Last Updated on October 7, 2020 by woodcutter
Gum trees are known as eucalyptus trees, which are incredibly fast-growing trees that are native to Australia. When grown in the correct environments, these trees produce good quality firewood. They have amazing properties, which make them a great choice for firewood.
Gum trees are hardwoods which grow in abundance and are drought resistant. They coppice quite easily, making them a great choice of an ongoing source of firewood. Whether you want to fuel your cold nights or make campfires, firewood from gum trees won’t disappoint you.
In this post, I will look at the different species of gum trees as firewood and their different properties that make them suitable for firewood.
A few things to take into consideration when you plant gum trees for firewood
Grow gum trees in the right environment
- Make sure to grow gum trees in the right environment to grow well and produce good quality firewood. Some species of gum trees do well in humid environments, while others favor dry soils. Others are frost tolerant while others are not, so make sure you know the conditions favored by the gum tree species you want to grow.
Coppice gum trees
- Before the gum tree reaches the age of five, you should coppice it to get the best experience with it. Some gum tree species coppice naturally.
Prune gum trees to prevent damage when they drop branches
- You ought to prune gum trees, especially if they are near your property. This is important because gum trees tend to drop their branches to maintain stability during a storm.
Properties of gum trees
Eucalyptus trees contain natural oils. This property enables them to produce a high burn temperature when burnt. Gum trees provide a great heat output, which means less fuel is needed to achieve a high temperature.
If you want hot fires that last long, then firewood from gum trees is a great choice. The high density of gum trees, together with its caloric value, which is pretty high, impacts how long the fire will burn and the temperature at which it will burn.
Gum trees coppice relatively easily.
The process of cutting back a tree periodically to stimulate new growth through dormant buds is called coppicing. When the tree is cut, the buds will develop into shoots that will rapidly grow into beautiful firewood in a short space of time.
Gum trees coppice quite easily, making it one of the tree species that are suitable for firewood. More so, the shoots that result from coping shelters birds and small mammals.
Eucalyptus trees grow pretty fast as compared to many other hardwood trees. They are incredible because they grow all year round, making it possible to harvest them from as early as seven years.
Because they coppice quite easily, gum trees grow into strong good quality firewood in a very short space of time. Gum trees also grow in abundance, which is a good thing as it ensures a constant and sustainable source of firewood.
Good for the environment
Gum trees have high carbon capture levels, enabling them to absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide, thereby reducing the effects of global warming.
Gum trees that are also good for firewood
There is a myriad of gum tree species that are also good for firewood. They all possess great properties that make them a great firewood choice and do well in unique environmental conditions. Below are the different types of gum trees that are also good for firewood
1. Eucalyptus globulus (blue gum)
The most common species of gum trees planted around the globe is the blue gum. Depending on the area, blue gum can be called Southern blue gum, Tasmanian blue gum, and common eucalyptus. Eucalyptus globulus trees are evergreen trees and a part of the Myrtaceae family. They are rapidly growing and require plenty of amounts of water for growth.
Eucalyptus globulus (blue gum) is known for its density, enabling it to burn for a long time. Furthermore, blue gum trees are a great firewood choice as they burn hot and produce an incredible hot bed of ashes that lasts pretty long. The other good thing about blue gum firewood is that it produces less smoke when burnt. This makes it a suitable choice for indoor fires.
Other things you may want to know about blue gum
- Since blue gum trees can be invasive, chopping them down for firewood can help control their spread. This is great for the environment.
- Blue gum firewood releases a smell that resembles mint, so it is not recommended for cooking purposes. However, if you do not mind the mint-like smell affecting your food flavor, you can use blue gum wood for cooking.
- When buying blue gum firewood, you should make sure you buy it from a reputable firewood dealer.
2. Eucalyptus botryoides (Southern Mahogany)
Eucalyptus botryoides is a large, rapid-growing species native to Australia. The eucalyptus botryoides favors well-drained soils. It is frost tolerant and produces great firewood. Eucalyptus botryoides coppices well after five years.
It has a close resemblance to Sydney blue gum. Eucalyptus botryoides is a great timber tree. Its timber is strong and dense, making it a great firewood choice. Southern mahogany firewood burns long and hot. By using firewood from Southern mahogany, you won’t go through the trouble of constantly blowing your fire to keep it lit. The species produces good quality wood that guarantees you of great fires.
3. Eucalyptus fastigata ( brown barrel gum)
Eucalyptus fastigata is known for producing large volumes of wood. It prefers cool sites and deep volcanic soils. It is a rapid grower which coppices pretty well. The timber produced by eucalyptus fastigata is gorgeous, making it a suitable choice for furniture. This species of eucalyptus is evergreen and hardy. And the firewood from brown barrel gum produces hot and lasting fires.
4. Eucalyptus nitens (shining gum)
Eucalyptus nitens is a hardwood species with a pretty excellent form. It is also known as the silver top and is fast growing. It grows tall and hard. Unlike other varieties, it is not reliable when it comes to coppicing. Eucalyptus nitens grows in wet forests and fertile soils. It is tolerant to frost and cold temperatures. Shining gum wood is dense and produces hot and lasting fires.
5. Eucalyptus bosistoana (coast grey box)
Coast grey box is highly durable hardwood and native to Australia. It favors fertile and well-drained soil. It does not do well in dry conditions and is frost intolerant. It produces dense wood and gorgeous timber.The Coast grey box is slow to dry, and because of its density, it is difficult to work. This hardwood species is used in a variety of applications, and these include heavy construction and as round timber.
6. Eucalyptus saligna (Sydney blue gum)
Sydney blue gum is a hardwood timber species that originates from Australia. It grows to a height of about 60 meters or more. Its timber is moderately durable. Sydney blue gum does well in free draining moist soil. It coppices pretty well and is a great choice for firewood. However, it is affected by pests diseases. Apart from its use as firewood, Sydney blue gum is also used in construction and flooring furniture. It is also used in joinery.
7. Eucalyptus macrorhyncha (red stringybark)
Red stringybark originates from South East Australia and is a medium-sized hardwood species. And this hardwood species prefers well-drained soils. It tolerates both drought and frost. It produces beautiful timber, making it suitable for light construction, cabinet making, and engineering. The timber also performs well when it comes to sawing, sanding, and routing.
8. Eucalyptus viminalis (manna gum)
Manna gum is a hardwood timber species that are native to Australia. It does well in dry to moist soil and tolerates drought. It coppices pretty well, making it suitable for use as firewood. When you grow these trees, you should wait for at least five years before you start getting firewood from them. Other applications of manna gum include paneling, construction, flooring, joinery, and furniture. Manna gum poses several challenges, including difficulties in drying and susceptibility to termite and lyctid borer attacks.
What makes gum trees a great choice for firewood
- Firewood is amazingly tough and dense.
- Gum tree firewood burns at high temperatures.
- When burnt, firewood emits less smoke causing less air pollution.
- Not much cinder is left when firewood is burnt, making cleaning the fireplace a cushy task, which is less time-consuming.
- Fire burns for a long time.
- Gum trees grow rapidly, in abundance and tolerate drought.
- It is a great and sustainable source of power that is environmentally friendly.
Plant your gums with wattles
Gum trees many times do great with acacia (wattles). You can try different wattle varieties like acacia elata, acacia falciformis, and Acacia melanoxylon. Wattles are a suitable choice because of their small size, which enables them to survive under gum canopy and produce good firewood.
To Sum Up
Gum trees are great for firewood. Whether you want to prepare a fire indoors to fuel those winter nights or have a campfire, gum tree firewood is an incredible choice. Its density ensures that your fire will last longer and produce a lot of heat. Furthermore, the fire produced by firewood from gum trees is nearly smokeless, resulting in less air pollution. Thus a gum tree is indeed a great choice for firewood.