Is Hackberry Tree Wood Good For Firewood?

When it comes to heating your home, using clean burning firewood is vital.

And what do we mean by clean burning? Well, firewood needs to emit very little smoke, and contain very little pitch. Plus, it needs to give off enough heat to be worth the bother of burning in the first place.

So, where does that leave Hackberry firewood?

Well, in this post, you will discover what makes for good clean burning firewood. And keep reading to find out just how much heat Hackberry wood can produce.

is a hackberry tree good for firewood

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What’s The Best Kind Of Firewood You Can Use?

The best kind of firewood should be clean burning first and foremost. Which means that that firewood needs to fit the following three criteria;

A). Firewood Should Be Dry

If firewood has a high moisture content, then it has too much water to catch light. But, even if it does burn, firewood that has too much moisture will produce excessive levels of smoke.

This is one of the reasons why firewood needs to be seasoned. And that means you need to leave it to dry for 6-12 months to get its moisture content down.

What Is Moisture Content? This is another way of describing the amount of water in a piece of wood. Wood that has been freshly logged has a moisture content of 100%. Over time, through seasoning, that moisture content will fall to below 20%.

B). Firewood Should Have Very Little Sap/Pitch

If firewood has a lot of sap or pitch in it, then that sap/pitch can act like moisture. In other words, high levels of sap can cause firewood to create a lot of smoke.

Still, the main reason why you want low-sap firewood, is because of chimney fires.

The sap/pitch in firewood can collect within the soot lining chimney flues. And this in turn can cause chimneys to become backed up, increasing the chance of a chimney fire.

C). Firewood Should Not Come From Poisonous Trees

Trees that contain poisonous sap should not make their way into your indoor fireplace.

The sap — even in small amounts — will vaporize into fumes. And that’s something you do not want filling the air in your home.

Related Post: Can You Safely Burn Camphor Wood In A Fireplace?

So What Is A Good Firewood Choice For An Indoor Fireplace?

White Oak and Birch wood are two fine choices for firewood. They don’t contain poisonous sap, or even much sap at all.

What’s more, they’re both dense tough woods, generating a high amount of heat as they burn.

You see, dense woods take more energy to burn. And the more energy it takes for fire to consume wood, then the hotter it’ll burn.

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What About Hackberry? Is It Good Enough For Firewood Too?

Well, Hackberry isn’t quite as dense as either White Oak or Birch wood, according to their Janka ratings.

The Janka rating measures how much force it takes to crack the surface of a piece of wood. And Hackberry has a Janka rating of 880 lbf. That means it takes 880 pounds of force to crush this timber.

White Oak on the other hand, has a Janka rating of 1360 lbf. And Birch wood has a Janka rating of 1260 lbf.

Now, in terms of heat generated, this means that Hackberry doesn’t produce quite as much heat as the other two timbers. And this is reflected in their respective BTU’s.

The BTU (British Thermal Unit) of wood measures how much energy it takes to consume a piece of material.

Hackberry has a 21.2 BTU rating. While Birch takes more energy to burn, with a 23.6 BTU rating. And White Oak burns with a 25.7 BTU.

All in all, Hackberry will burn hot enough to give off a decent amount of heat. Although, it won’t quite burn as hot as Oak or Birch.

But Isn’t Hackberry Wood Toxic?

No, it is not. The fruits of this tree are even edible. And, generally, fruit producing trees do not have poisonous-sap-filled timber.

So, it won’t pose a toxic-fume risk to your home.

What About Sap? Do Hackberry Trees Produce Lots Of Sap?

Well, sap is a substance produced by trees in order to protect themselves from insects.

Yet, Hackberry trees aren’t known for producing much sap or pitch. If that Hackberry tree looks like it produces a lot of sap, it’s more likely to be something called Honeydew.

Honeydew is created by the bugs feeding on tree bark. But, it is not created by the tree itself, nor does it saturate the tree’s wood grain.

In short, Hackberry (just like Oak and Birch) doesn’t contain a lot of sap or pitch.

So, Does Hackberry Make For Good Firewood?

Its not poisonous, it contains little sap or pitch, and it burns hot enough to heat your homestead. And that is why Hackberry is more than good enough for your fireplace.

To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…

  • 1). Good firewood should contain very little pitch or sap.
  • 2) Hackberry wood doesn’t have much sap in it. So, it won’t cause any excessive soot build-up in your chimney.
  • 3). Hackberry produces a good amount of heat.

References:

Wood Heating | Utah State University

Chimney Fires And Their Causes | StovesOnline.co.uk