Apple trees grow abundantly across the world. And the United States alone has over 5,000 apple producers who between them grow over 5 million tonnes of apples every year.
But, what of all that Apple wood lumber? Apple wood — after that tree has been logged — should be more than good enough for firewood, right?
Well, in this post, you’ll discover what truly makes for clean burning firewood. You will also learn how to quickly check if that firewood is dry enough to fuel your fireplace.
And we reveal why Apple wood makes for better firewood than even White Oak or Birch wood.
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What Type Of Wood Generally Burns The Cleanest?
The best firewood is dry, contains very little sap, and it doesn’t come from a poisonous tree species. Plus, if you want firewood to burn hot for a good long while, it also needs to be fairly dense.
Hard dense woods have more substance to them, meaning there’s more material packed into it. That’s why tough dense hardwoods, such as White Oak and Birch, are great choices for firewood.
Related Post: Is Hackberry Tree Wood Good For Firewood?
What About Smoke? What Kind Of Firewood Gives Off Very Little Smoke?
When a log emits a lot of smoke, it’s usually because it still has a lot of moisture in it. The heat from the fireplace will vaporize that moisture straight away. And this in turn creates all of that extra smoke.
So, if the moisture content of any firewood log is high, then it’s going to smoke up a storm. And this is why firewood must be seasoned, before you use it as fuel.
You can learn more about how to season firewood right here on The Woodwork Place. Simply click here to check out our post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)
Now, another reason for high smoke emissions is wood sap. The best firewood comes from wood that contains a low amount of sap.
In short, to avoid high smoke emissions, you need firewood to be as dry and as sap free as possible.
What Does Moisture Content Mean (As It Relates To Firewood)? It simply refers to the amount of water contained in a piece of wood. Freshly cut lumber has a moisture content of 100%. While seasoned wood has a moisture content of less than 20%.
And What Kind Of Wood Should Not Be Burned In A Fireplace?
Any trees that contain poisonous compounds, (such as the Yew tree), should not be used for firewood. That poisonous sap will burn and vaporize. And that vapor is the last thing you want filling your home.
You should also avoid burning wood containing lots of pitch/sap, such as Spruce or Pine wood. Not only will they emit a lot of smoke, they can also cause chimney fires. That’s because all of that pitch/sap can rise up, gum up the chimney, and block it.
Okay, But What About Apple Wood? Is It Safe To Burn?
Generally, trees that bear edible fruit are not poisonous. So their tree stems are safe to burn.
And this is true of the Apple tree. This fruit bearing tree produces clean burning lumber with relatively little sap (unlike say the Sugar Maple tree).
So, well seasoned Apple wood won’t create a lot of smoke, release poisonous vapor, or block your chimney.
Related Post: Want To Use Apple Wood For Woodworking? 3 Things To Know
And How Long Does It Take For Apple Wood To Season?
It depends on when you first cut that tree down. It can take anywhere from 6-12 months for it to season.
But, if you cut that tree in early spring, it should be dry enough to be used by winter.
And How Can You Tell If Apple Wood Is Seasoned?
You could go the technological route and grab a moisture meter. These handheld instruments can accurately measure the amount of moisture content in any firewood.
However, if you want to go old school, you can simply check the firewood yourself for three key things;
1). Does It Sound Hollow?
This quick test is very simple. Just grab two logs from your stack of firewood, and hit them together.
If that wood is dry, they’ll make a very dull sound.
2). Does It Smoke A Lot?
Take a small test piece of firewood, and burn it. You should probably do this outside in a fire pit, rather than test it in your fireplace.
Now, what you are keeping an eye out for is if the firewood emits a lot of smoke. Low smoke emissions = Dry firewood.
3). Does The Bark Hold?
When wood dries out, it becomes incredibly easy to peel off its bark. If that tree bark comes right off the log, it means the firewood is fairly dry.
Related Post: How Long Does It Take Wood To Dry | Plus 5 Quick Tips
But Will Apple Wood Burn Hot Enough To Heat Up My Home?
Rule of thumb, high density wood will heat up your home better than low density wood. Although there can be such a thing as wood being too dense to burn in the first place.
However, when it comes to Apple wood, this lumber will catch light and burn as well as Oak or Birch. It is also a very tough hardwood, and Apple wood is even more dense than Oak or Birch.
And that’s why Apple wood produces more heat, (burning hotter for longer), than those other two hardwoods.
You see, according to its BTU (British Thermal Unit), Apple Wood has a BTU of 27. Which means it releases more heat than White Oak (25.7 BTU) and Birch Wood (23.6 BTU).
What Is The BTU About? BTU measures just how much energy’s needed to burn a piece of wood. The higher the amount of energy, the hotter the fire.
To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Apple wood is a clean burning hardwood that makes for ideal firewood.
- 2). Apple wood will produce more heat than other more popular firewood options, such as Birch and White Oak.
- 3). However, only burn seasoned Apple wood that has had sufficient time to dry. Burning dry firewood will help to minimize smoke emissions.
Wood Heating | Forestry.usu.edu
Wood Smoke Awareness | EPA.gov
British Thermal Unit | Wikipedia.org