Is Cottonwood Good Firewood? Here’s 2023 Detailed Answer

Cottonwood is a popular choice of firewood for many people. But is cottonwood good firewood? A deciduous tree called cottonwood can reach a height of 40 meters and survive for more than 500 years.

You can find out more about the cottonwood tree and the answer to your question, “Is cottonwood good firewood?” in this WarmthPedia article. While camping and having a bonfire, it’s a common question that most people and students need an answer to.

What is Cottonwood?

What is Cottonwood?

One of the biggest trees that may be found from Southern Canada to the eastern United States is cottonwood, a water-loving deciduous.

The cottonwood tree, also known as the poplar, got its name because the shape of its seeds is quite similar to that of cotton.

When the seeds become airborne and there is wind, it seems to be snowing.

Usually, cottonwood trees grow in regions with both intense sunlight and heavy rainfall. It’s also a softwood with high ash, that generates fewer BTUs than other, more popular types of firewood.

Its leaves are typically 304 inches long, or 11 cm, and have highly distinctive curving teeth that run along the outside border.

What Is Cottonwood Used For?

Due to their hardness, cottonwood trees are often grown alongside wet riverbanks as timber-producing trees.

They grow quickly and can be harvested for their wood in as little as 10 years after planting. Unfortunately, cottonwood isn’t the most desirable wood due to its normally coarse texture.

They can also be grown as shelter or screening trees due to their quick growth.

The most popular commercial kinds are hybrid cottonwoods that have been crossed with Caroline’s poplars.

Is Cottonwood A Hardwood or Softwood?

Cottonwood is a type of hardwood; however, it isn’t as dense as maple or oak.

This is where it and basswood are more comparable. It’s often used for carving due to its softness and ease of use.

It lies somewhere between softwood and hardwood.

But just because it’s a hardwood doesn’t mean it produces the same number of BTUs as other hardwoods. Contrary to popular belief, cottonwood emits fewer BTUs than some softwoods.

Is Cottonwood Good Firewood?

Wondering “Is cottonwood good firewood?” Cottonwood is a good, if not the best, option for firewood despite having a lower BTU than normal.

It has a BTU rating between 15.8 and 16.8. In most places, it’s affordable and widely accessible. To avoid bad smells and suffocating smog, it’s important to choose seasoned wood.

Moderately good firewood with easy splitting and a low spark rate is cottonwood. It works well as kindling or in the shoulder seasons because of its low heat production.

– Oak and hickory produce less heat.

– It’s simple to split by hand using a maul or splitting axe.

– It burns with a little smoke but not much sparkling.  

– For extremely cold areas, it’s not advised to use it as your only supply of fuel.

Some people disagree that cottonwood is a great choice for wood fuel. This’s as a result of the wood’s poor ability to dry out, which causes it to rot quickly. It’s not a good idea to burn moldy wood because doing so can release spores that are extremely dangerous to people.

Additionally, splitting the wood into cords is difficult due to its fibrous interiors. It also produces a very small amount of energy in comparison to the volume of wood.

Cottonwood is a great alternative to firewood even though not everyone needs a high-quality fire composed of wood that releases a lot of heat.

Although it’s safe and has great coaling qualities, it’s not the best option for firewood. It’s perfect for students who enjoy camping.

Watch this YouTube video below for more information about the trees for firewood.

Benefits of Burning Cottonwood

Benefits of Burning Cottonwood

WarmthPedia has collected the benefits of cottonwood:

  • Large and quick growth.
  • Easy to handle.
  • Reduced BTU compared to other trees.
  • Affordable.
  • Little clean-burning option
  • Little No Spa.
  • Available and easy to find
  • Good coaling.
  • Easy to split and cut.
  • Few sparks.


Thoroughly read this WarmthPedia article to gain the knowledge you need to know before burning cottonwood in order to make a decision about whether cottonwood is good wood for you.

Still have any concerns about “Is cottonwood good firewood?” Leave them in WarmthPedia’s comments box below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.  

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