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Posts: 1362
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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Hi all; Here in the inland pacific north west the common preferred wood to burn is tamarack (buckskin,western larch) or red fir (Douglas fir) Both are readily available . This is the wood that everybody is looking for. Now that I have a RMH , my eyes have been opened to a little used wood that is also readily available and everybody just drives by it. Known by several names, rocky mountain maple , vine maple , mountain maple and i'm sure others. This is perfect size wood for a rmh , no splitting needed and it is the only true hardwood available (yes birch & tamarack are a hardwood just softer ) This wood grows in clumps and averages 2-4" in diameter , the larger ones die off and dry out on the stump leaving wonderful dry checked wood that is just waiting to be dropped into a rmh ! Also what a difference in heat output ! My fir & tamarack are cut standing dead and seasoned for at least the whole summer if not a full year . There is no comparison , This maple Rocks!!! A very hot fire that leaves almost no ash ! yes, it is hard work to harvest , but so is falling, skidding ,cutting and splitting a 100' Douglas fir ! A set of 2x4 saw bucks to hold your maple (logs) off the ground and hopefully a helper to load into the truck . I will still use fir & larch but i will cut as much maple as i can to supplement it.
 
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Good research, thank you for sharing your findings with everyone.
 
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Here in Kentucky, we have many choices for wood fuel species, and most people ignore the 'mountain maple' that you speak of; however, I burnt a great deal of it this past winter in my woodstove. A 10" rechargable chain saw works great, and it doesn't take long to season.
 
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