Are standing dead trees good firewood? Physically, it is easy to conclude that standing dead trees are not appropriate and they are better eliminated from the forests. However, you can never discount the importance of these trees despite their unpleasant physical traits.
Standing dead trees are good to the forest. Most of the time, these trees would serve as the center of action since they offer various services to the numerous creatures in the forest community. It was noted that there can be around 60 different organisms indwell in a single standing dead tree.
However, before dead trees turn to be a house for countless species, they first go through a notable transformation. As a matter of fact, dead trees go through several changes – starting from the time they start to die until the time they crash. Each deterioration stage represents a specific value to the entire group of various animals with different needs.
Although these trees remain standing – some of these trees have been in this state for decades already. A standing dead tree slithers with invertebrates, moss, fungi, and lichens, including some bats, birds, and mammals such as martens and squirrels. While the dead trees undergo the process of decomposition, they promote the growth of new plants by restoring essential nutrients to the ecological community.
Can You Use Standing Dead Trees for Firewood?
Technically, standing dead trees are more ideal compared to the fallen logs if you are looking for firewood. It simply means that standing dead trees can make good firewood. However, before you start cutting logs, it would be good if you determine the species of the tree since one tree species could generate more heat, thus burn longer compared to other species. Moreover, some species only make minimal ash.
White oak, apple, hickory, red oak, beech, and sugar maple are great species when it comes to heat production. On the other hand, trees that do not burn well are cottonwood, white cedar, and basswood.
So, if you have standing dead trees on your property, you would rather want to keep them and use them when needed.
Do Standing Dead Trees Still Require Seasoning?
A standing tree, despite being dead for several years, is not seasoned completely. Some of its parts, like the upper portion, could be drier compared to the trunk portion. Nevertheless, you cannot expect a standing dead tree to be sufficiently dry so you can immediately start burning.
Ideally, you must season the wood you obtained from the removed dead tree by cutting the logs and mete out into pieces that are fireplace-sized so you can stack them out when it rains. Don’t worry about the length of time to season the dead tree. Since the tree is already dead for several years, it is most likely that the process of curing has already begun. Hence, the wood is likely to get dry enough in a shorter span of time.
How to Find Dead Trees for Firewood?
With regards to the question – are standing dead trees good firewood – the answer is yes.
When looking for dead trees for firewood, look for a copse of similar species that look equally seasoned and do not manifest indications of decay. The best dead trees for firewood should be seasoned well, typically within 2 to 3 years. However, these trees will begin to decay after 4 to 5 years, making them unideal for a burn.
Technically, a standing dead tree has a height of more than 20 feet and a diameter of at least 6 inches. However, dead trees could come in different sizes and shapes. Each dead tree is categorized as soft.
You should never consider using unseasoned dead trees. Considering the moisture content in wet firewood can expose you to chimney fires and excess creosote.
For the best experience, only find seasoned firewood. These are completely dried trees and are totally bared of needles and leaves. Bare standing dead trees or with fully or partially gone bark are the ideal source for firewood and they are likely to dry enough.
It is, therefore, logical to say that standing dead trees are good firewood, depending on their species. Having it on your property can give you the advantage of having good firewood.
Also, you should now know why standing dead trees are still visible in the forests. It would be easy to abolish these trees if they serve no purpose. However, because of their role in the lifecycle, they remain visible in the forest.