I love apple and any fruit tree is probably good. I use hickory and mesquite sparingly because I find too much can make the meat a bit bitter in a long smoke. I've only used a bit of pecan, but I quite like it and, as with fruit, you can probably use most nut trees, but I have my doubts black walnut.
I think a great use for prunings is wood for the smoker. I've used maple and sugar maple, the latter being quite nice. I would be interested in tasting the difference between sugar maple cut when the sap's flowing and when it's not. My dogs always chewed the wood bits when I tapped the trees.
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-Le Livre du Colon, 1902
In TX I used mesquite & oak because that was available on site. More options here with hickory, oak, maple, sassafras, & pecan. I tend to use oak to control the heat & smaller amounts of the other woods for flavor. If I had to pick just one as best it would be mesquite.
Argue for your limitations and they are yours forever.
Post oak. I usually knock the bark off to get a cleaner burn.
I don't mind a little bit of cherry as well, but I don't put nearly as much smoke on my brisket as I used to. If I'm cooking with charcoal, I will put some cherry on the fire for the first hour or so, and then really back off the smoke. There is enough smoke from a clean burning charcoal fire to give you a nice smoke ring.
Too much smoke and it starts to taste like an ashtray.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
I have used Pecan, Oak, Black Cherry, Apple, Hickory, Mesquite, and Peach. Which one depends on what is being smoked. I really like a Pecan /Cherry mix when I do a Boston Butt for pulled pork.
St. Louis Spares are usually Oak with a little apple or cherry. I tend to go with Pecan or Hickory for poultry.
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