Thread: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

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  1. #1

    What trees to plant for firewood in WV?


    I have bought a 30 acre farm in WV near Hundred. I already have planted an orchard, but would like to plant some trees now for future firewood. I have a hillside i would like to use for this.......a place where i really cannot plant any crops. I would hope for the trees to begin to be harvested in 15 years or so. Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    North-East Indiana

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    I am by no means a tree expert, however from what I've read thats pretty much what the hybrid poplar was made for... From the Arbor Day site this is the writeup they have on that tree....

    A very fast-growing tree, up to 5 to 8 feet per year. Has silvery-green leaves and broad shade-tree shape. Usually planted for very fast shade, or can be harvested for firewood in 5 to 7 years. Plant back from sidewalks. Grows to 40' to 50', 30' spread. (zones 3-9)

    But wait for one of the tree experts to come on and answer before going on what I have to say....if theres not a motherboaard or a processor in it, I have no idea what its doing.

  3. #3

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    I planted 100 of those last years on a border of my property, but really for a windbreak. If they are good for firewood, that would be good, for they are so easy to grow............I only lost 3 in the first year.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ocala, FL

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    Poplar species are good in that they grow very quickly, but there's a trade-off: their wood is not very dense, so it also burns quickly. Dense woods like hickory, oak and sugar maple burn slowly and produce a lot of heat, but they're slower-growing and more valuable for other uses. You might plant a few different species; some that will be harvestable soonest, and others that will provide superior firewood in later years.

    A good compromise species is black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), which grows pretty quickly when young and produces heat comparable to the valuable hardwoods. Unlike most of the places it's found, black locust is native in your state. It also sprouts from the stump and roots like poplars, making regeneration easy. On a good site you'd be able to start harvesting within 15 years, easy - by 30 years they are mature and their growth slows significantly. They're not especially large or long-lived.

    If you go the poplar route, I would suggest cottonwood (Populus deltoides) rather than a hybrid poplar, for a couple reasons. First, it is a native species, so there's no worry about it escaping to cause problems for the surrounding natural areas. Second, it has the potential to grow a lot larger (volume-wise) in the long run than the hybrids, which are very prone to disease as they mature. Cottonwoods are just as easy to propagate from cuttings as the hybrids (this is not true of aspens).

  5. #5

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    I like the locust idea..........I believe it is here in WV people make fence posts out of it........that sounds like a great idea.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ocala, FL

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    I've been thinking about this a lot, because someday I'd like to heat with wood .

    Here's a link that gives firewood characteristics for different species. Apparently a drawback is that black locust is difficult to split (got a hydraulic splitter?):

  7. #7

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    Interesting link! I saw Osage Orange is easy to split and is very dense.....but i know absolutely nothing about this tree........

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    What about pine? Don't a lot of people use that?

  9. #9

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    Pine is no good for firewood...........very light and puts creosote in your chimney.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Ocala, FL

    RE: What trees to plant for firewood in WV?

    Osage orange is an interesting tree, but unlike black locust I've never seen it grown in a plantation setting. It tends to grow into a thick, thorny hedge when grown close to each other - before barbed wire was available, farmers used hedgerows of this tree (also caled "hedge apple"). They used to clearcut the hedges on about a 10-15 year cycle to use the rot-resistant wood for fenceposts, which suggests that they might be good wood producers.

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