Honey Locust For Firewood: A Detailed Guide

About Honey Locust For Firewood, Generally, honest locust trees produce quality wood for burning and production of excellent red coals, good for outdoor and indoor use.

Furthermore, its hardwood nature contributes to its high density, which culminates in a large amount of heat. Being rot-resistant, you will commonly find it in pallets, fence posts, and tool handles. 

In today’s article, we will comprehensively discuss the advantages and disadvantages of honey locust for firewood, its comparison to a black locust tree, features like durability and efficiency, etc. 

Type of locust

The two main varieties of locust wood are honey locust firewood and black locust firewood. The two share similarities but are dissimilar in BTU, seasoning time, splitting difficulty, smoke, and smell, as summarized in the table below.

Features Black LocustHoney Locust
SmellSlight to pleasant Slightly fragrant 
Smoke Low to medium Low 
Splitting difficulty Moderate to difficult Easy 
Seasoning time 6-12 months 12-18 months 
BTU27.9M per cord26.7M per cord

Is honey locust good for firewood?

In comparison, honey locust almost matches hardwoods like beech and black locust in giving off heat, though on a low level. On top of that, it burns with a few sparks, has fragrance, produces low smoke, and much more. 

Such features make it ideal and great for firewood. 

Honey locust firewood burn qualities

They consist of the following;

  • Heat output and efficiency

A wood’s heat output determines the warmth emission in the surroundings, especially in cold climates or regions. The higher, the better, as seen with honey locust wood (26.7 million BTUs per cord). 

  • Smoke

Too much smoke results in soaring red eyes, which are unpleasant. Fortunately, well-seasoned honey locust wood burns with the minutest amount of smoke.

Contrarily, an unseasoned honey locust will waste energy by burning water rather than radiating heat, producing more smoke. 

  • Ease of splitting

Even though splitting honey locust is very easy using a maul or splitting axe, breaking it can be a hustle as it dries. 

Besides that, splitting the crotch is also difficult. Luckily, the region has several limbs joining in a single spot. Thus, you can use a hydraulic splitter or chop the part by hand.

Splitting firewood using a hydraulic splitter

(Splitting firewood using a hydraulic splitter)

  • Sparks

The wood does not spark much compared to others, like mulberry and hemlock woods. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about an ember burning your carpet or having unwanted fires.

Either way, ensure you’re keen on your firewood use while outside. 

Hemlock tree trunk

(Hemlock tree trunk)

  • Aroma

From reviews, many users find the fragrant smell of a burning locust pleasant. Additionally, you can use wood to add flavor to barbecued food or smoked meat. 

  • Coaling

With good-quality coals from firewood, you will worry less about when to add more coal to keep the fire burning.

Luckily, honey locusts produce good coals that can sustain you overnight and sometimes spill into the morning hours. 

  • Creosote build-up

The wood has a low build-up of creosote because of the minimal sap content and burning hot; hence best for indoors.

Less build-up means less deposition of tar-like creosote on the chimneys will require regular cleaning. 

Pros and cons of using honey locust as firewood

The advantages and disadvantages of honey locust firewood comprise;


  • It has less smoke compared to softwoods such as pine firewood. 
  • Secondly, it is resistant to rotting, and you can store it in a barn for a long time.
Honey locust tree

(Honey locust tree)

  • Moreover, you can use it indoors due to less creosote build-up.
  • Besides being easy to split, it also has a BTU of 26.7 million per cord.


  • If you are not cautious, its sharp, thick thorns can injure you.
Big and dangerous thorns of honey locust wood

(Big and dangerous thorns of honey locust wood) 

  • Also, it cannot function as kindling wood. 

Tips for seasoning honey locust

Below are five simple ways to speed up the seasoning of your honey locust firewood:

  • First, put the honey locust on a suitable plank block to ensure good aeration underneath the firewood.
  • Then, ensure the stacks you build have 3-5 inches between them for good airflow.
  • Further, increase the surface area of the wood’s exposure to sunshine and wind by splitting the logs.
  • Fourthly, expose one side of the wood to the wind, but place the other part under a shelter or cover it with a tarp. It’ll protect the wood from damaging elements. 
Stacks of firewood drying on a meadow covered with plastic tarps

(Stacks of firewood drying on a meadow covered with plastic tarps)

  • Finally, position the exposed wood towards the wind while stacking it away from shady spots. 

Black locust vs. honey locust 

Black locust trees differ in the following ways;

  • Black locust has an almost negligible smell, while you can slightly smell a fragrance in honey locust trees.
  • You can easily split a honey locust compared to a black locust.
  • In addition, black locust is heavier than honey locust.
  • Lastly, the burning difference in the BTU per cord of the two trees varies by 1.2 million, with the black locust burning the hottest. 
Black locust tree

(Black locust tree) 

Commonly asked questions

  • How long does it take to season honey locust firewood?

If you are in a cool area, let your honey locust adequately season for about two years. However, if you’re in a warm, dry climate, 12 months should be enough. 

  • When is the best time to cut honey locusts for firewood?

Early spring and winter offer the best time for cutting and splitting honey locust trees since there’s rapid wood seasoning. Also, the trees have less sap and water (at most 20%). 

  • Is it okay to burn honey locusts in a fireplace?

Honey locust firewood has a BTU of 26.7 million per cord, making it suitable for fireplaces. Furthermore, it has low levels of creosote, produces low smoke, and you can slightly smell its fragrance. 

  • How long does a cord of honey locust last?

Despite the duration fluctuating based on the level of dry wood, type of fire, or how long the fire burns, cords will last 8-10 weeks.

  • Is honey locust firewood expensive?

Honey locust firewood is pricier than softwoods, thanks to their high heat output and low smoke on proper seasoning. 

For one cord of firewood (measuring about 128 cubic feet), you might use approximately $300 to $600. However, the prices may vary depending on the market demand or supply. 

Wood picture

(Wood picture)


In summary, honey locust firewood is perfect for an indoor heat source or outdoor food preparation.

It has unique properties like minimal smoke, high heat energy (26.7 million BTUs per cord), and almost no traces of creosote.