Redbud Firewood

November 20, 2019



Photographer: Dale Hugo 
Summary Author: Dale Hugo

My 29-year old eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) had its last bloom this past spring. Unfortunately, as it was close to my neighbor’s house and showing signs it might fall, I had to take it down this once beautiful 30 foot (9 m) specimen. After doing so and splitting its trunk for firewood, I found these screw-in eye hooks embedded in two different pieces of wood. No wonder the wood was so hard to split! Why were they there? About 20 years ago an arborist cabled 3 of its 5 branches to keep them from spreading too far apart. It worked, but then the cables snapped and I simply forgot about the hooks. The coin is used for scale purposes.

This redbud’s wood is hard and dry and burns with a steady low heat, like oak. Hardwoods typically require seasoning to burn best, but because they’re denser than softwoods (pine, for example) they burn hotter and produce less residue in chimneys.

Notice the black coloration of the heartwood. The blackened areas seem to be associated with injuries -- like having hook eyes screwed into the wood. You just never know what you’ll find in firewood.