Cottonwood firewood is a low density hardwood with a low BTU rating. Cottonwood can be tough to split when green and sometimes takes longer to dry than a lot of other tree species. When it is dry it burns fast and produces fast heat but doesn’t last long and leaves a lot of ash.
It’s common to hear people say they have had bad experiences with cottonwood firewood and that it makes lousy firewood and they will never burn cottonwood again. Some would rather leave it to rot or haul it to a landfill than use it for firewood. Much of this is just personal preference so take it lightly.
Cottonwood is definitely not the best firewood to heat your home but that doesn’t mean it’s worthless as firewood. You probably wouldn’t want to pay much for it but if you can get it really cheap or free it will make heat and you might as well use it. In some areas cottonwood is all they have available and they make the best of it.
Some say cottonwood firewood is hard to burn and all it does is smolder and make smoke. When people say that it’s probably because it wasn’t dry. Cottonwood can hold a lot of water but once it is dry it can split easy and it is easy to burn. This makes cottonwood good for starting fires and getting quick heat. It also makes decent campfire wood.
Post your experiences with cottonwood firewood below.