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Why doesn t cottonwood burn

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-10-04          166144


I have some cottonwood that has been stored in a shed and been dry for 15 years. The problem is it just won't burn--it smolders.

Last night I used some new hardwood floor scraps to start a fire in the fireplace. The oak fully burned while the cottonwood smoldered. The cottonwood log was about 14" long by 12" diameter.

I get up this morning and just a whisp of smoke is coming off the log which is still 3/4 the size.

I have plenty of fresh air, and the stove pipe is clean. And like I said the oak burns fine.

What's up wit dat?

Maybe cottonwood is related to asbestos? LOL

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Why doesn t cottonwood burn

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MonsterMinds
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9 Canada
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2009-10-04          166146


I have never burned Cottonwood but from what I have read its good used as kindling, Split it up like you would ceder.
As for fire wood its low heat burning is pretty much useless. ....

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Why doesn t cottonwood burn

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2009-10-04          166147


Does it float?

It sounds like it burns a little better than the scrap ipe deck wood I tried to burn. It laid in a fire for three days and when it was pulled out it looked like new. But then that's why it was used on the deck since we live in a fire area.

Ipe won't float, it sinks like a rock. Very dense wood. ....

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Why doesn t cottonwood burn

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-10-04          166151


Don't think it floats--pretty sense--the wood, not me (well, that's debatable too LOL)

It gets its name from the seeds it drops in the spring. The white, fluffy, cottony-soft seeds become so profuse they cover the ground like snow. They're weed tree.

If I'm not mistaken I think I have seen this wood used as lath in homes when plaster was applied over wooded lath. It stays flexible. ....

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Why doesn t cottonwood burn

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MonsterMinds
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 9 Canada
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2009-10-04          166154


I hope this isn't against the rules but they have some great info here

http://www.arboristsite.com/showthread.php?t=57406 ....

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Why doesn t cottonwood burn

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2009-10-05          166169


Jeff, I asked a friend who lives south of you a ways if he's ever had any luck with Cottonwood as firewood, he burns a lot of wood every year to heat his house, shop, and domestic hot water using an outdoor wood-fired boiler and several airtight wood stoves.

His reply was the only way Cottonwood will keep you warm is from the effort expended to cut it, split it, and hump it around from forest to fireplace.

He cuts a lot of it in his sawmill operation but all of it goes to a local place as pallet and shipping crate material. He claims it's pretty much useless for anything else.

Best of luck. ....

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