Many of you must have wondered if you can burn palm tree wood in your wood stove or fireplace. You must have seen them being cut down in smaller logs in your vicinity but not have seen them being used more as firewood. We shall help you in this article find out the answer to your question – can you burn palm tree wood?
A palm tree is not even a tree though it has a tree in its name. It comes from the family of grass named ‘Arecaceae’. It is technically not a woody plant and its wood has comparatively a high water percentage and that is why comes between the category of hardwood and softwood. It appears to have a light density and fibrous composition.
You can consider them as monocots which means they grow as big grass bundles and each bundle has its own circulatory & respiratory system. Whereas a wooden tree has an outermost layer of bark, then cambium tissue, and then sapwood followed continuous deposit of wooden matter.
Woody plants produce reinforcement from the secondary xylem which is not available in a palm tree. It does not have the bark as well and the inside of a palm tree is similar to its outside.
Can you use palm tree wood as firewood?
If you live in a coastal area in the US, you can find palm trees in excess in the vicinity most of the time. Have you ever tried using them as firewood in your wood stove? Or are you aware if they are even flammable?
One can burn palm tree wood but as it has high water content, it takes time to start burning and creates a lot of smoke, and may clog up your chimney if used indoors. For seasoning also, it takes more time than other kinds of firewood. Its burn rate is towards a higher side so it burns off quickly as well.
Another reason why most people do not prefer them as firewood is because it has a fibrous structure and it damages the blades of your chainsaw pretty fast. There are no findings available if palm tree is toxic, however, if you are using it for cooking purposes, the high amount of smoke coming out of it will get mixed in the food and affect its taste.
All in all, you can use them as firewood if dried out well in the sun but it doesn’t make great firewood. It can be a great alternative to burning cardboard but not firewood.
Palm trees have compacting grass layers and that is something that makes them thicker than most other types of grass. One can consider them as more of a woody herb rather than a wood itself. But if you have a spare palm tree lying around outside of your house, there is one better use.
The palm tree has hairs on its outside. You can cut them, dry out in the sun and then use them as a fire starter. If you still wish to use your palm tree as firewood, it’s always a good idea to not burn them stand-alone rather mix it with other better burning firewood.
Is cutting down palm trees easy?
Till now you would have understood that palm trees have high water content and fibrous structure. This is one of the main reasons why cutting them down is not an easy task.
It wears off your saw or chainsaw at a must faster rate and if you continue to use them for cutting a palm tree, you would need to replace your blades of the saw or even the machine quite often.
The higher water content of the palm tree may also cause rust to your chainsaw if not cleaned properly after use. It is advised that you wipe off your blade and machine after each use so that it does not rot.
Another key thing to keep in mind is that higher water content & fibrous structure may occasionally cause the ax to bounce while you use it on the palm tree. Be mindful of this as well while you cut them down.
How can it be seasoned?
It is one of the most important aspects if you are looking to use your palm tree wood for your wood-burning requirements. You need to dry them out well before using them. The best technique is to place them in a covered shelter in a dry and warm spot.
But before spreading them, place a big piece of cloth beneath them so that the moisture can be absorbed by the cloth. It might take a few days for them to dry out as the water percentage is high but once done, they are better suited as firewood.
Can you burn palm tree wood – you may have understood by now that palm trees are not an ideal choice for firewood because of their various characteristics.
However, in absence of the availability of other options or excess availability of spare palm tree wood in your area, you may consider it as firewood if it is dried up well and mixed with other better burning firewood.
You need to be careful using it in your indoor fireplace otherwise it will clog up your chimney and create your room would be full of smoke.