How to Burn Sweetgum Wood in Fireplaces

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Sweetgum is a hardwood tree widely cultivated for use in flooring, furniture and a wide array of lumber applications. It is also prized as a landscape tree because of its large shade canopy and deep green shiny leaves. Like all wood, sweetgum wood must be cured or dried before burning to increase its fuel efficiency, heat production and reduce the buildup of creosote in your fireplace and chimney.

Things You'll Need

  • Kindling and paper or fire-starter blocks
  • Match

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Choose sweetgum logs that are dry enough for burning. The logs should be roughly uniform in color from the center of the log to the outer edge, their bark should be loose and come away readily and the logs should feel dry to the touch and lightweight relative to their size.

Arrange several sweetgum logs in a somewhat open framework on the fireplace grate over the top of an inch or two of small kindling and paper or fire-starter blocks.

Open the damper and/or flue to allow smoke to escape and fresh air to enter the fireplace to feed the fire.

Strike a match and set the paper and kindling or fire starter alight to ignite the fire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Prepare or purchase slightly more sweetgum firewood than you would oak or hickory as, once cured, sweetgum logs burn more quickly to produce a similar heat output.


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