When choosing the best heat-output firewood, eucalyptus firewood tops the list. Read on to learn more about the upsides and downsides of eucalyptus as firewood. We’ll also cover how it compares to other renowned firewood trees such as Black Locust, Green Ash, Maple, and Oak.
What is Eucalyptus Firewood?
A Koala Bear Sleeping on a Eucalyptus Tree.
The eucalyptus tree is a hardwood growing predominantly in Australia. Some refer to the Eucalyptus as a gum tree; at full maturity, it is pretty tall. A Eucalyptus tree can grow at the rate of 8 ft per year. Furthermore, its wood is challenging to split when green and is known to spark and pop.
Eucalyptus firewood is excellent with these general properties:
- First, it gives high-quality coals
- Moreover, It has a remarkably wonderful smell when burning, although some describe it as foul-smelling.
- Thirdly, it has a high heat output and is arguably the best firewood.
- Also, its wood and leaves are rich in a fragrant oil that is a handful for use as an insect repellent.
What are the Burn Qualities of Eucalyptus Firewood?
Below is a detailed breakdown of the various burn qualities of Eucalyptus firewood.
Eucalyptus has one of the highest BTU values.
Eucalyptus has a BTU of 34.5 million per cord, making it arguably the hottest firewood. Also, compared to other firewood, it produces a high heat output with its high oil content enhancing the heat output. Therefore, mixing it with low-heat output firewood is imperative in modifying its burn rate and extending its burn time.
Moreover, eucalyptus firewood produces high-quality coals, which are great for cooking and keeping warm all night. Lastly, it burns excellently, leaving behind very little ash.
Eucalyptus is a low-smoke firewood tree.
Eucalyptus firewood produces minimal smoke when you season it properly. However, like most other firewood, Eucalyptus will yield a lot of smoke when you burn it before drying.
Also note that even past the seasoning phase, there are still pockets of oil stuck in the wood that may cause Eucalyptus firewood to spark. Therefore, you should be careful while burning eucalyptus since the sparks are a fire hazard.
Splitting Eucalyptus will hasten its seasoning.
Drying eucalyptus wood can be an uphill task since it takes a lot of time (18-24 months) for complete seasoning (drying of the wood).
Hence, it would be best if you dried it for quite a long time before it’s ready for use as firewood. Also, you must follow standard seasoning practices to get through this phase in the least amount of time.
Also, note that, primarily, several factors will determine the seasoning time. These factors include the following:
- The prevailing climatic conditions,
- How you stack your wood,
- Where you live.
In dry climates, any wood will season at a fast rate. But if you’re in a hurry to use the firewood, you can kiln-dry it to fasten the drying process. However, this will be expensive in the long run.
Naturally, Eucalyptus Leaves have a sweet smell.
Eucalyptus wood and leaves contain high oil content, which produces a pleasant, medicinal burning smell that is enjoyable to most people. However, some find the medicinal-like smell quite irritating. Hence, regarding burning odor, we can rate it between pleasant and irritant smelling.
Eucalyptus yields limited creosote.
Most low-quality firewood will yield creosote. However, Eucalyptus is among the popular firewood with low sap content; hence it is a quality firewood tree.
Besides, certain eucalyptus tree varieties have no sap at all. Therefore, if you’ve seasoned your Eucalyptus firewood properly, its firewood is clean and poses no risk to your chimney.
Eucalyptus firewood is challenging to split when dry.
It can be daunting to split eucalyptus firewood due to its thread structure. Also, breaking it without using a powered chainsaw after drying is almost impossible. Primarily, this is because as the wood dries, its grains twist around.
Therefore, it’s advisable to split Eucalyptus firewood before seasoning.
What are the Different types of Eucalyptus?
The various types of Eucalyptus are as follows:
Southern Blue Gum,
The Southern Blue Gum leaves.
The Southern Blue Gum is the eucalyptus tree predominant in California. The variety has the following fundamental properties:
- It is drought-tolerant, hence its suitability for the California climate.
- Also, it is fast-growing.
- Thirdly, it can thrive in nutrient-poor soils.
- Besides, southern blue gum is among the tallest tree species and can reach up to 300 feet.
The cider gum tree tops the list when it comes to the most cold-hardy eucalyptus trees. But it’s also drought-resistant. The type is indigenous to higher altitudes in Australia though you’ll also find plenty of the trees in the British Isles.
Seeds of blue-leaved mallee.
The Blue-leafed mallee trees are common in Australia. Predominantly it’s essential in the oil industry because 90% of the tree is eucalyptol. They do well in drylands and landscapes prone to burning thanks to the large tubers on their roots.
Two Quick Ways to Identify Eucalyptus:
We can recognize eucalyptus trees in two main ways:
By The Leaves
Eucalyptus Leaves and Flowers.
Due to their high oil content, most eucalyptus trees have long leaves with shiny green surfaces. Besides, the leaves are spiral on the branch and tend to have a pleasant smell.
By The Bark Color
A multi-colored Eucalyptus tree bark.
Eucalyptus trees have the following color variations.
- Some Eucalyptus trees are renowned for having tough fibrous and grey-colored bark (some feature deep furrows).
- Others have a hard and multicolored bark.
All Eucalyptus trees have a smooth bark that often peels and self-replaces with fresh bark.
How Does Eucalyptus compare to other woods?
The table below will help you learn more about how eucalyptus compares to other woods.
In a nutshell, Eucalyptus is one the most efficient firewood tree you’ll come across. It has a remarkably high BTU, yields limited smoke, and leaves no creosote on your chimneys. Thanks for your time, and contact us for any questions on Eucalyptus firewood.