Is Black Locust Good Firewood? Yes, but…

  • Black locust is an excellent firewood, often preferred over other popular varieties like oak or ash
  • This is because it deliversa lot of slow-burning heat in the fire place, stove or firepit
  • It’s also easily split, so it’s not a hassle to chop up, though if you’re dealing with the whole tree, it does have sharp spines close by the leaves, so you should wear some gloves when you deal with the unharvested wood
  • Another advantage is that it produces a bed of long lasting coals, so it’s preferred for overnight burns
  • It does need to be seasoned for about a year before use- which will also help prevent creosote buildup
  • Black locust firewood generates 27.9 million BTU’s per cord

Black locust is a type of wood that has become increasingly popular in the United States for use as firewood due to its many desirable properties. With a high heat output and easy to chop, black locust is an excellent choice for anyone looking to use wood to fuel their fires.

The black locust is native to the eastern United States and grows in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, streams, and rivers.

So what are the defining features of black locust firewood?



As mentioned earlier, Black Locust is native to the eastern United States. It’s found in the north as far as Maine and in the south as far as Georgia and Alabama.

The tree can be pretty large, with some specimens reaching over 100 feet (30 meters) high. The wood of the black locust is hard and dense, making it ideal for use as firewood.

There are two predominant Black Locust species in the US; honey locust and black locust. Both species share similar properties, but the honey locust is softer and easier to chop. On the other side, black locust species burns slightly hotter than honey locust.

Black locust does well in nutrient-poor and acidic soils, making it a good choice for use in firewood. It also grows relatively quickly, allowing you to harvest wood from the same tree year after year. On the flip side, it’s hard to control the tree’s clonal spread and rapid growth, even with herbicides.

The leaves and the spines of the tree form a distinctive pattern, with each pair of thorns growing adjacent to one leaf on the branch.


Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) is a type of hardwood tree that is native to North America. The tree can grow up to 100 feet tall and has dark bark and leaves. The wood is dense and strong, making it resistant to rot and decay. Because of this, black locust is often used for building materials, such as railroad ties and fence posts.

Black locust forms dense hardwood with a tight grain despite the fast growth. The wood is durable, lasting over 80 years when used as fencing posts. Considering treated lumber lasts around 40 years, this is a significant difference. The high tannin content in the wood also makes it naturally resistant to rot and decay and pests such as termites.

Because of these features, black locust is often used in various applications, including construction, furniture, and firewood.

Cutting and chopping

Cutting and chopping black locust for firewood is challenging because it is a hardwood. Black locust grows quite tall, so you may need a ladder to reach the branches if you don’t want to cut the entire tree down. The tree has thorns that can be sharp, so have gloves on when handling the wood.

Assuming you have the proper tools and safety gear, cutting and chopping black locust is relatively straightforward. You will first fall the tree. You can do this with a chainsaw or axes, depending on the size of the tree and your preferred method. Once you have felled the tree, it’s time to chop it into usable firewood. You can chop with an axe or a log splitter, depending on your preference.

Although some claims indicate you can burn the tree as soon as you fell it, you can allow the wood to season for one year for the best results.

Overall, black is an excellent choice for firewood due to its high heat output. However, chopping the tree and handling the wood can be tricky due to its thorns and dense nature.

Qualities & Benefits

One of the significant benefits of using black locust for firewood is its high heat output. It often ranks among the top ten firewood choices for heating efficiency, with 27.9 million BTUs per cord rate. This makes it an excellent choice for those looking to warm their homes during the colder months.

The wood burns hot and fast, producing a steady flame that radiates plenty of heat. Additionally, the dense nature of the wood means that it burns for a long time, providing you with extended warmth.

Another advantage of black locust firewood is that it doesn’t produce a lot of smoke. This is due to the low sap content in the wood, which means there is less chance of creosote buildup in your chimney.

Best way to use

If you’re looking to get the most out of your black locust firewood, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, it’s essential to season the wood properly. This means allowing it to dry for at least 6-12 months to burn more efficiently.

Additionally, you should always use the right fuel for your fireplace or woodstove. Black locust produces a lot of heat, so it’s best suited for larger stoves or fireplaces. For smaller stoves, it may be better to mix black locust with other types of wood to ensure a more even burn.

Summing Up

So, is black locust good firewood? The answer is yes – if you know how to handle and chop the wood properly. Let’s explore the benefits and challenges of using black locust for firewood in more detail.

There has been some debate about whether or not black locust is a good choice for firewood. This is mainly due to its density and the fact that it can be difficult to handle and chop.

However, black locust is an excellent choice for firewood if you know how to properly season and use it. The wood burns hot and produces a steady flame, making it ideal for heating your home during the colder months. Additionally, the low sap content in black locust means that it creates very little smoke – which can be beneficial for those with sensitive respiratory systems.

Eugene Duke Pic

Hi, my name’s Eugene Duke and I love sitting by my fireplace reading a book and sipping on an adult beverage. Do you have a fireplace in your house? I’ll help you figure out the best type and style of fireplace for your home.


Is Ash Good for Firewood? Hmm…

Yes, ash is good for firewood. in fact, ash...

What’s The Best Type Of Firewood For Fireplaces & Stoves

Hardwoods are generally the best: they burn longer...

Is Alder Good Firewood? It can be…

Alder is a decent firewood- on the plus...

Is Sweetgum Good Firewood? Nah, but…

Sweetgum isn't a popular firewood, primarily because it...

Is Madrone Good Firewood? Oh, yeah!

Madone is an excellent firewood that burns really...