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Is Honey Locust Wood Good for Firewood?

is honey locust wood good for firewood

If you have some extra honey locust wood lying about, feel free to take it on your next camping trip as firewood.

Even though this wood isn’t typically associated with firewood, it has a great BTU and burns pretty slowly. This makes it a great choice for a firewood.

You will just need to pack kindling and watch the fire closely. To find out more about using honey locust as firewood, keep reading.

About Honey Locust Wood

Honey locust is considered a beautiful tree, so long as you can get past the thorns. It is coarse and has pink wood, much like the more common red oak. This tree type is most often found within the south-eastern and middle United States, but it isn’t one of the more popular wood types in the nation.

Even though this wood type is incredibly durable, there are very few listed applications for it. It can be used for frame stock, pallets, and decorations for its strength and beauty. Even though it makes good firewood, it actually is not commonly used in this way.

The main reason why honey locust is not used very often is that it is considered difficult to work with. It’s nearly impossible to work it by hand and requires pretty heavy-duty tools. When someone is willing to put in the work with this wood, however, it always has a beautiful finish.

Interestingly, honey locust is often compared to black locust, despite the fact that they are actually of a totally different genus. In many ways, honey locust is much more similar to the Kentucky coffee tree and the water locust.

Honey Locust Wood as Firewood

Generally speaking, honey locust wood can make good firewood. Even though it is not the most popular type to throw in a campfire, you certainly won’t go wrong with it. It has a relatively good BTU rating, and it is incredibly dense.

The main downside of honey locust wood is that it does not make good kindling. If you don’t have a softer or more readily flammable item to use at the base of your campfire, you will take a lot of time getting the wood started.

Additionally, honey locust does pop and spark pretty easily. When using it in your campfire, you certainly need to keep a close eye on it and keep any flammable items far away from the fire. Hopefully, you do this regardless.

With this in mind, honey locust wood makes good firewood, as long as you have something to use at the base of your fire. Plus, be responsible and watch the fire carefully to ensure that it doesn’t grow out of control.

Burning Honey Locust Wood

Now that we’ve learned that honey locust makes pretty decent firewood, let’s look at the specific characteristics of burning this wood type.

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How Does It Burn?

Honey locust wood burns really slowly because of how dense it is. Its density means that the logs will last you a while and produce good heat. Because honey locust burns so slowly, you will need some sort of kindling to get the fire going.

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How Hot Does It Get?

Honey locust isn’t the hottest hardwood you can select, but it does have a pretty impressive heat output. It has a BTU rating of 26.7 per cord. This rating is comparable to oak and other popular firewood favorites. It isn’t as powerful as some of the others, but it certainly will give you a strong enough heat that it will keep you warm.

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. This rating simply tells you how hot the wood type can get. A BTU rating of 26.7 is relatively impressive and competes with most other hardwoods. If you are camping in a cold environment, you will appreciate a BTU of 26.7.

What Does It Smell Like When It Burns?

Unfortunately, honey locust wood does not have the most desirable smell when it is burning. It is very similar to the smell of burning black locust. In fact, many people can overlook the other downsides of this wood type other than the smell.

Downsides of Honey Locust Wood as Firewood

In addition to the unique smell, honey locust wood has some other downsides when being used as firewood as well. We’ve already mentioned these downsides once, but let’s take a closer look at them in more detail.

Sparks Easily

Honey locust can be prone to sparking. It certainly is not the most dangerous wood type when it comes to sparks, but you should be careful when using this wood. At your campsite, make sure no flammable items are around for sparks to jump to. Likewise, make sure that there is a high enough opening above the fire so as not to set the trees alight.

Because of this wood’s natural tendency to spark, you should only use it outside or in a closed fireplace. You do not want to use honey locust wood inside your home or somewhere else that it can easily catch other items on fire.

Needs Kindling

Since honey locust wood burns so slowly, it will take a while to start a fire using this wood solely. As a result, you will need kindling to get the fire started. This isn’t that big of a deal, but it is something to add to your travel bag if you want to use honey locust as firewood.

Should I Use Honey Locust as Firewood?

Because of the high heat index and dense properties of honey locust wood, this wood type really is a great idea to use as firewood. It will keep you warm and burn for a long time. These are two of the most important characteristics to think about when selecting firewood.

Of course, you need to pack an additional wood type or Firestarter so that you can get the fire going. Once the fire is ablaze, make sure to watch it carefully to prevent any forest fires or accidents from occurring.

Final Thoughts

Even though honey locust is not one of the more popular firewood types, you can certainly use this wood for your campfire.

Honey locust is very similar to oak and many other types of favorite woods when it comes down to how hot it burns.

It burns hot and for a long time which is the perfect combination when looking for a great firewood. Just watch the fire carefully and pack kindling with you to get the fire going.  

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