Does Cottonwoon (Poplar) Make Good Firewood

Summary – What makes Cottonwood Good for Firewood

Cottonwood is not a great choice for firewood.
Cottonwood is good for generating heat easily but will burn through very quickly. It is not a good wood to load up on for an overnight burn.
Cottonwood can put out an unpleasant smell, particularly if burnt before properly seasoned.
Cottonwood has a low MBTU output, make it a poor choice for high heat, and long burn times.


Common Name: Cottonwood

Scientific Name: Populus trichocarpa.

Identification: Cottonwood is part of the Poplar species or tree. Cottonwood are tall trees up to 100 foot high, with distinctive triangular shapes leaves, bordering on heart shaped.

Cottonwood Tree
Cottonwood Leaf

Location: Central to Eastern USA, through Hardiness zone 2 to 9.

Hard / Soft: Hard.

US Hardiness Zones

Average Dry Weight / Cord: 2040 lbs (Lowest 25%).
Average Green Weight / Cord: 4640 lbs.
Comparative Seasoning / Drying Time: less than 6 months

Average MBTU / Pound: 13.
MBTU / Pound Percentile: Bottom 25%.
This is a comparison measure of MBTU compared to common fire wood varieties as per this best firewood to burn chart.

Cut-ability: Moderate.
Split-ability: Easy (once dry).

Smoke: Low smoke.
Sparks: Moderate sparks.
Scent: Unpleasant (more so when green).


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