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

Replacement of Arizona ash in Austin
October 28, 2011 - We have two Arizona Ashes in our yard that probably have maybe a decade left in them. We want to get a couple new trees started, so they will be well established once the Ashes are near their end. In ...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Mountain Laurel in San Antonio, TX
June 03, 2011 - I planted a 2 ft. tall Texas mountain laurel a month ago. Some of the leaves have turned very yellow and some of them are falling off. The plant doesn't look real healthy in general. I did add s...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under trees from Austin
November 03, 2012 - I need ground cover plants that can tolerate leaf litter and grow under oak tree shade.
view the full question and answer

Injury from non-native Canary Palm from Torrance CA
October 18, 2013 - I got stuck in the eye a yr ago by a Phoenix canariensis. It went through my retina and through the integral chamber and put a stamp on my lense. There was no room for any more err without causing bli...
view the full question and answer

Garden instructions from Austin
June 12, 2013 - I'm a beginning gardener putting in some new landscaping in my front yard in north central Austin, TX. The yard faces almost due east, so it gets full sun until early afternoon, when the house's sha...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center