Catalpa firewood in a woodburner

by Fred Turk
(New Castle Pa. U.S.A.)

A good friend felled a large catalpa tree with long seed pods he claims is a catalpa tree and he wants me to have the firewood. I know nothing about this wood and how it will perform in my woodburner. Can you give me as much information as you can about this wood so I can feel comfortable about burning it. Thank you in advance for your input.


Answer

Fred,

Catalpa is not the most desirable of firewood species. It's not a very dense wood, therefore it doesn't have a good heating value. I would compare it to aspen in terms of it's heat output. It burns quickly, so it's best used for outdoor campfires or spring or fall fires indoors.

Although it's not a great species to burn, it still works as long as it is properly seasoned. One other thing to note is that it tends to have an unpleasant smell until it is dried out.

Hope this helps!

-Firewood Matt

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