Is Elm Good Firewood? Kind of…

  • Elm provides solid heat but is difficult to split because it’s stringy- use a log splitter for it
  • Dutch elm disease has been wreaking havoc on the trees for many years and is the main reason why it’s not rare to find dead standing elm trees
  • If you find standing dead elm trees, because they’re so dried out, they make great firewood- but you shouldn’t try to burn wet elm firewood
  • It’s recommended to season the wood for 1-2 years

So is it good firewood?

The elm tree is popularly found in America. It produces quality coal and decent fire, but its heat output is never high.

This means you should not be worried about using this tree as your heat source. It features fibers that cling to one another, making it stand its value for fiber adhesion.

These fibers also make it to be used widely in the craft. Similarly, fibers make it difficult for you to split the elm tree. Therefore, read on to find out if Elm is suitable for firewood.

Elm is averagely suitable for firewood because it has a minimal heat output. It is smokey and hard to split. It is average firewood, and you cannot compare it to other firewood species, like Oak and Hickory.

Elm firewood BTU (British Thermal Unit)

There are multiple varieties of Elm. However, they slightly differ in their heat output, which significantly affects their BTU rating. Siberian Elm generates 20.9 million BTUs.

On the other hand, the American Elm BTUs drop to 20 million, while Red Elm produces 21. 6 BTUs. BTU usually refers to the capacity of heat units generated when a full cord of firewood is burnt. The cord size is 128 cubic feet.

Where you can find Elm trees?

Elm tree grows naturally in floodplains, swampy grounds, stream banks, hillsides, well-drained soils, and uplands. Remember, you can find it along rivers on elevated terrains, like the Appalachian Mountains.

Elm tree properties

You must understand that the elm tree is hardwood. It is tough, relatively elastic, and firm. It shrinks a little, and it becomes more stable when it dries. It also has minimal natural durability. On the other hand, its leaves are oval and feature pointed ends and serrated edges.

Elm firewood burn qualities

Elm features a few burn qualities, which include:

Creosote build-up

If you utilize a wood stove or feature a fireplace at your home, you must consider maintaining your chimney to avoid creosote.

Creosote is a product resulting from burning wood. It is black tar, which builds up in the walls of your chimney.

A small quantity of creosote is not an issue, but a large amount lowers your chimney’s ventilation when it builds up. And risks your chimney catching fire because it is maximally flammable.

Therefore, ensure you clean your chimney regularly and maintain your stove appropriately. Use seasoned firewood to avoid creosote production from wet wood.


When you burn firewood, it is likely to generate coals, but the quality of coal generated determines how long your fire will continue burning.

Firewood with an extraordinary BTU usually has excellent cooling properties. Elm is best known for great coaling. However, Elm is never dense as Black locust and Hickory, but it generates incredible coals which outperform firewood such as Aspen, Birch, and Pine.

Quantity of smoke

Elm does not produce a significant smoke, but the smoke it produces exceeds that of multiple top firewoods, such as Oak and Ash. If the wood produces excess smoke, it is not completely dried. Therefore, ensure you season your elm firewood before burning to prevent high smoke production.

Heat output

You must understand that Elm does not produce a high heat output. And heat output is a crucial characteristic of every firewood, and it determines how long your fire will burn.

How easy is it to chop up firewood?

Chopping elm firewood is not as easy as you would have thought. You are going to find it rough splitting firewood using your hand. When chopping elm firewood, ensure you commence with the edges and use a very sharp tool, like an ax or wedges, and exercise patience.

If you want to make the entire process easier, use a wood splitter, but it is costlier.


Elm trees are large, hardy trees that are found throughout many regions of the world. They are prized for their beautiful, broad leaves and long branches, which make them ideal shade trees in yards and parks.

In addition to their aesthetic value, elm trees also have a number of practical uses. They can be used for timber, fuel, and even as food for livestock.

Despite their many benefits, elm trees are vulnerable to a number of threats, including disease, pests, and environmental factors such as pollution and climate change.

As much as Elm may not emerge as the best firewood, it comes along with remarkable qualities. Elm generates a generous amount of heat and creates excellent coals and a few sparks. If you season well, elmwood, you will kill its smell. Most people love burning this firewood during the cold season. Bear in mind that splitting Elmwood is a hassle and needs a lot of effort and patience.

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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.


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