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Everything You Should Know About Using Stringybark as Firewood

Everything You Should Know About Using Stringybark as Firewood

Stringybark is known for being fire-resistant, with its thick, fibrous bark serving as insulation from wild bushfires. This makes us wonder: Will this unique characteristic prevent Stringybark from being good firewood?

Let’s put this tough-as-boots tree to the test. Read on to learn how stringybark fares as firewood.

Is stringybark a good choice of firewood?

Is stringybark a good choice of firewood
Image: Australian Plants Society NSW

Stringybark is excellent firewood for overnight heating in the fireplace. It is a dense firewood that can burn at a steady high heat, with excellent coal production that can sustain the fire throughout the night. 

Stringybark is clean-burning firewood that produces low smoke and creosotes on your chimney. Just make sure to season it for at least 18 months to remove the high moisture in the wood.

If the heat becomes too much for you, you can cool down the fire by mixing softwoods like pine and fir or hardwoods like alder. 

Here’s a breakdown of stringybark’s physical and fire-burning characteristics.

Tree NameStringybark
Scientific NameEucalyptus obliqua
Height 150 to 250 feet (46 to 76 meters)
Life Span15 to 40 years
Type of WoodHardwood
Dry Weight 47 lbs/ft³ (750 kg/m³) 
Density900 to 1200 kg/m³
Seasoning Time18 months to 2 years
Heat Content (million BTUs per cord)34.5
Heat ProductionHigh
Sap ContentLow
Splitting DifficultyHard
Coal ProductionVery Good
Creosote Build-upLow

What are the fire-burning characteristics of stringybark firewood?

What are the fire-burning characteristics of stringybark firewood
Image: Wikipedia

Stringybark firewood is difficult to split, has low sap and moisture content, high heat output, low smoke and creosote output, and very good coal production. 

Let’s discuss each of these fire characteristics.

1. Difficult to Split

Difficult to Split
Image: Quadra Fire

Like its fellow eucalyptus trees, stringybarks are hard to split. That’s why it’s highly recommended that you split them as soon as they’ve been chopped from the tree. 

The longer you leave them unsplit; they will begin to season and become too dense and harder to cut in smaller sizes.

2. Low Sap and Moisture Content

Low Sap and Moisture Content
Image: Almanac

Stringybark trees have low sap content, but their wood has high moisture levels.

If you’re trying to split stringybark wood, expect it to be messy, primarily because of the moisture-filled wood and not from its sap content.

3. High Heat Output 

High Heat Output 
Image: Thought Co.

Stringybark produces a 34.5 BTU heat output. Now that’s a high heat capacity compared with another hardwood favorite, oak trees, which only generate 24 BTUs.

4. Low Smoke and Creosote Output

Low Smoke and Creosote Output
Image: Cutting Edge Firewood

Once the stringybark wood is fully seasoned, you won’t have to worry about smoke and creosote in your home or chimneys. As firewood, expect the stringybark to have low smoke and creosote output.

You’d like to have as little creosote output as much as possible when burning firewood. Besides being a black tar-like substance that’s hard to clean, they’re also flammable and can therefore be a safety hazard in your home. 

Fortunately, the long seasoning period of stringybark ensures that the moisture left in the wood has evaporated, which results in clean-burning firewood for home use. 

8. Very Good Coal Production

Very Good Coal Production
Image: Direct Stoves

Stringybark produces a lot of coal as it burns. Coal helps re-ignite the fire, allowing it to sustain the heat for longer. 

Pros and Cons of Using Stringybark as Firewood

Pros and Cons of Using Stringybark as Firewood
Image: Nurseries Online

As a tree, the Stringybark is excellent at protecting itself from fire. What’s impressive is that even as firewood, it can produce hot fire and sustain it for longer burn times. 

Below are the advantages and disadvantages of Stringybark as firewood.

High heat outputLong seasoning process
Clean-burning woodRare distribution
Very good coal production

Stringybark firewood has a very high heat output of 34.5 BTU, even higher than oak’s BTU. It’s also a clean burning wood with low smoke and creosote output.

Additionally, Stringybark produces a high amount of coals as it burns. This makes it easy for the firewood to sustain its high heat overnight. 

Unfortunately, this firewood takes 18 months to 2 years to season because of its high moisture level. 

Although stringybark is abundant in Australia, it’s still a rare find for the rest of the world, making it a less popular choice in the United States. 

Compared with other firewood, stringybark wood burns better than most softwoods like pine and fir which also have less sap and relatively higher heat output. 

How long should you season stringybark wood?

How long should you season stringybark wood
Image: Farm and Dairy

Since Stringybark has a high moisture content, you’ll have to wait 18 months to 2 years to season it thoroughly. 

Make sure to place them in a dry storage area with proper air circulation to speed up the seasoning process. 

Before burning your stringybark firewood, use a moisture meter to check if its moisture content is below 20%. If you burn it when its moisture content exceeds 20%, you’ll get more smoke and creosote as the Stringybark firewood burns.

FAQs on Stringybark Firewood

Is it okay to burn stringybark in a fireplace?

Stringybark is an excellent choice of wood for the fireplace because of its high heat output of 34.5 and low smoke and low creosote build-up that will keep its overnight use safe for your home.

What are the varieties of stringybark?

Stringybark has three known varieties – the Blue-leafed Stringybark, Brown Stringybark, and Thin-leaved Stringybark.

What is stringybark used for?

Stringybark is mainly used for flooring, furniture, decking and the creation of other heavy construction materials.

Can I use stringybark on a stove?

Stringybark is not advisable for stove use. Using the Stringybark firewood in a log burner or a fireplace is better to take advantage of its high heat output.

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