Does Elm Make Good Firewood

Summary – What makes Elm Good for Firewood

Elm is a poor choice of firewood.
Elm wood is a compact structure that will burn for a long time, but due to its grain structure is difficult to split.
Elm does not have a high MBTU output, and will create some smoke.
Elm can often smell unpleasant when being burned.


Common Name: Elm.

Scientific Name: Elm, American (Ulmus americana); Elm, Red (Ulmus rubra); Elm, Siberian (Ulmus pumila); Elm, White or Russian (Ulmus laevis).

Identification: Tall trees up to 80 foot high, with a large leaf canopy, and gray bark with deep furrows. Leaves are are pointed oval with serrated edges.

Elm Tree
Elm Tree
Elm Leaf
Elm Leaf

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

Hard / Soft: Hard.

US Hardiness Zones

Average Dry Weight / Cord: 2890 lbs. to 3128 lbs. (Lightest 25% to Mid Lightest 25%).
Average Green Weight / Cord: 3800 to 4456 lbs.
Comparative Seasoning / Drying Time: up to 12 months

Average MBTU / Pound: 18 to 20.
MBTU / Pound Percentile: Mid – 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: Hard.

Smoke: Moderate smoke.
Sparks: Low sparks.
Scent: Unpleasant.


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