Ash Firewood is the Best!!!
Ash firewood is a wood burners dream. It's easy to process, burns hot and well....I guess I just like it!
Ash is a useful wood that is utilized to produce baseball bats. It is stong and straight grained which makes for a good firewood species.
Ash is an easy tree to identify because it has thick opposite branches. Not many trees share this feature, so it is usually a dead give away that you are dealing with ash.
Ash trees are large decidous trees with an oval shape which become more rounded in old age. They will sometimes grow to heights over 70' tall.
The leaves are compound, meaning that there are several leaflets on each leaf. You really shouldn't need to worry about bud ID, because ash trees are pretty easy to identify from other features.
The bark is deeply furrowed and forms diamond shapes on the trunk. It is actually pretty easy to identify once you have seen a few.
Processing Ease & Heating Value
Ash is the easiest wood you will ever run into while splitting. As quick as you can whack it with an axe, it'll fall apart. I'll always trade my splitting maul for a thinner axe when splitting ash.
Its heating value is about average and it lights very easily. As an added bonus, ash usually dries out quicker than other species of wood.
The emerald ash borer is a new exotic invasive pest that is decimating the ash population in some regions of the mid-western United States.
This pest has been accidentally brought over from Asia and attacks ash trees. The borer lays its larvae in the bark of ash trees and they feed on the cambium of the tree. This completely kills the tree by disrupting its ability to transfer water and nutrients.
If you have ash firewood, check for signs of the emerald ash borer. You can tell by looking for signs of tunneling underneath the bark. Also, look for D-shaped exit holes in the bark.
Overall Firewood Value
I strongly recommend using ash firewood, simply because it is so easy to split. Its heating value isn't up there with hickory or hornbeam, but it is still pretty respectable.
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