Black Gum Firewood [Good for Furniture & Handcrafted Jewelry]

Black gum firewood is not quality firewood but high-quality furniture wood. This doesn’t mean it burns badly. It implies you can hardly split it to bring it to a usable size for burning. The interlocked grain and its stringy nature make it nearly impossible to split.

Even you can’t cut it with the tools at hand. Considering all, you may decide to leave the wood by all means, right? Wait a bit before moving forward! On the above, we only focused on the downsides of black gumwood.

So, what about the upsides? 

We agree it’s hardwood to split but it carries a blessing on the opposite. Due to its hardness, it is widely used to make furniture like berry baskets, flooring, and so on. To explore more interesting facts about the wood species, stick with this guide till the end. 

What Does Blackgum Firewood Look Like?

Blackgum, the other name tupelo, black tupelo, or tupelo gum is a tree, that loves to grow in water and moist alluvial soils. This wood species grows throughout the eastern states, from southern Maine to Texas.

The black gum tree that grows in the forest is 3 feet in diameter and 80 feet tall. The lifespan of this tree is about 400 years. 

black gum firewood

The color of the black gum is light brown to greyish brown. Its finished surface is smooth. Recently, most people use it for burning. Also, it is vastly used for making furniture like caskets and cabinets. 

Difference Between Sweetgum Wood and Blackgum Firewood

It is challenging to detect which one is sweet gum tree firewood and which one is black gum firewood. However, you can identify the species by seeing the color of the sapwood and the heartwood. 

The sapwood color of sweet gum firewood will be white to light pink. On the other hand, it will be light grey-brown for the sapwood of Black gum. At the same time, the heartwood color of the sweet gum wood will be reddish-brown to brown. 

On the contrary, the heartwood color of the Black Gum will be darker grey-brown. The color never provides accurate separation. You can get the best result when you check it under a microscope. 

Is Black Gum Good for Firewood?

Black gumwood burns fine but it’s not a popular firewood option for various reasons. It doesn’t mean that you can’t burn it or use it as wood. Indeed, it takes a lot of effort and energy to bring it to the best size for use.

Splitting the black gum firewood is a nightmare. In real words, the wood never splits, it just tears. However, you can try out a hydraulic splitter to split it away. But it will be a time-taking process. You can get the best splitting result by cutting it away when it is green. 

Therefore, you can cut the stringy wood right away by cutting it and focusing on its edges. Once you cut the black gum wood rightly, cover it as it starts rotting quickly and forms mold when it is exposed to moisture. 

Then, season the wood for a year to make it ready for burning. Indeed, black gumwood will not be a good wood for burning though it burns. 

What Other Usages of Black Gum Wood?

The flaw of the black gum tree is it warps badly when the wood dries due to its grain. Having a downside doesn’t mean you can’t use it or it has no good sides. Black gumwood is beautiful and is mostly used as a veneer to form plywood. 

Due to its toughness, it is used to make furniture and lumber production. Plus, manufacturers also use it for producing hand-crafted ornaments. To sum up, it is a valuable wood for making furniture. 


What’s the difference between Gumtree and Eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus trees are called Gumtree in Australia. The types which produce sap are mostly called Gumtree. The Gumtrees that are actually Eucalyptus are

  • Blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
  • Swamp gum(Eucalyptus Ovata)

But all the trees that have ‘gum’ at the end of their name are not actually the same kind of tree. These are- 

  • Sweetgum tree( Liquidamber styraciflua)
  • Sour gum ( Nyssa sylvatica)
  • Black gum( Nyssa sylvatica)

How long does to season wood?

Greenwood has much water and moisture. It is harder to burn and produce proper heat. It also emits too much smoke that can ruin the food if you are using it for cooking on a wood stove. While seasoned wood burns safely and efficiently. So you need to season properly to get dry wood before using it. Usually, the whole process of making seasoned firewood takes time of about six months to one year.   

What is the best type of firewood?

In the case of a fireplace, wood stove, or fire pit, it’s better to know about the best types of firewood available for you. There are two categories of firewood-

  • Hardwood
  • Softwood

Among them, Hardwood is the best type of firewood for cooking and producing heat purposes. They look darker in color and burn slowly which provides hotter and more intense fire.

What wood should you not burn?

Any wood can be burnt to make a fire. But there are certain firewood types that you should avoid for safety issues and other disadvantages. These are-

  • Greenwood: Greenwood has a lot of moisture content and sap which makes it hard to burn. It is also the reason for creosote buildup in a wood stove. The creosote stored in a chimney can eventually cause a chimney fire. Greenwood also produces too much smoke and burns inefficiently.
  • Treated wood: Treated wood has arsenic and other chemicals preserved. So when you burn them, you are releasing them into the air.
  • Driftwood: Driftwood has some salt contents which are best to keep out of the fire to ensure your safety.

Which firewood burns the longest?

Hardwood is good firewood. It burns for the longest time period. They grow slowly and look darker and more intense. They also provide hotter fires. Some hardwood firewoods are Maple(sugar maple), Oak, Ash, Birch, Gumtree, pine, etc. The Oak Tree provides one of the most excellent firewood. These are also available in different types: 

  • Red Oak Tree
  • White Oak Tree
  • English Oak Tree

Gumtree is also good hardwood firewood which is identified by the uses of its bark. Gumtrees are actually the Eucalyptus tree that produces sap. The bark timber of this tree is extremely hard and can be used as burning firewood.

What type of wood burns the hottest?

Various types of good woods are on the list of excellent firewood. These are:

  • Hardwood
  • Softwood
  • Manufactured wood

Among them, the hardwood burns the longest and the hottest. These hardwoods usually grow slowly and look darker in color. Some examples are Oak, Maple, Ash, Gumtree, etc.


From the discussion, we learned black gum firewood burns well. But it’s not popular firewood as cutting it and bringing it to usable size is a nightmare. 

However, if you want to make furniture, then it will be a great option as it is tough and durable. 

Do you have any questions about black gumwood? Let us know by leaving a comment below. 

2 thoughts on “Black Gum Firewood [Good for Furniture & Handcrafted Jewelry]”

    • Hi Terry

      Yes, during leaf set in April to May, you can see small greenish-white flowers at the black gum tree.

      The trees also give blue-black fruits like berries which are a favorite to many birds.

      Have a great day!


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