Is Maple Good for Firewood?

Maple trees are known for their sap, which is used to make maple syrup. But what about using maple for firewood?

Is it any good?

The answer is yes, maple is a good choice for firewood for the following reason.

Maple is a hard, dense wood that burns thoroughly without sparks producing very little smoke.

It has a high heat value (BTU content), is easy to split and stack, and is resistant to rot. It can be seasoned (dried) in as little as six months offering a quick turnaround for use in the fireplace or wood stove.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a good, all-around firewood species, maple is a great choice. It’s sure to keep you warm all winter long.

What characteristics does maple firewood have?

Maple Leaf on Wood Log

Maple trees belong to the Acer genus and come in with over 100 different species.

In North America, the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is the most common type used for syrup production while the red maple (Acer rubrum) is the most common type used for firewood.

Maple trees are hardwoods that grow to heights of 80-100 feet with a trunk diameter of two to four feet. The wood is light to medium brown in color with a straight grain and a fine, even texture.

When it comes to firewood, maple is considered a premium wood due to its superior burning qualities. Here are some of the key characteristics that make maple firewood so good:

High heat value

Maple firewood has a higher BTU content per cord (25.5 million BTUs) than most other types of firewood.

To give you a better idea, it generates more heat than chestnut (18 BTUs/cord) or white pine (15.9 BTUs/cord). However, maple has a lower BTU content than white oak (29.1 BTUs/cord) or apple (27.0 BTUs/cord).

Weight per cord

Maple weighs 4685 lbs/cord when it is green, when it dries it goes down to 3680 lbs/cord.

Ease of Splitting

Maple is a very easy wood to split due to its high density. It will usually split with little effort, even when green.

Splitting wood

To give you a better idea, maple is much easier to split than apple, oak, sycamore, or birch.

Stackability

Maple is a very easy wood to stack due to its straight grain and small size. Maple’s small size also makes it easy to transport.

Low Smoke Level

Maple produces very little smoke when it is burned, making it a good choice for people who have asthma or other respiratory problems. It burns much cleaner than birch, catalpa, pine, or spruce.

Less Sparking

When wood is burned in a fireplace, sparks can fly out and start a fire in the chimney or on the roof.

This can be a safety hazard and can also damage your home. Maple produces very few sparks, making it a safer choice than most other types of firewood.

If you have a fireplace, it’s important to use a screen to keep the sparks from flying out and landing on your roof. A spark can easily start a fire if it lands on something that is flammable.

Low Popping & Crackling

When firewood is burned, it conducts a chemical reaction known as combustion which produces heat, light, water vapor (steam), and carbon dioxide.

This reaction also produces other gasses including nitrogen, hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide.

This process can create some popping and crackling sounds if the combustion process isn’t that efficient. Maple produces very few popping and cracking noises, making it a good choice if you want a quiet fire.

Resistance to Rot

Maple is a very dense wood and it is also resistant to rot. This means that it will last longer than most other types of firewood when stored outside.

Even if it is stored in a damp garage or basement, it will still last for longer than most other types of firewood.

Drying Time (Seasoning)

It takes maple six to twelve months to dry (season). This is faster than most other types of firewood, making it a good choice if you need to use it right away.

Seasoning of maple firewood includes a natural kiln drying with the removal of sap and a reduction of moisture to below 20%.

How to season and store maple firewood?

If you plan on using your maple firewood right away, there’s no need to season it. Just split it and stack it and it will be ready to burn.

stacked unsplit fire Wood pile Maple logs

If you want to season your maple firewood, split it into pieces that are less than 18 inches long and stack it in a dry place.

It’s important to stack your wood off the ground so that air can circulate around it. You can also use a woodshed or garage to store your firewood.

If you live in a damp climate, it’s a good idea to dry your maple firewood before you use it. This can be done by splitting the wood into small pieces and stacking it in a sunny spot for a few days.

Once your maple firewood is dry, it’s important to store it in a dry place so that it doesn’t rot.

A woodshed or garage is a good place to store your firewood. If you don’t have a garage or woodshed, you can store your firewood in plastic containers or barrels depending on the climate.

What insects are attracted to maple firewood?

Most firewood will attract insects and maple is no exception. The most common insects that are attracted to maple are the carpenter ant and the termite.

Termites eat wood

Carpenter ants are attracted to maple because they like to build their nests in wood that is high in moisture content. Termites are attracted to maple because it is a high-quality wood that contains plenty of cellulose.

If you notice sawdust pushed out of the cracks in your maple firewood, it’s probably because of an infestation of carpenter ants. If you see small holes in your wood, it’s probably because of termites.

If you have an infestation of either of these insects, it’s important to stop storing new maple firewood next to the infected wood. You can also treat the infected wood with an insecticide or you can remove it from your storage area.

Please note it is always better to buy your firewood from a reputable source to minimize the chance of insect infestations. Because the reputable providers will have taken the time to treat their woodpiles.

Does maple firewood attract fungus? 

Humidity and lack of air circulation can cause mold and mildew to grow on firewood. Wood that is stored in a damp basement or garage is more likely to develop mold and mildew.

Maple is a dense wood and it doesn’t absorb moisture as easily as other types of firewood. This means that it is less likely to develop mold and mildew.

If you notice mold or mildew on your maple firewood, it’s important to remove it from your storage area. You can also treat the affected wood with a fungicide before storing it again.

If you live in a damp climate with frequent rain, it’s a good idea to store your maple firewood in a covered area. This will help to keep the moisture level down and reduce the chances of mold and mildew developing.

Use these tips to make sure your maple firewood is of the highest quality.

If you take the time to season and store your maple firewood properly, you’ll be reducing the chances of insect infestations and fungus growth.

Does maple burn clean?

Maple is a clean-burning wood and it doesn’t produce as much smoke as other types of firewood.

This makes it a good choice if you have allergies or if you live in a smoke-sensitive area. However, it’s important to make sure that your wood is dry before you burn it.

When burned wet, all types of wood will produce more smoke. Wet maple firewood will also produce a lot of soot. Avoid chemically-treated wood, as these chemicals can be released into the air when burned.

Is maple hard to light?

Maple is an easy-to-light wood and it will usually start burning within minutes. That said, it’s important to make sure that your wood is dry before you light it. Splitting the wood into small pieces will also help it to burn more easily.

What is the best way to store maple firewood?

There are a few different ways to store your maple firewood. Depending on the climate you live in, you can store it in a garage, woodshed, or plastic container.

Firewood stacked good ventilation

If you have a garage or woodshed, make sure that the building is well-ventilated to allow the wood to dry. If you don’t have either of these buildings, you can store your firewood in plastic containers or barrels.

Make sure that the containers are elevated off the ground to allow air to circulate around the wood. You can also place a piece of metal screen over the top of the container to help keep out insects and rodents.

If you live in a humid climate, it’s a good idea to store your maple firewood indoors near your fireplace or wood stove. This will help to keep the wood dry and make it easier to light.

What is the best time of year to harvest maple firewood?

The best time of year to harvest maple firewood is in the late fall or early winter. This is because the sap has already been drawn out of the tree and the wood is dry.

If you wait until the spring or summer to harvest maple firewood, you’ll run the risk of getting wet wood or longer seasoning times.

When you’re ready to harvest your maple firewood, make sure that you have the proper equipment.

You’ll need a chainsaw, an ax, and a splitting maul. If you have access to a wood chipper, this will also make the job easier. Once the wood is cut into manageable pieces, it’s time to start splitting it.

Splitting the wood into smaller pieces will help it to dry faster and make it easier to burn. You can split the wood by hand or use a hydraulic log splitter.

Once the wood is split, it’s time to stack it in your storage area. Make sure that the wood is stacked off the ground and in a well-ventilated area. If you live in a humid climate, it’s a good idea to cover the wood with a tarp or plastic sheeting.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your maple firewood is of the highest quality. Seasoning and storing your wood properly will help to ensure a long, hot fire.

When is maple not a good choice for firewood?

Maple is not a good choice for firewood if you live in a humid climate. This is because the wood takes longer to dry and is more likely to develop mold or mildew.

If you live in a dry climate, maple is a good choice for firewood. However, it’s important to make sure that the wood is completely dry before you burn it.

Wet maple wood will produce a lot of smoke and soot. It can also be difficult to light. If you have trouble lighting your fire, try using smaller pieces of wood or kindling.

Does maple wood have an aroma?

Maple wood does have an aroma. Some people say that it smells like maple syrup, while others say that it has a more subtle scent.

When burned, maple firewood will produce a moderate amount of smoke. The smoke will be white or pale blue in color and will have a sweet smell.

Putting Wood Chips in a Smoker

If you’re looking for wood for a smoker, maple is a good choice. The smoke from burning maple will add a subtle flavor to your food.

Conclusion

Maple is a good choice for firewood. It has a high heat output and burns hot and long. It doesn’t produce a lot of smoke or soot and has a subtle aroma when burned.

The low moisture content of maple wood, not creating much spark, and the ease of splitting make it a good choice for people who have trouble starting fires.

When harvested in the late fall or early winter, maple is a great choice for firewood. Seasoning and storing your wood properly will help to ensure a long, hot fire.

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