You’re here because your wondering if cutting up and splitting poplar wood is worthwhile. I was once in your shoes, I have/had access to a lot of fallen poplar trees so I found out for my self if it’s worthwhile.
In this article, I will let you know my thoughts and opinions on poplar. If you search around the internet you will find very different opinions on it. Here’s mine.
Is Poplar Good Firewood
The short answer is no. It’s a low-density wood and it’s easy to tell when you pick it up due to its lightweight. And because of that, it will burn fast and hot.
That’s not to say it’s not useful. For me, it’s a perfect kindling wood. It doesn’t take much for it to catch on fire. Also, I burn it during the day, mixed in with hardwoods, and alone if I’m close by to the wood stove because it won’t burn long.
As for overnight pieces, No way unless you want to wake up cold! Another bad thing about poplar firewood is that it pops a lot, so it’s not ideal for inside the home.
Splitting Poplar Firewood
If the round of wood is too big for your woodstove or fireplace, you need to split right? Splitting poplar with a maul is super easy.
If you need to build confidence in swinging a maul and splitting wood in general, this is the perfect wood to do it with. In fact, you could probably swing the maul with one hand and split it!
Just like with any wood though, avoid splitting knots. Avoid them. Best time to split poplar is when it’s dry.
If you’re new to splitting wood, I wrote a helpful guide on how to do it. You can check it out here, How to split wood by hand
Poplar Firewood Seasoning
Drying your firewood is important. Green firewood won’t burn well, if at all. Plus, it’ll put you at risk for chimney fire over time.
So how long must you wait till you can burn poplar? 3 to 4 months is all it should take to dry out to be safe to burn. When it’s dry, it’s super light and burns almost like paper it seems. Like I said earlier, perfect kindling!
If you want some tips on seasoning your firewood, check out my guide on how I do it. How to dry wet firewood
Poplar Firewood BTU
Poplar’s BTU (British Thermal Unit) is somewhere between “are you serious?” and “why bother?” It doesn’t burn long enough for it to even matter.
But it burns hot and if you really want to know it’s 12.6 million BTU per cord, which isn’t very good compared to, for example, red oak, which is 24.6 million BTU per cord. Huge difference!
If you want to learn about firewood BTUs, check out my article on it. It has a chart also if you want to look up what another type of wood BTU is. BTU Of Firewood
Poplar Firewood Creosote
Creosote in your chimney happens because of the wood your burning isn’t seasoned properly. That’s for all firewoods, not just poplar.
So, just make sure it’s dry and you won’t have to worry about creosote build up in your chimney. That simple.
So it all winds down to that poplar firewood isn’t the greatest choice for burning, but for kindling, it’s perfect. I won’t buy it unless it’s next to nothing, but if you have it laying down around the homeplace, might as well cut it up and stack it up.
The day may come where your glad to have it. My best advice for what you can do with it is to burn it on days that aren’t too cold to take the chill out. But never for an overnight piece.