Is Aspen Wood Really Any Good As Firewood? (Revealed!)

Did you know that according to the EPA, (United States Environmental Protection Agency), there are over 17.5 million fireplaces right across the USA? And you can add some 10 million plus wooden stoves to that total too.

However, whether for a fireplace or a fire pit, choosing the right kind of firewood is important. Especially if you want to avoid turning your home-heating into a high-risk hazard.

Now, Aspen can be found growing plentifully across many parts of the USA and Europe. And it’s not difficult to come across a fallen Aspen tree log here and there. Still, free firewood doesn’t always mean good firewood.

So, in this blog post, we dive into what makes for good clean burning firewood…and whether or not Aspen fits the bill.

is aspen good firewood

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What’s The Best Firewood You Can Burn In A Fireplace?

There are three important things you should be worried about, when it comes to indoor fireplaces; 1). Smoke, 2). Toxic Fumes, and 3). Backed-up Chimneys.

Smoke: You need to use a type of wood that doesn’t bellow out a bunch of smoke. The last thing you want is a smog-filled home.

Toxicity: The smoke also needs to be free of any harmful lung-searing fumes. So, certain types of lumber need to be categorically avoided as firewood.

Chimney Fires: Any smoke must be relatively free of pitch. This is so that all of that pitch doesn’t gum up the chimney. And, thus, increase the chance of a chimney fire.

So, with all this in mind, you need to use logs that have little to no moisture in them. This will keep smoking to a minimum.

You also need to avoid using any kind of wood that comes from a poisonous tree, (such as Hemlock).

And, finally, you should only use firewood that comes from trees with very little sap or pitch in them.

What Type Of Wood Is Best For A Fireplace? Oak and Birch wood are some of the safest and most clean burning firewood you can use.

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Is Aspen Good For Wood Burning?

Well, Aspen isn’t a poisonous tree, and its lumber does not have a lot of sap or pitch in it. And once seasoned and dried, Ash wood won’t smoke a lot. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is that Aspen doesn’t have a lot of density. And low-density lumbers simply don’t burn for very long, because those flames will consume them really quickly.

Related Post: Can I Use Aspen Wood for Carving? (What You Need To Know)

So, Aspen can work well as kindling, helping to get a fire going. But, if you want something that is going to burn for longer, (say to heat up your home or wood stove), Aspen won’t burn long enough for that.

Oak and Birch, on the other hand, are around three times denser than Aspen wood. And so they can burn for a while. What’s more, they burn at a higher temperature too, according to their BTU measurements.

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

What Is A BTU Measurement?

BTU, (which is a shorthand way of saying British Thermal Unit), measures the energy needed to burn a piece of wood.

And What Is Aspen Firewood’s BTU?

Aspen wood has a BTU rating that’s over twenty percent lower than White Oak or Birch.

Basically, Aspens has a mere 18.2 BTU, while Birch burns with a 23.6 BTU level. And White Oak is a touch higher at 25.7 BTU.

Related Post: Is Redwood Good For Firewood? (Here’s What You Need To Know)

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

  • 1). Clean firewood needs to be dry, have very little sap, and must not come from a poisonous wood.
  • 2). Aspen firewood fits the bill of clean firewood. However, Aspen wood isn’t dense enough to burn long enough to heat up a wood stove or fireplace for very long.
  • 3). Instead, if you want clean long-burning wood for the fire place, use White Oak or Birch wood.

References:

Wood Heating | Forestry.usu.edu

Wood Smoke Awareness | EPA.gov