Check out the list. You will notice Osage is at the top. at 30 MBTU's per cord. A cord weighing 4,845 pounds. Bamboo way down at the bottom, second to last, is only 10 MBTU's per cord. But a cord is only 1,615 pounds. Doing the math you see that the MBTU's per pound is exactly the same as Osage Orange. Now, grow an Osage tree and have your grandkids get back to you on how long it took to reach firewood stage. Meanwhile you have harvested from the same square footage over the years (after the first 3-5) far more pounds of culms than you will have produced of hardwood.
If you are looking for a wood lot, grow bamboo.
Oh, and bamboo is a hell of a lot easier to split, stack, and burn than logs. It takes a fraction of the time to season, as well.
Well that's interesting about bamboo but as far as getting massive quantities here in Michigan I really doubt it. However as far as a high BTU wood and fast growing around here black locust beat all, it heavily colonizes an area through route rhizomes and takes off like lightning. I don't believe Osage oranges very fast-growing it is a little bit higher BTUs than black locust but does not self perpetuating our area as the black locust. Osage Orange fence rows were planted many decades ago through conservation District plantings. I burn as much black locust as I can.
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
posted 5 years ago
You may be correct. I have never considered myself 'man enough' to do a winter in MI, especially the UP. However, looking at the Hardiness Zone map, with the exception of the UP and North Central MI, you have a lot of zone 5 across the State. There are varieties that will go in zone 5.
When I lived in NJ we grew lots of wild cherry on the property. It grew rampant, coppiced readily, burned even when not properly dried, was easy to cut and split, burned hot, made nice coals. But each region is different so you'll need to look around your area to see what likes to grow there. Then research those varieties to see which it your requirements.
By the way, bamboo grows great here in Hawaii. I use it for all sorts of projects and use the scraps for firewood. It's good for quick, short burns. But ohia, guava, and mango are better for longer burns. I'll burn anything that I can forage or grow. I'm lucky to have access to lots of wood because of neighbors who would like to see their woods cleaned up and thinned out.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
The OP has brought up a question addressed before, though I 'm not sure of the thread since it has been a few years. It is not growth rate or heat output that is being sought, but the best compromise between the two. It's a subtle thing only discernible through careful research or long experience. In most places where wood heat or other wood-burning has been the tradition for a long time, usually there are a few species that rise to the top of the list. Ash comes first to mind.....I think there are even poems about it in Europe. Maple. Alder. Casuarina. and so on. Fast, but relatively dense and hard is the goal. Essentially you don't want oak, or more exotic things like holly or dogwood or apple....they are hot but too slow, and not fast things like poplar or willow or ailanthus or many conifers.....but rather those in the middle ground between those extremes.....