Redwood Firewood

There are two types of redwood native to the US and people often get them confused. There are the coast redwoods that grow along the north coast of California and a small area of SW Oregon. These are the tallest trees in the world. Then there are the sequoia redwoods that grow high in the Sierra Nevada mountains. These don’t grow as tall as the coast redwoods, but they make for it in bulk from their massive diameters. These are the largest trees in the world, exceeding the taller coast redwoods in volume.

Coast redwood firewood is a soft low density wood with low BTU. It makes great kindling because it splits easily and is usually straight grained. It can crackle when it burns so it can be nice for a fireplace, but it burns up quickly. In areas where redwood is abundant, a lot of people avoid redwood in favour of hardwoods and Douglas fir, which are longer lasting. But if the price is right, or free, redwood firewood is worth burning. It is good for starting fires or when you only need a short burn.

If you have redwood logs of any size, it may be worth more for lumber or the many other uses for redwood than it would be as firewood.

Coast redwoods grow very fast and are one of the few conifers that will sprout back from the stump after you cut them down. These sprouts grow very quickly into new trees, and it also grows quickly from redwood seedlings. Although there are is a limited amount of the huge old growth redwood forests left, redwood in general are not endangered as some might lead you to believe. Anyone who has ever dealt with redwood forests knows how hardy they are and how vigorously they grow.

It is hard to find any information about sequoia redwood firewood. I have heard that it burns similar to incense cedar. It is a low density softwood so it would burn fast, but I have heard it burns with nice glowing coals.

Redwood Firewood BTU

If you have experience with wither coast or sequoia redwood, please post below.

4 thoughts on “Redwood Firewood”

  1. I burn redwood all the time and have for over 30 years. I know a lot of people avoid it and say it is no good for firewood but in my opinion it is great wood. It is easy to split and easy to light. It makes better kindling and lights easier than doug fir. If I want to get a fire going and putting out a lot of heat in a hurry I throw some redwood on. It makes a nice crackling fire with great flames. Sure it is not going to hold a fire for very long like the hardwoods do, that is what hardwood is for. But it makes a good wood to have as a companion to hardwood. And redwood grows like a weed here on the coast. It grows so fast and is so abundant. I don’t know why people here don’t use it more.

  2. I live in Madera County in California’s Central Valley. Many coast redwoods have been planted in this area in landscapes. I have over 50 myself. However, the last 4 years of drought have taken a serious toll on them. Many are taking them out due to browning even though they are still alive. A friend took out 2 large ones and gave me the wood. I like to burn it when I don’t need a real hot fire. It burns easily and quickly with a nice crackle. However, I gave stopped burning it indoors because it puts out volumes of smoke even when very dry. I don’t know why. I even remove the bark before burning it, thinking that may be the problem, but it still puts out a lot of smoke. I’ll continue to burn it in my fire pit outside but not in my fireplace. Anyone else have that problem?

  3. This is an excerpt from a Chimney Cleaning Company:
    There are some woods that are used as firewood by some customers, but which are not recommended.

    1) Eucalyptus – This is a very oily wood that burns very hot and leaves little ash. The problem is that it leaves a coating on the inside of the chimney which is almost impossible to remove. It is just like third stage creosote, hard and shiny. I always recommend that customers avoid eucalyptus.

    2) Redwood – This usually comes from fences or decks that have been torn down. Same as eucalyptus, leaves a residue that cannot be removed. You should have that old deck hauled away.

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