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Author Topic: Is willow worth burning?  (Read 10649 times)

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Offline pabst79

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Is willow worth burning?
« on: May 13, 2013, 07:29:36 pm »
Hi, I was wondering if anyone has experience with splitting/burning willow? I have access to about 3 full cord for free and its super easy to get at, however I'm not familar with it. ??

Offline stumper

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2013, 08:04:49 pm »
It is worth what you are paying for it.  I would burn it to dispose of it but I would not waste fuel or time to get it to burn. 

Offline pabst79

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2013, 08:24:23 pm »
Thanks for the reply, I assume your saying its going to be soft or punky in the center and pain to split?

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2013, 08:42:11 pm »
smells like urine when it burns
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 08:52:01 pm »
Okay, i won't even mess with it.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 09:04:25 pm »
It's low btu but like all wood it produces heat .FWIW I have some basswood which has about the same heat value .I burn it .

Offline pabst79

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 09:16:34 pm »
I burn birch and aspen for my lower heat starter wood and it works, but if willow smells like urine when burning, I'll look elsewhere.
thanks for the response

Offline martyinmi

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2013, 09:54:37 pm »
Willow burns very well in a gasser.
When my dead ash supply runs out in the next decade or so, Willow from my neighbors muck fields fence rows will be my next free fuel for home heat.
I burned a little bit of it this winter, and I could have easily gotten 24 hour burns out of it had I wanted.

Makes me wonder whether those BTU ratings for the different species of wood are as accurate and updated as they ought to be. I guess I don't know whether those who come up with the BTU ratings include the smoke given off during combustion as a potential fuel source, as our gassers perform better with smokier wood species.

I've burned walnut,ash,hickory,oak,elm,willow,birch,poplar,boxelder,hard and soft maple,etc., and it all burns fine, and the burn times don't necessarily reflect what btu charts imply. :o

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm..... ???

To get back to the original question, the answer would be "yes" from me, as long as it's well seasoned, and more importantly, free! 8)
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2013, 10:04:59 pm »
I saw a bunch of weeping willow at the dump. I have my own wood,no need to go to other places to get it.
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Offline trapper

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2013, 10:47:03 pm »
normally splits easy.  I use it and dont notice any bad smell. Most of what i get is dead standing with the bark off.  Burns good with little ash but wouldnt go very far to get it.
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Offline doctorb

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2013, 03:31:49 pm »
Listed with other softwoods when comparing BTU value.  If it's seasoned well, it will burn OK.  While I prefer the hardwoods, throwing peerfectly good fuel away becasue the BTU value is less than optimal makes little sense to me now.  If our OWB members in Colorado can burn spruce all winter and have little issues, then why throw out wood thats burnable?  Just dry it well to maximize the heat output and possibly help decrease the creosote buildup.
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Offline r.man

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2013, 09:43:15 pm »
I knew an older guy that would burn poplar when he had access to maple but he had to cut the poplar up anyway to get it off his fields pastures and roads. If labour time is not an issue the important word is "free". Maybe you should try a small amount first to see if the smell is a problem.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 10:00:46 pm »
Well r man, your advice sounds best! I'll try a bit and see how it works. No harm no foul.

Offline LAZERDAN

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 10:08:07 pm »
Martyinmi speaks only the truth in post no.7
  I burn willow any time I can get it.  Because it has a bad reputation, it light, its NOT oak,maple,hickory,elm,locust but if it's cut up and frree  it's for me,  I burn about 20 cords a year and 40% is usually willow.  The big chunchs are a little intimadating, but a wedge and a sledge you can quarter them in no time.  If you have to go and cut it down and buck it up and its big it's not worth it to me, but when the tree trimmers drop it in the yard already cut up, you  bet i'm burn'n it.  Don't store it long, don't let it get wet,  don't let it lay on the ground.  It will burn wonderful for you.  When it's below zero I do a 50/50 willow and oak mix, the oak will provide coals , you will find willow buns all up and has no staying power,it's a very fine ash. No big deal !       Try some if ya don't like it don't do it next year                Lazerdan   

Offline LAZERDAN

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2013, 10:14:04 pm »
No bad smell ?  Now cottonwood thats a different story ( PU ) It smell like wood,  All wood has different smells.  We could start a post on wood smell, I did'nt search but i bet'n there has been talk here.                  Lazerdan 

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2013, 10:21:35 pm »
I always figured a BTU is a BTU .You obviously don't load the stove down at zero degrees for the night full of bass wood or tulip poplar but during waking hours it's not a big deal to toss in a stick or two every hour .

Now Swampish has a thing for maple but the rest of us poor folk have to get by with whatever we have . ;D On the other hand us flat landers have hickory for those nights that could freeze the business off a brass mokey .Poor old Swamp only has his maple . 8)

Offline DDDfarmer

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2013, 11:33:10 pm »
I will burn just about whatever is available BUT I will not split willow. The trees around here have such a twist to them that after you split them, they can't be piled up right. If it will fit in the door I cut it up, larger than that its scrap.

I think our willow has even less BTU's than bam wood, could be wrong but that's just what it seems like.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2013, 05:54:32 am »
Now Swampish has a thing for maple but the rest of us poor folk have to get by with whatever we have . ;D Poor old Swamp only has his maple . 8)

It's a matter a reastate my friend. I store my wood in the house and if it were willow and aspen instead of maple and beech I would be frozen solid by mid January. I'm not like some folks that leave their wood out in the snow and rain and 2 or 3 times the volumes required to heat the house. I've got other things to do with my time. :D

Is 'bam wood' slang for balm-of-gilead  aka balsam poplar?

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline DDDfarmer

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2013, 09:10:05 pm »
Opps forgot the " L "   ya its balm- of- gilead or go-fer-wood or bam, all sounds the same doesn't it?
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Offline stumper

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Re: Is willow worth burning?
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 07:54:55 am »
My time has value.  Gas and diesel costs need to be factored as well.  I see no need to travel even a couple of miles to get willow to burn.  I think my time and expenses would out weigh the BTU's gained.  Now I would burn it it I needed to clean it up off my land, and I would burn it if I got paid to clean it up off someone elses land. 

Now what if an arborist were to drop it off in my wood yard?  Well I guess that would depend on the arborist and the long term prospects.  Would it mean future good wood for free?  Would it mean future stump grinding jobs for me?  If yes I would probably take it, cut it up and burn it.