Elm Firewood in Nevada
by Dan Evans
(Minden, Nevada USA)
We are looking into a load of Elm firewood. What things should we be looking for with regards to seasoning and what are the heating value's and any other pro's and con's you can provide.
It is my understanding that it is already split if not I hear it is tough stuff and my wife and child should not be present when the cussing starts?
Any information would be helpful.
Elm is a pretty good firewood species. Like you mentioned, the worst part is the splitting.
Elm takes longer than most species to season.
Splitting by hand is an exercise in patience.
Pretty good heating value (American elm is 19.5 BTU's). It doesn't heat as well as the best species 25+ BTU's, but it's higher than inferior species such as aspen or white pine. It's certainly worth burning.
Although it takes awhile to season, it probably won't take as long in Nevada as it does for me up here in Maine.
To determine if the wood is seasoned there are a couple of tricks. First, the ends of the pieces will have cracks known as checks. The checks are a sign that the wood has begun drying, but not necessarily that it is ready for burning in the fireplace. Second, you can use a moisture meter like the one pictured below. If the wood is below 20% moisture, it is ready for burning.
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