En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
11 ratings

Thursday - September 25, 2008

From: Concord, NH
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Fast growing native trees for firewood in New Hampshire
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can you tell me what FAST growing tree is best for a planned crop? We plan to generate new tree crops every year. We want to use this wood for burning in indoor wood stoves and maybe in an outdoor wood furnace for heating our home. We also plan to sell some of it. We live in zone 5. Any help would be great because the research I have done recently has led me only to a few trees that are now on invasive plant list in New England..don't want to go there!! Thanks!!!

ANSWER:

This sounds like a business plan being formulated. And we're very glad you are avoiding fast-growing trees that can be invasive in New Hampshire. We wouldn't recommend any of those anyway, as they are usually non-natives and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the use and propagation of plants native to North America and to the area in which they are being grown. Since we're gardeners and not business consultants, we are going to refer you to our Recommended Species section. Click on New Hampshire on the map, and Narrow Your Search  by selecting "Tree" as the Habit. This will give you the names of 31 trees native to New Hampshire. Go to the webpage of each; they will  not always specify the speed of growth but you can go down to the bottom of the webpage and follow the link to search Google for the specific plant name, and get more information and, perhaps, speed of growth.

As we said, we're not business people, but the thought of planting native trees with the sole purpose of cutting them down and burning them is a little painful. Since most trees will need a good twenty years to get to be of any size it will be a while before you could hope to realize any utility from them. Many trees grow best from seed, because of taproots that make transplanting difficult. This, however, takes even more time before the tree is mature. You didn't say how much land you had available for this project, but all trees require considerable growing space between them.

You need to also consider how much longer the use of wood as an energy or heat source will be allowed. This US Environmental Protection Agency website on Cleaner Burning Wood Stoves and Fireplaces will explain some of the problems. The Department of Ecology of the State of Washington describes the existing situation there with particulates during the winter months from  woodburning stoves.

 

More Trees Questions

Small flowering tree for cemetery in TX
November 07, 2010 - I am looking for a native large shrub or small tree to plant at a cemetery in Pflugerville, TX, preferable something with flowers. I need something that won't have a large root system that would dis...
view the full question and answer

Pecan leaves falling of the trees in Austin, TX.
August 08, 2012 - Why are the pecan tree leaves turning black, sappy and falling off the trees, in great quantities? This has happened since the recent rains, all through the Allandale area.
view the full question and answer

Need options for smaller trees in neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
May 25, 2012 - Please discuss smaller tree options for typical Austin neighborhood yards. These houses are built close together on the sides, and only have smallish back yards. They just don't have space for big 50...
view the full question and answer

Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
October 05, 2011 - Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a...
view the full question and answer

Watering live oak trees from McAllen TX
December 24, 2012 - What are the watering requirements for live oak trees in deep south Texas? How often and how many inches to be applied? One pop-up spray sprinkler spaced approximately fifteen feet away from each tr...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center