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Les 09-28-2009 03:21 PM

Using birch wood
Someone mentioned a while back about using birch for fuel. I tried it the other day and the smoke it put out looked like I was burning a car tire. I let it burn down and started throwing in oak. Do different types of birch burn differently? Seems odd that they would.



texassourdough 09-28-2009 03:40 PM

Re: Using birch wood
Hi Les!

We burn birch in log cabins in Canada and it burns pretty clean. Was yours dry and aged?

Les 09-28-2009 04:05 PM

Re: Using birch wood
I cut it last winter. With our summer heat and low humidity, it doesn't take long for wood to cure. It appears dry and burned quite hot. I just couldn't believe the black smoke it was putting out.


christo 09-29-2009 05:52 PM

Re: Using birch wood
I burned some birch last year - but the oven was already hot - so it burned very clean - but not vigorously.


dmun 09-29-2009 06:49 PM

Re: Using birch wood
Is it white birch, with the bark that peels off? I remember (from my northern Michigan youth) that that stuff burns ferociously. (At least the bark does.)

Les 09-29-2009 07:46 PM

Re: Using birch wood
Yes - it's white birch. Which burns black :(

timo 09-30-2009 05:08 AM

Re: Using birch wood
Around here the White Birch bark burns black and lets off a sooty, chemical looking smoke. I haven't burned it in the oven due to this bark, but if the bark is off, it burns hot like other mixed hardwoods.

ThisOldGarageNJ 09-30-2009 05:09 AM

Re: Using birch wood
Hi Les,,
WHatever wood I have that doesnt burn well or smells (cedar) I save in a seperate pile for the chiminea,,, Just another option


Les 09-30-2009 05:41 PM

Re: Using birch wood
Timo - I would have thought that after a while, the bark would have been the first thing to burn off. This was black until it was gone.

Mark - I have a wood burning stove for heat, that is it's destination. :)

I am going to drop another one after the leaves fall. In hind site, it was the wrong tree to plant. Surface roots are attacking my planters and destroying my lawn. They are also a very dirty tree - drops crap everywhere.

Thanks all,


Spunkoid 10-20-2009 07:12 PM

Re: Using birch wood
In Alberta, where quality hardwoods are scarce, white birch is a premium species. It must be split, stacked and dried before use. It is the bark that gives off the black soot but once you have a good bed of coals, the dry birch burns well. Oak, maple, or other hardwoods, if you live in the east would be preferred species.
When I lived further north where the winters were long and mean, I had a wood stove to supplement our gas furnace and to act as a backup. I burnt a lot of birch, pine, a little poplar and every now and then some tamarack or larch. Tamarack burns pound for pound with the equivelent heat of a low grade coking coal, if fact, it will warp your wood stove if you fill it up with tamarack. I used to just put a piece in every so often and you could really feel the heat difference.
Most of the wood that I will burn in the forno will be pine, poplar, a little birch and maybe some tamarack when I can get it. While I have access to a lot of fire wood, another cheap source is new sub-divisions and grabbing the scrapes, with permission from the builders.

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