Is Box Elder Good Firewood? Box Elder Firewood Guide

I guess you use firewoods to warm yourself up or to produce heat. Most of us may be used to it or know about it. Generally, firewoods are one kind of wooden material that is used as fuel. 

There are different types of firewoods available. If the density and dryness exist, the firewood works well. For instance; Box Elder is one kind of firewood. 

But yet, you may want to know is Box Elder good firewood?

You know all the firewood is not that good. Some of them can burn well and long, while some others don’t burn long. Hence, the box elder firewood has the feature of burning faster. 

Is Box Elder Good Firewood? Box Elder Firewood Guide

Here Is The short Answer To Is Box Elder Good Firewood or not?

The box elder is one kind of maple firewood. It is not the best firewood of all existing firewoods. But it is usable. 

It is hard firewood. However, this type of firewood generates heat but burns very quickly. It may not be the best choice you can make. But it is possible to use it wisely. 

Types Of Box Elder 

Have you heard about varieties of this wood? You might have because there are 3 variations of it. These include: 


It is one type of box elder tree that is most popular among maples. But the characteristics match all varieties. 


This variety shows strong pink and green colors in spring. It is so attractive to look at. 


This specific type of box elder has a round-shaped leaf. It looks different from other box elder trees. 

Though these three types are different, their burning style is similar. All three types burn faster and generate heat. 

What Makes A Firewood Good? 

As we have discussed, there are various types of firewoods. Among them, some are better than others. But do you know what makes it better? 

Well, for choosing better firewood, you can count on two important factors. The first one is the density or the wood type and another one is water content or wood moisture content. 

The firewoods which are denser and hardwood or dryer, are considered as good. These can burn well and produce more heat. 

Characteristics Of Box Elder Firewood 

The box elder is one kind of fast-growing hardwood tree. This tree is also known as “Ash-leaved maple” or “Acer negundo”. 

This tree can grow around 30 to 50 feet. It has a rare leaf pattern among maples. This comes with hardwood with low density. That’s why it burns quickly. This wood is typically used for paper pulp, charcoal, crates, and furniture. 

It can warm up your house. But as it burns quickly, it can not keep the warmth longer. Rather, it needs maintenance for keep long. However, it may be the best choice for a campfire. 

6 Important Points About Box Elder Firewood 

There are some physical characteristics of this wood; for example, 

  • Weight of the wood when dry: The weight of dry box elder wood is 2630 lbs per cord. Here, the cord is the unit for measuring any dry volume of wood. 
  • Weight of the wood when green: When the wood is green or you can say before drying, its’ weight is 3590 lbs per cord. 
  • Produced heat per cord of the wood: This wood produces 17.9 to 18.2 million British Thermal Units per cord. 
  • The density of the wood: This wood has 30.2 lbs per cubic feet density when it is dry. 
  • The smell of the box elder wood and tree as well: This wood has a little unpleasant smell. 
  • Wood type: The box elder is hardwood. 

Advantages Of Box Elder Firewoods 

Though box elder is not considered as best firewood, still it has some beneficial sides. Such as:


It produces moderate heat. You might not need too much heat all the time in every aspect. So the production of moderate heat will help you. 


Another positive thing is that it is widely available. Anyone who wants this firewood can have it easily. 


Furthermore, it can be seasoned very quickly. This is a noteworthy advantage. 

Disadvantages Of Box Elder Firewoods 

Besides the advantages, this wood has disadvantages too. It is assumed that it has many more negative sides than positives.

Let’s discuss the disadvantages. 


As this wood quickly burns, you have to sit around and maintain it. So in simple words, it requires a lot of maintenance which is time-consuming. 

Unpleasant smell or odor

The box elder tree has an unpleasant smell. So, it would be difficult for you to use it if you can not tolerate the smell. 


It creates smoke. The smoke can hamper your work or create complications. That’s why you can not burn it indoors. 

Easy rotting 

Often it gets rotten easily. As the wood holds moisture if left alone after cutting, it gets rotten. 

Attack of bugs

It can be attacked by smelly bugs which are unpleasant. These bugs roam around your house, even inside the house, and can make life terrible. 

3 Things You Should Be Beware Of

There are some facts you should be aware of. That’s because these can create problems afterward. Let’s discuss 3 things about bugs to be aware of. 

Bugs and their’ egg production on the tree

Boxelder trees can have one kind of stinky bug which is known as “box elder bugs”. These bugs produce eggs on the tree and eat the new leaves of the tree. 

The horrible smell of the bugs

The bugs can roam around your house and inside your house. It creates such a disturbing situation. If you smash the bugs, it’ll scatter a horrible smell all around. 

Reproduction of bugs in spring 

Beware of these in spring as the bugs reproduce in spring. Cut the prunes before the bugs attack your wood. When it has already attacked your wood and invaded your house, try to get rid of it with insect killers. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Box Elder Firewoods

There are some questions that most of us ask frequently about this wood. Let’s check out the short answers to these FAQs. 

Is box elder hardwood or softwood? 

It is simply hardwood. This type of tree has 720 lbs hardness. 

Should you cut down your box elder tree? 

You need not cut it down fully. Rather, in the dormant period, you should cut the excessive brunches so that they can be free from bugs. 

What is the best way of using this wood? 

You can use this wood to start a fire. The reason for this is that it quickly holds fire. 

How long the box elder takes to be seasoned? 

Though this wood holds moisture, it can be dried up easily. It takes 8 to 12 months to be seasoned or dried out. 

How to get rid of box elder bugs? 

You can get rid of the bugs by using insect killers. After killing them, you should remove them from your house. 

Where to burn box elders: indoors or outdoors? 

You should burn it outdoors. It produces smoke when burned. So if you burn it indoors, it’ll create smoke all over. 

Where to store this wood? 

You should store the wood in a dry place. 

How long this firewood can be stored? 

You can store the wood for one year after cutting. Within a year, you must use it because it gets too much dry when left alone or gets rotten sometimes. 

Is it easy to split box elder firewoods? 

No, actually it’s difficult to split when the wood is dry. You can split it when it’s a bit damp. 

How to reduce the bad smell from box elder firewoods? 

You can not really eliminate the stinky smell of the wood. But seasoning properly can reduce the smell a bit. 

Does box elder produce coal? 

This wood can produce a little amount of coal but the quality is not good. It creates ash more than coal. That’s why it can not burn longer like other woods. 

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Final words

The box elder firewoods are available but people are not really fond of this. It is usable still the fact of maintenance and infestation of bugs be the most negative issues for it. 

So, is box elder good firewood? Well, it burns well but quickly. So you can use it where appropriate. Making the best use might be effective in this case.

If you have limited options and have to choose these firewoods, choose them wisely and use them safely.

It’ll be the recommendation to burn it outside as it produces smoke. Moreover, be aware of the bugs and keep your house and surroundings safe and sound.

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