When winter knocks on your door, homeowners start finding their wood-burning stoves. In this case, woods are the commonly used burning material that keeps our room warm and comfortable. You might be thinking to use sycamore wood for your fireplace. Is sycamore good firewood?
Sycamore firewood is a good option because it burns hot and produces less smoke than others. Plus, it has a low density and is much easier to ignite when dry. Sycamore firewood burning can create a lot of heat that keeps your place warm and comfortable for a long time. However, a few users complain that an unpleasant odor occurs from burning Sycamore firewood.
There are still other factors to check whether sycamore is really good firewood for home. Also, does it cut down costs more than other options? We have explained every possible information related to the sycamore in this article.
Is Sycamore Good for Firewood?
Sycamore can be a good choice for firewood because of its high density, but it produces less heat than oak, and its coarser fibers can be challenging to split. It has a high initial humidity which slows seasoning with a wait of up to two years, depending on your location.
Here we have Listed some critical specifications and my insights into the performance of sycamore firewood and whether it should be added to your winter stockpile.
- BTU: 20 million BTU/cord
- Weight: 5000 lb/cord green
- Seasoning Time: 12-24 months
- Splitting Difficulty: Difficult
- Sap Content: Low
- Smoke: Moderate
- Smell: Neutral
Overall, We can consider that sycamore is good firewood. It has a moderate heat production, slightly lower than the best firewood alternatives. It is dense, and you can stack a lot of wood with one cord volume storage.
However, Due to its popular location near rivers, it has high humidity when green, so it can take a long time to season. It has a low sap content so that it won’t pop or crack, and you don’t have to worry about creosote.
Moreover, it has some disadvantages. It is one of the more difficult woods to split, especially when green, as its stringy fibers make it difficult to separate the log. It can also produce moderate smoke, especially if you’re tempted to burn it before it’s scorched.
Also Check: Is Hackberry Good Choice as Firewood for Home?
Does Sycamore Firewood Create Quality Coals?
When you burn wood, it creates charcoal, a hot lump of burning solid fuel. The formation of these embers is called coaling. Firewood that burns for a long time has excellent cooling properties. Sycamore does not burn for long but has effective BTUs. As a result, its coals are pretty good, although they are inferior to those produced from firewood with low BTUs, such as cherry.
One way to determine whether firewood is good or not is the quality of its coal. Firewood that produces a lot of heat usually makes good coal. In the case of Sycamore, the coals are in the middle. They aren’t terrible, but there are better options available.
Does Sycamore Firewood Have a Good BTU Rating?
BTU is a unit of heat commonly used in engineering. BTU output, in this case, refers to the amount of heat a Sycamore will produce when burned. Generally, some plant species have higher heat values than others. Still, the best firewood has a BTU output of 20 units and above. This makes it relatively better than the sycamore tree.
Sycamore firewood has a heat output of 19.6 BTUs per cord, ranking among the best heating firewoods. It emits the same amount of heat as elm and walnut trees. Plus, it has quick burning capabilities. A cord is going to weigh less than 3,000 pounds. Sycamore is not the most favorable burning wood, when compared to others. Check the following table for better idea.
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Other Fire Characteristics of Sycamore Wood
To judge whether Sycamore is a good firewood, we will look at some of its burning qualities in more detail.
Low Heat Output
Due to short burning period, it provides only a tiny amount of heat. It will generate some heat for a short time but not enough to keep your home warm for a long. In this case, Sycamore is not the best choice like other firewoods with good heating.
Some types of wood are known for their pleasant aroma. Cherry wood and maple wood are two examples of woods that smell nice. Associated with flavour and aroma, aromatic wood is often used for smoking meat.
Sycamore doesn’t smell terrible when it burns, but there are better-smelling firewood. There aren’t many people who claim that Sycamore is their favourite scented wood.
Some types of firewood pop or spark badly, which may not seem like a problem at first, but it can be a bigger problem. Different types of firewood, such as mulberry, can burn a lot, which is a huge problem. Wood that sparks profusely can pose a significant fire hazard, causing problems in both open-air (a.c. outdoor) and enclosed fireplaces. This can be a problem in outdoor spaces and enclosed ones.
If you want to avoid a big fire, you should try to find firewood that doesn’t cause too many problems. Fortunately, sycamores don’t usually spark much. Sycamore produces only a few sparks, so it is unlikely to pose a fire hazard.
However, all fires are potential hazards, so you should always exercise caution and closely monitor any fire. However, monitoring any kind of open fire is still a good idea.
Sycamore burns quickly, but it doesn’t give off much smoke. Regarding firewood, Sycamore produces more smoke than good woods, such as oak or ash, but less than pine and hard maple.
Remember that a lot of smoke can indicate that your firewood is not completely dry. Always make sure your wound is fully seasoned before burning.
One of your most important considerations when using an indoor fireplace is to avoid creating creosote level.
Creosote is formed when the wood burns. It is a toxic black tar that accumulates inside chimneys and flues. Crust formation can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
You can avoid creosote build-up by regularly cleaning your chimney, but you may choose certain types of wood over others. Firewood with a lot of sap will produce more creosote than less sappy wood. You’ll notice that Sycamore doesn’t accumulate much creosote. Most hardwoods have low sap, so they won’t produce as much creosote as higher sap woods like pine.
Sycamore is unlikely to produce enough toxins to harm your home.
Can I Burn Sycamore Firewood in Fireplaces?
Yes, Sycamore is a good option for heating your house in winter. It produces a moderate amount of smoke if it is not fully dried, so make sure you give it enough time to season it properly. In addition to it, the smell isn’t overpowering and you won’t be able to get past your campsite. You may need to add more logs than high heat-producing firewood.
Is Sycamore Good Firewood When Green?
Green Sycamore firewood contains high moisture content since it is found near rivers. Due to this, it makes sycamore hard to burn. Also, if it is burned green, it will produce a lot of smoke but it is non-toxic.
Moreover, Green Sycamore contains stringy fibers. So, it might smell bad with a lot amount of smoke while burning green. That’s why it is always preferred to season the firewood before using it.
How to Season Sycamore for Firewood?
Split the firewood
Firewood dryer is faster if it is chopped instead of sitting in log form. When wood is split, more surface area is exposed to air and sunlight, which are the primary contributors to dry wood.
Elevate the firewood
You might do a double take here, as many people don’t do this step because of the extra effort involved. And I’ll admit, it’s optional, but if you stack your firewood on some pallets or vertical planks. This will increase the airflow under the firewood stack and speed up your drying time.
Stack the firewood
To optimise your drying time, you should stack your firewood neatly in an area that maximizes the amount of sunlight and airflow. For example, keep the wood away from the building (out of the shade), and point the stack’s face (not the edge) in the direction you get the most wind.
Leave space between rows
If you are building multiple stacks of firewood, each stack should be separated by at least a few inches for airflow.
If your woodpile is outside you can place a cover or tarp over the pile to drain any rain/snow. Just make sure it doesn’t completely block airflow from the sides of the stack. Otherwise, it will trap moisture and will take longer to cook.
Is Sycamore Wood Easy to Split?
Splitting the wood of a sycamore tree can be difficult. Splitting freshly fallen sycamore by hand is challenging due to stringy fibers and high moisture content. It is recommended to hire a hydraulic splitter for this purpose as you prepare to stack wet, green logs for seasoning.
Check the size of the pieces before you buy them to see if they are the right size, so you don’t have to worry about cutting them later. By comparison, sycamore is more demanding to split than other hardwoods such as oak, maple, and ash.
Now you know all the virtues of the sycamore wood. Some of its features make it an excellent firewood species for indoor burning. Sycamore may not be a good choice for heating your home. But if mixed with top-grade firewood like ash and oak, it will give better results. So, before choosing sycamore firewood, evaluate the above factors to determine whether it will meet your needs.