maple wood to dry faster, I highly recommend splitting the log into smaller pieces since smaller-sized woods are more likely to season quickly than their larger counterparts.
It is also highly recommended to burn silver maple firewood in the splitting season. Besides splitting, storage is the other factor that can affect the drying period.
Make sure that your silver maple wood is correctly stored in a dry place with plenty of sunshine. This will allow your firewood enough time to dry out before using it on a fireplace.
What is Silver Maple Wood Good For?
Silver maple wood is a readily available choice for firewood whether you want to smoke meat or keep warm on those chilly nights. In general, it is ideal for smoking meats since it adds a mildly sweet smoky taste.
The fact that it is also highly available makes it a go-to choice for fireplaces and furnaces in the US. Being a softwood, the silver maple tree may not be the most suitable option for making cabinets and furniture.
Still, you can use it to get a striking finish as long as you use the right tools. This is thanks to its fine, even texture and straight or sometimes wavy grain. Overall, silver maple is easy to work with whether you are using your hands or a machine.
- Silver maple is highly available, particularly in eastern North America.
- Its firewood generates safe heat to warm your home in a cool climate.
- Silver maple wood is highly workable, and it can withstand the use of both hands and machine tools.
- Silver maple is a soft maple that is also categorized under medium-density hardwoods.
- On average, it may take one season to 6 months for silver maple to dry out completely.
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