Is Sweet Gum Tree Firewood Good [Explained]

Sweet gum tree firewood is an excellent firewood option to make a quality fire. Why?

Because sweet gum wood is capable of making a quality amount of heat as long as you look for it. But remember not like oak and hickory

When you have plenty of sweet gum trees in your yard, you can use sweet gum to make quality fires like oak, hickory, and ash. But before that, you need to follow a few simple tricks. 

How To Use Sweet Gum Tree Firewood For Better Heat

You know very well that sweet gum is very popular for lumber, plywood, pulpwood, veneer, slack cooperage, fuel, and making furniture.

But when you have enough sweetgum, you can use them to make a fire for your comfort. You don’t need to waste money buying oak or hickory. But before using them, go for the following easy steps to enjoy a better result:

Split the Sweet Gum Tree Firewood When Green

Splitting sweetgum trees isn’t easy. Why? Because sweet gum tree firewood is very hard. You can’t imagine how hard the tree is! That’s the reason its name is sweet gum tree. 

splitting the sweet gum tree firewood
Splitting Firewood

But do the following, you will find it simpler and less time and energy-consuming: 

  • Make the trunks or wood into small sizes.
  • Split the tree as soon as it is cut off & remaining.
  • Besides, to make your job easy, use a hydraulic splitter. 
  • You can also use a sharp splitting ax to make them tiny chunks. 
  • Split the wood or trunks from the edges, not from the center. 

If you follow the above tips, you will discover that splitting sweet gum trees isn’t a gigantic job. But, when you allow the tree to dry up, keeping it un-splitting for a few months, you will find the tree splitting a paramount job. 

The tree will become stone-like hard. Honestly, then it won’t be split out. Rather, it will rip, tear, or twist and be time-consuming.

Seasoning Sweet Gum Tree Firewood

You know sweet gumwood is a hardwood and owns a lot of moisture. So, it takes a fair long time to dry up.

sweet gum tree firewood seasoning

But, if you cut off the greenwood or trunk into a small log, split the log into thin, and allow them in the air for 12-18 months, you will get the wood dried up fairly. Here it will be wise to know the methods of seasoning wood fast for smoking or making fire.

How To Preserve the Wood to Burn Well?

When you find the wood is seasoned perfectly, now it’s time to store the wood for the future.

sweet gum tree firewood preservation

The first thing that you need to consider to store the wood is to choose a suitable stack side as the wood will stay there for a long time. Okay? Now let’s know the things that you need to follow choosing your stack:

  • Choose a stack side where sunlight is available.
  • Stack the wood a few inches away from the wall or fence for better air circulation. 
  • Use a rack or plastic sheet to avoid contact with soil. It will keep your wood in good condition for a long time. 
  • Don’t stack your wood at more than 4-5 feet in height. 
  • When you need to make more than one stack side by side, stack keeping a few inches gap between the two. It will allow good airflow to keep your wood in good condition.
  • Cover the stack top with a plastic sheet but keep the sides open for airflow. 

If you follow the above tips in case of storing your firewood, you will find that it will burn amazingly and create efficient heat. 

Is Sweetgum Good Firewood?

Yes, sweetgum is excellent firewood. The wood burns well when it’s dried up well though not like oak or hickory. But, it will hardly burn if it remains green.

So, when you want to find sweet gum tree wood that burns well, you need to make sure the wood is laying for more than 1 year to season and make sure the wood is dried up enough. 


Otherwise, it’s better to go for hickory, oak, or pecan. So, if you can make sure the wood is seasoned properly as it’s hardwood, you will find the wood is making perfect for you. But remember, the wood burns fast and you need to put frequent wood into the fireplace. 

Here, it would be good to burn sweet gum mixed with oak or hickory to get better heat and longer burning than allowing it to burn alone. 

Sweet Gum Tree Firewood vs Oak or Hickory

Oak and Hickory are better than sweet gum wood to make fire. Oak burns well and slower than sweet gum. And the oak isn’t as hard as the sweet gum. But, it’s moisturized enough like sweet gum and takes the time to be seasoned as sweet gum. 

Hickory is also hardwood and tough to split though not like sweet gum. The hickory wood also burns efficiently and offers you quality fire and heat for a long time as the wood comes with dense fiber.

But, it also takes a long time to be seasoned. To get a better fire, you need to dry up the hickory wood at least for 1 year or more for better burning. 

Now, everything is clear to you. If you have enough access to oak or hickory and are looking for decent, slow, and steady fire and heat, it’s wise to go with oak or hickory.

But when you don’t find oak or hickory and have lots of sweet gum trees in your yard, you can get an efficient fire with this wood. You just, need to work harder in the case of processing than the oak or hickory. And need to import firewood into the fireplace frequently. That’s it.

Is Sweet Gum Tree Firewood Good For Smoking?

Yeah, sweetgum is good to smoke food. But when you’re looking for better smoke and real as well as strong smoky flavor, then, it’s wise to use oak, hickory, pine, maple, apple, pecan, and cherry. 

So, if you don’t find access to hickory, oak, maple, pine, or cherry, then sweet gum can be your best alternative. And especially, the wood is good for smoking poultry rather than red meat.

What are Sweet Gum Trees Good For?

Wondering what is a sweet gum tree good for? Sweetgum trees are especially popular for commercial uses. As sweetgum wood is extremely hard and looks attractive, it’s widely used to make furniture, doors, electric cabinets, plywood, railroad ties, pallets, and so on. 

Besides, sweetgum lumber is used for ornamental because of its attractive look and its intermeshed kernel. Plus, wood is easy to shape. So, it’s easy to paint and stain on the sweet gumwood. 

Also, the sweet gum tree is widely popular as a landscape. As the tree comes in big size with a crown shape, it provides a wide shade.

So, people prefer to plant them in the park, gardens, or streets sides to have shade. The foliage of sweetgum offers a beautiful landscape to enjoy with its wide range of fall colors which includes orange first, yellow, red, and finally purple. 

Further, the tree has medical value. Its fruit helps to reduce rheumatic pain. The astringent resource in the sweet gum bark works to heal diarrhea and dysentery.

The gum incense of the tree owns anti-inflammatory and medicinal values which are used to treat angina, topical herpes, and bedsores. Also, a balm can be made from sweet gum trees to treat different types of diseases like skin issues. 


Is sweet gum good firewood?

Yes, sweetgum is good but not like all other common firewood. The wood can create a decent amount of fire with excellent heat. And the wood will provide you with heat for a long time.

Is sweetgum good for lumber?

Yes, the wood is good for lumber as well as furniture production for your home like the black gum firewood.

Does sweet gum split easily?

No. It’s not easy to split the sweet gum wood because the wood is very hard. But, if you split the wood when it’s green and uses a hydraulic splitter, then it’s comparatively easy to split.

Can sweet gum trees be used for firewood?

Yes, you can use the sweet gum as firewood. Because the wood burns well when it’s seasoned well and creates a good amount of heat.

Can you burn sweet gum on a wood stove?

Yeah, the wood burns in the wood stoves. But before that, you need to split the wood into small sizes. And remember, as the wood is very hard, it’s tough to split but completable when it’s green.

Is sweetgum wood good for anything?

Sweetgum tree wood is very popular to make furniture & lumber. The wood is also widely used to make doors, cabinets, plywood & veneer. Also, wood is employed to make respiratory medicine & gum.

How long does sweet gum tree firewood take to dry?

Sweetgum wood takes 12-18 months to get dried up well as the wood is very hard & wet.

Is sweet gum hardwood or softwood?

Sweetgum is one of the hardwoods which is mostly used for commercial purposes. 

Can you smoke meat with sweet gum wood?

No, it’s not wise to smoke food with sweetgum as well as pine, elm, eucalyptus, fir, redwood, spruce, or any type of wood from lumber scrap. 

Does gum tree burn well?

Yes, sweet gum burns well but you have to season it well at least for one year before making a fire. 

Where is the best place to plant a sweet gum tree?

Park, garden, street side, and your yard are the best places to plant sweet gum trees.

Can you eat sweetgum balls?

Sweetgum balls can be used as a natural remedy for the flu. You can boil its tender green seeds and make tea. They will contain decoction antiviral properties that will fight to prevent the flu. But, it’s better to consult your doctor when you are suffering from the flu.

Final Thought

Now, you know all about the sweet gum tree firewood and can make a wise decision about whether you should use the sweet gum as firewood or not. But, from our experience and research, we can tell you if you have enough sweet gum trees in your yard and don’t like to waste your pocket, you can use sweet gum as your firewood. 

The wood will offer you excellent fire and heat to provide you comfort in severe cold. But you have to spend enough energy and time to split and season the wood to use it. Well, when you need a large number of firewood and don’t like to work hard, it’s better to look for other woods like oak or hickory.

Further, if you find splitting, seasoning, and preserving the firewood a tiresome job for your wood-burning fireplace and need a hassle-free fireplace for your comfort.

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