Is Maple Good Firewood?

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Is maple good firewood?

If you're wondering what some of the best woods for building a fire are, consider maple - it's good for more than just maple syrup!

Maple trees are abundant, dense, and sweet smelling, making them great for your next fire.

Impress your friends with your knowledge of maple wood while you light a gorgeous maple wood-fed fire by reading below.

Types Of Maple Trees And The Firewood They Produce

Maple trees of all types are located in the northern United States and Canada.

They are extremely abundant making them an easy source of firewood.

While it does not have as high of heat output as oak firewood or hickory, maple wood still burns slowly and hot if it's seasoned well.

Types Of Maple Trees

There are over 100 varieties of maple trees which are all categorized as either hard or soft maple.

Listed below are some of the most common types of maple trees:

  • Red Maple:  Red maple is a hard maple that gets its name from its leaves, which turn a deep red during the fall months.
  • Sugar Maple:  A hard maple, sugar maple is known for its delicious sap that is most commonly used to make maple syrup.  While sugar maple is not commonly used as firewood due to its high demand for sap, it makes an excellent firewood choice.
  • Boxelder Maple:  One of the most common types of maple, it is predominantly located in the Midwest.  They grow quickly and can reach heights of up to 80 feet.
  • Silver Maple:  This is a soft maple that grows at a rapid pace in many different climates and soil conditions.

Facts About Burning Maple Firewood

Here are a few facts about burning maple firewood that you should be aware of:

  • Maple is a heavy, dense firewood that burns slowly, creating a long lasting fire if it's properly seasoned.
  • Maple firewood creates between 17 - 24 million BTUs per cord depending on the species, which is not as high as other hardwoods such as oak or hickory.
  • Because of the sweet smell it lets off, maple is great for smoking meats.
  • Maple firewood has great coaling qualities, making it a great choice for an overnight fire.
  • To reduce smoke, make sure hard maple is fully seasoned before burning.
  • Soft maple seasons faster than hard maple due to its density.

Is Maple Good Firewood - How To Identify Maple Trees

Here are a few tips on how to identify maple trees so you know what to look for in your next batch of firewood:

  • Leaves:  Maple leaves are extremely easy to spot - the shape is well-known.  They have either three or five large to medium-sized points, with each point flanked by smaller points.  They are deciduous trees, so their leaves change color and fall from the tree during the autumn months.
  • Size:  Maple trees can range from 50 to 100 feet tall depending on their species, overall health and age.
  • Bark:  The bark of maple trees is usually tight to its trunk, giving it a skin-like appearance.  The bark is generally a light brownish to gray color.
  • Fruit:  The fruit produced by maple trees are called "samara" which are seed pods.  These pods can range between 1 and 2 inches.

Is Maple Good Firewood To Split?

Is maple good firewood to split with a splitting axe or maul?

Depending on the species, maple is relatively easy to split as long as your stay away from large knots or crotches.

For larger pieces, a hydraulic wood splitter will make the job a lot easier, but I've split lots of sugar maple by hand without having any issues.

However, if you want your maple firewood to split easily, you should split the wood while it's still green.

After maple firewood is seasoned it's a lot harder to split.

How Long Does Maple Firewood Take To Season?

Maple firewood can take around six to twelve months to fully season.

This depends on the size and density of the wood.

Climate is a large factor in determining the amount of time seasoning your maple firewood will take.

If you live in a hot and dry climate, the seasoning time will be reduced.

If you are located in a cold and wet climate, the seasoning time will be much longer.

Here are some tips to make sure your maple firewood is seasoned properly:

  • Split The Wood:  Splitting your maple firewood before seasoning will drastically reduce the amount of time needed to fully dry.
  • Elevate The Wood:  Place your wood off the ground using pallets, 2x4's or a firewood rack.  If your wood rests on the ground it has the potential to soak up ground moisture, delaying the drying process.
  • Stack The Wood:  Stack the wood and leave equal spacing between each row of wood to allow the wind to penetrate the stack and dry the firewood.
  • Cover The Wood:  Covering the top 1/3 portion of the firewood stack will help shed rain and snow, allowing it to fully dry.

The best time to season firewood is between the spring and fall when the warm summer winds can quickly dry the wood.

Does Burning Maple Firewood Create Creosote?

As you may already know, creosote is a tar-like substance produced when any type of wood is burned.

A buildup of creosote can occur on the interior walls of your chimney, possibly causing a serious fire.

Burning wet firewood that does not create a hot fire is one of the fastest ways to coat your chimney in a thick layer of creosote.

Since wet firewood does not burn very well, the unburnt gases travel up your chimney where they adhere to the cold chimney walls in the form of creosote.

Well seasoned maple firewood starts easily, and will burn a lot better than green firewood.

This dry firewood will quickly create a hot fire and drastically reduce the chances of a dangerous buildup.

Is maple good firewood to burn without producing creosote?

Yes, just make sure it's dry and it will perform very well in a wood stove or fireplace.

Is Maple Good Firewood To Burn Indoors?

Maple firewood is great for burning indoors as long as it's properly seasoned.

While it might not create as much heat as oak or hickory, it is still a great firewood choice that creates a beautiful fire.

Sugar maple, specifically, is known for producing less smoke than other woods while maple, in general, is known for being spark-free.

Burning a firewood like maple that is less prone to emit sparks, drastically reduces the chances of a hot spark bursting out of your fireplace and into your living room creating a house fire.

Remember, even if you burn seasoned firewood, you still need to consistently clean the interior of your chimney to limit the amount of creosote buildup.

Is Maple Good Firewood - Pros vs Cons

Looking for information on the benefits and disadvantages of maple firewood in a nutshell?

Here are some pros and cons to burning the wood:


  • Maple firewood is extremely easy to find in the wild and is very affordable when store-bought.
  • It's known for producing a pleasant smell when burned.
  • Maple firewood has great coaling abilities making it perfect for an overnight fire.
  • Maple does not spark a lot.


  • Maple wood is easily affected by both humidity and moisture, especially soft maple.  Because of this, you need to make sure you are seasoning wood in a space where it can be shielded from any moisture coming from the sky, ground, or air.  Similarly, it is prone to rot if left too long.

Alternatives To Maple Firewood

Ash is a great alternative to maple firewood as it burns in a very similar manner.

Like maple, ash is dense allowing it to burn slowly.

This means your fire can be fueled for an extended period of time without needing to constantly add wood to it.

Oak is an even better alternative to maple being that it is denser, allowing it to burn for even greater lengths.

Oak firewood also has a higher BTU rating than maple, allowing your to heat a space more efficiently than maple.

Overall, maple wood is a great wood to use as fuel for your fire.

It is readily available, good smelling when burned, reliable, and quick to season.

As long as you are properly seasoning your maple wood, you should not have issues with excessive smoke or creosote.

Is maple good firewood for your wood stove, fireplace or campfire?

Yes, you won't be disappointed!