Is Honey Locust Good Firewood?
There are all sorts of wood you can chop, season, and burn in your fireplace. The exact varieties all depend on where you live.
If you live in an area with honey locust trees, you have likely seen its wood available for sale for all sorts of uses. It is, after all, a common and hard wood found all over. But when it comes to burning honey locust as firewood, is it any good?
Honey locust is a great wood to use as firewood for several reasons.
It is a hard wood that burns very hot. It also burns at a controlled speed for longer, making great coals. Honey locust wood also has a low sap content, making it less smokey than other woods.
Make sure you cure the wood for at least 12 months before burning it.
If you have honey locust wood that you aren’t sure what to do with, you might wonder if it is suitable for your fire pit. The good news is that if you have a surplus of honey locust wood, there are all sorts of things you can use it for, firewood being one of them.
But before you toss a fresh log into your fireplace, you need to understand the wood better, and learn how you need to season it before burning it. Luckily for you, this article will cover exactly that, and more.
Honey Locust Wood Origins And Why It Is Desirable
Honey locust trees are very common. They are deciduous trees that grow quickly and sprout up in many climates, as long as there is ample moisture. They are native to North America, but are found as far as Asia and Africa.
Originally, these trees were cultivated for their sweet pods, which are now seen as more of a nuisance than a benefit. Now, honey locust trees grow wildly, and they are medium-sized, so mature quicker than some other trees.
While they are not the largest trees, their wood is very dense. Not only is the wood hard, but it is a lovely reddish and light brown color. These attributes and others make it a desirable wood to use for all sorts of purposes.
Popular Uses For Honey Locust Wood
There are lots of popular uses of honey locust wood. Firewood is just one of them. So, if you have a large supply of honey locust wood in your area, you might wonder what else it is used for other than burning it.
Use It For Fence Posts
Since honey locust wood is dense, weather and insect-resistant, it makes great outdoor fence posts.
Designer Tool Handles
Honey locust wood is commonly used for different tool handles. It is not only hard wood, but it is pleasant looking, which makes it perfect for tools.
Honey locust wood has lovely light and reddish hues, which makes it great for making furniture and decorative pieces. It is also durable, making it great for furniture pieces that require some strength.
Last of all, and the reason you are here today, honey locust wood is used for fuel. But if you are wondering exactly why honey locust is good firewood, read the pros and cons list below. This will help you understand if honey locust is the type of firewood you are looking for.
Pros And Cons Of Honey Locust Firewood
Pros Of Using Honey Locust Wood For Fuel
It Burns Hot
One of the best benefits to using honey locust as firewood is the fact that it burns hot. This dense firewood packs quite a punch. It has a high BTU rating, with a solid 26.7 million BTUs per cord. This makes it a great fuel source for those looking to not only light a fire, but heat their homes with wood in the winter.
Long Slow Burn
Another benefit to honey locust wood is that it burns slowly, for a long time. This means you don’t need to constantly tend to your fire. Instead, you can be assured that this wood will burn at a controlled speed for a long time.
Makes Great Coals
One of the benefits to this slow burn is the great coals the wood creates. These coals keep your fireplace hot without you needing huge flames all the time. If you like to cook over a fire, honey locust is a great option. The high heat and lack of wild flames and sparks makes for good cooking.
Less Smokey Than Other Woods
Another great benefit of honey locust wood is that it gives off much less smoke than many other types of wood. This makes it an ideal wood for those who have open home fireplaces or are using wood in a circular fire pit. There is nothing worse than swallowing a cloud of smoke, and honey locust wood makes those scenarios unlikely.
Rot And Insect-Resistant
Honey locust wood is also great at keeping rot and insects at bay. Rotted wood is no good to burn. Additionally, you never want to bring insect infested wood into your home fireplace. Honey locust wood, because it is resistant to rot and insects, is also a great wood to store for longer periods of time.
Low Sap Content
Honey locust wood also contains low sap, which is great for several reasons. For one, it makes it less messy, which is a plus. Also, sappy wood can create sparks and smoke, which can be dangerous. Lastly, the low sap content means it leaves less residue in your fireplace and chimney. So, it could cut down on your need to clean the chimney as well.
Cons Of Using Honey Locust Wood For Fuel
Not Always Available
While honey locust is a fairly common tree, that doesn’t mean the firewood is located everywhere. In dry or far northern climates, you might not be able to find honey locust trees. In fact, in very cold regions that rely on firewood the most, there is a good chance honey locust might not exist.
Must Be Seasoned
While honey locust is great for all the reasons listed above, it is only this way after it is seasoned. Fresh or “green” honey locust wood is very smokey, and not a great fuel source. The wood takes at least a year to season properly, so you will have to wait 12 months to get the benefits this firewood has to offer.
Honey Locust Can Be Expensive
Sometimes honey locust is fairly cheap, but this is only if there is a surplus of it chopped down. But there are many uses for honey locust wood. It is a strong, decorative wood that works great as fuel. Therefore, it is not junk wood, and it is desirable. This means the price can be much higher to buy this firewood than certain other woods.
Not Suitable For Kindling
Honey locust wood is great for a hot long burn, but it is not a wood you can use for kindling. In fact, make sure you have ample kindling and are well-versed in how to build a fire before lighting a match in the fireplace.
Gives Off Few Aromatics
If you are looking for a fragrant-smelling fire, honey locust might not be for you. Other than the smell of wood burning, honey locust offers little additional aromas. If you are looking for aromas for cooking or ambience, consider burning cedar, pine or other famously aromatic woods.
Tips On How To Season Your Honey Locust Firewood
If you are planning on burning honey locust firewood, you need to properly season it first. Honey locust wood is great firewood, but you have to season it. Green honey locust wood, on the other hand, is smoky, high in moisture and not a good heat source. Follow these tips below to ensure your firewood is properly seasoned before burning it.
- Allow a l 12 months to cure the wood. Honey locust wood takes at least one year to cure, and can benefit from longer, with up to 24 months being ideal.
- Chop the wood in usable pieces before seasoning. Honey locust wood is easy to chop when it is green. It becomes much more difficult to chop once it has cured. It also takes longer to cure when it is in longer pieces.
- Allow ample airflow throughout wood stack. Stack and place the wood with some space in between. You want there to be ample airflow moving through the wood pile.
- Protect wood from harsh weather elements. Cover the wood with a tarp and store it out of moisture.
Final Thoughts On Using Honey Locust For Firewood
Honey locust wood makes for great firewood. It is a dense hardwood that burns at high temperatures, making it great for heating your home. It also burns slowly and makes great coals. The wood produces very little smoke, and has little sap, which causes less buildup in your chimney. Make sure, however, you allow at least one year for the wood to cure before burning it.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
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