Maple Trees as Firewood – Is It Any Good?

When we think of maple trees, we think of pancakes and maple syrup. But there is so much more to know. Do maple trees make good firewood? They are one of the best choices to use as firewood because of their many features.

Maple trees make good firewood as they are readily available. Hard maple gives great heat, and soft maple is lower in density when compared to other firewood.

It is commonly popular because it is handled easily and is enjoyable to use. It also has a very nice fragrance, and the process of splitting is very convenient.

Types Of Maple Trees Used for Firewood

There are diverse characteristics to the many kinds of maple trees, while some do have standard features to some degree.

In different areas, wide varieties of maple trees may be used for firewood, such as Boxelders, Silver Maple, Bigleaf, Sugar Maple, Red Maple, and Norway Maple.

Every kind of maple firewood has separate properties and is known for its accommodations.

Silver Maple Firewood

The lower part of the leaves is silver in color. It is known by several other names soft maple, silver leaf maple, white, water, soft and creek. You can find silver maples in the eastern U.S., and grows rather fast in different soils.

Is Silver Maple Good Firewood

Sugar maple, birch and other hardwoods are better firewood than silver maple because the wood from silver maple is softer, weaker and lighter. 

Silver maple will burn hot but is hard to split. It gives 17.0 million BTUs per cord and produces little smoke, while it will burn fast due to its low density.

Sugar Maple Firewood

Of all the kinds of maple, sugar maple is considered the best for firewood. It is denoted as hardwood, also known as rock maple.

It has a life span of over 100 years and is typically used for producing maple syrup, not for firewood.

Is sugar Maple Good Firewood?

Sugar maple is actually great firewood to burn as it gives 24.0 million BTUs per cord. It is reasonably easy to split, has a nice fragrance and has low smoke. It is one of the better choices of firewood to burn in a woodstove or fireplace.

Red Maple Firewood

Although red maple is a good wood to burn, other hardwoods are better. It is also referred to as swamp maple and gives 18.6 million BTUs per cord.

You can typically locate it in the eastern U.S., and it can grow to heights of over 200 feet. It will grow best in partially sunny locations.

Norway Maple Firewood

Norway maples are hardwoods and will burn really well if it is seasoned correctly. It gives 24.0 million BTUs per cord and is considered to be interfering.

It is not innate to Canada and the U.S. It is known to grow very fast in certain conditions and soils. This tree is typically planted for shade.

Bigleaf Maple Firewood

Bigleaf maple is also known as Oregon maple and gives a fairly good amount of heat. It is considered a hardwood but produces a lower output of heat when compared to other hardwoods.

Usually located on the Pacific coast from California to Alaska. It gives 22.7 million BTUs per cord.

Manitoba or Box Elder Maple Firewood

Boxelder maple or Manitoba maple has a lower density than some other hardwoods. It gives 17.9 million BTUs per cord and will burn pretty fast.

This is not a great-smelling wood when burned, nor is the output of heat as good as other hardwoods, but it is easy to split.

Soft Maple vs Hard Maple Firewood

Maple trees have two kinds of wood, hard maple and soft maple.

Soft maple is a lower-density, weaker and softer wood. It will produce lower heat in comparison to hard maple, which is high in density and harder and will produce high outputs of heat and BTUs per cord.

Is Maple a Hardwood?

They are considered hardwoods. Maples have vibrant colours and are used to make different recipes, sweeteners and, of course, syrup. 

You will find them in Canada as well as the northern U.S. It can be used as firewood as long as it is thoroughly seasoned and it will be a slow burn.

The species that can be used as firewood are silver and black maple, hard, sugar and red.

Is maple hard to split?

Maple is actually easy to split. However, there are some exceptions, like vine maple. Typically, if the leaves of maple are green, they will easily split using an axe.

 If the leaves are not green, a hydraulic log splitter or chainsaw will be the better option.

It is relevant to indicate that after you split a maple, use it as firewood right away.

If it is accurately seasoned, maple will burn properly and will not give off any sparks. 

Seasoning Maple Firewood

Depending on the kind of maple being used will determine the amount of time it needs to be seasoned.

The better decision is to split the maple right away and not allow it to be the season for a long time. It may rot and not smell too good.

The maple should be dried until the content moisture is gone. Then it will burn at the ideal level. Wood that has a high content of moisture can overburn and is not suitable to use.

The best percentage of moisture content for maple trees is between five to seven percent prior to burning. Red maple may take about eight months. Silver maple may be seasoned in as little as three months or sooner. Silver maple’s best moisture content should be about 28 to 2 percent.

The extent of drying maple matters a great deal and needs to be dried correctly prior to burning it. But the key is to select the kind of maple by examining the capacity of heat.

In comparison to other woods, maple dries faster, requiring less time. Therefore, if you stack maple during the spring, after six months, it will be good to burn. This makes it very efficient due to its capacity to burn.

It provides a low-blaze fire and will burn evenly without making a mess. Hands down, maple is considered the best wood to use in your fireplace.

How does maple compare to other types of firewood?

Because of their characteristics, there are some exclusive types of maple firewood. All maple trees are good to use as firewood, depending on their capabilities to burn.

Comparatively, maple firewood has a higher value of heating, and you need a good amount of time to burn them completely. Occasionally, maple wood has a usual heating value depending on the kind and could also be easily separated. Although, there are some maples that, after burning, divide quickly due to having the worst heating value.

Procedure to Fire Maple

This procedure is pretty upfront. First, divide the maple using an axe and then burn it. Normally, silver maple may be separated easier than red or sugar maple. After cutting it:

  • Build the base of the trunks where you can place the separated pieces.
  • Put different items such as flammable materials, newspapers and shavings to fill the space so it will enable the maple to burn.
  • Put pieces of maple on the base and ignite the maple.
  • Add more logs depending on what is necessary. 

Rewards and Drawbacks of Burning Maple 

  • There are many rewards to burning maple as firewood. The pros are:
  • Maple naturally gets rid of dust. Burning it will deter all types of allergens and contaminants.
  • It provides a lovely fragrance while it burns
  • It is easily accessible in Canada and the United States

Some drawbacks to burning maple are its high sensitivity to moisture and humidity. This can cause a problem in maintaining this wood.

Is Maple Firewood Expensive?

In general, maple firewood is relatively inexpensive. Even though it is not expensive, it remains the best choice to use as firewood.

Compared to other firewoods such as cherry, oak or walnut, its cost is less. You do have to take into consideration the season and the region in which you live. It is very cost-effective to cut and season your own maple. Not only will the quality be better, but you will save money as well.

Use of Maple Firewood In Fireplace

The amazing scent is used to also smoke meat. When burned in wood stoves, they will provide a steady burn making them a perfect choice to use in a fireplace as well.

They are also abundant, so those wishing to use them in may different ways can easily access them. Not to mention how beautiful their leaves are in the fall, with so many different colors to see.

The variations in the shade of maple trees differ for each kind. However, they all have the capabilities to heat even in the coldest of winter months.

Final Thoughts

You can easily use maple firewood without any problems, and it is a great choice for burning wood on your woodstove or fireplace. Because there are many different types, you can then choose the right species to serve your purpose of obtaining maple wood.