Jacarandas are native to South America and grow well in warm tropical climates. They are stunning trees when their purple-blue flowers bloom. But how does its wood perform in the fire? This guide looks at whether jacaranda makes good firewood and compares it to other popular options.
Does jacaranda make good firewood?
Jacaranda is a dense hardwood that makes excellent firewood. It burns hot and provides great coals, although you’ll find a lot of ashes waiting the next day. Seasoned jacaranda provides a mild fragrance in the fire and burns clean with very little smoke.
- Dense, slow-burning wood.
- Gives out plenty of heat.
- Splitting can be challenging work.
Jacaranda firewood burn qualities
1. Heat output
A wood’s heat efficiency is an important consideration, whether relaxing on the sofa or huddling outdoors around the campfire. You want to stay warm without going through a ton of wood each night.
Jacaranda provides impressive heat efficiency at around 26.4 million BTUs per cord. That’s similar to apple, pinyon, and beech – all excellent firewood types. It is a much better option than softer woods like spruce and boxelder.
Check out the following table comparing the heat output of jacaranda to various other common types of firewood.
|Wood variety||Heat per Cord (Million BTUs)|
Jacaranda firewood typically produces low amounts of smoke. Toss it into an open fireplace, and the room won’t fill with uncomfortable smoke.
Like any wood, jacaranda must be adequately seasoned before burning. If it’s green, the wood contains excess water that creates smoke as it burns. Unseasoned wood is inefficient, evaporating water instead of keeping you warm.
3. Ease of splitting
Splitting jacaranda isn’t always easy. The wood is hard and doesn’t break apart like some popular varieties. We recommend using a powerful splitting axe or maul to make the job easier.
It is best to split green jacaranda. Once the wood dries out, it turns rock-hard, making back-breaking work to chop.
Popping and sparking fires can be unsettling, and there’s potential for an unwanted fire. In the outdoors, random embers can quickly start bushfires.
Jacaranda gives off a few sparks in the fire, but fully seasoned wood shouldn’t be a big problem. It’s a better option than pine firewood or mulberry. Keep a fireguard in place when using an open fire, and use caution if you’re camping.
Jacaranda firewood gives off a mild fragrance as it burns. People sensitive to smell should enjoy it.
Jacaranda can be used in meat smokers and barbecues thanks to its slow-burning properties. It is suitable for adding a smoky flavor to pork, fish, and poultry.
Learn more about useful cooking wood here.
Types of firewood that produce good coals have longer-lasting heat. Constantly adding more wood to keep the fire going won’t be needed.
Jacaranda is excellent for coaling and compares with the best types of firewood like Osage orange and oak. However, it’s common to find a lot of leftover ash the next morning. While not a big issue, more cleanup will be required.
7. Creosote build-up
Creosote is an unpleasant black substance deposited on the chimney as wood burns. Some firewood types produce more than others, which means more chimney sweeping.
Well-seasoned jacaranda produces low levels of creosote as it burns. It burns much cleaner than most softwoods like pine or spruce.
How long does it take to season jacaranda?
Jacaranda is a dense hardwood, so it will take at least 12 months to season in warm, dry climates. For best results, leave the wood to dry for two years. Burning the wood too soon will result in a smoky fire with less heat output. Split jacaranda will dry out a lot quicker than large rounds.
Tips for seasoning jacaranda
To speed up the seasoning of jacaranda, follow these handy tips.
- Create gaps: stack firewood with a 3-5″ space between each row to increase air circulation.
- Fell at the right time: chop down a jacaranda between winter and early spring when sap and moisture content is less.
- Protect the stack: use a tarp or store in a woodshed to protect the firewood from rain and snow.
- Position correctly: reduce the drying time by avoiding damp, shade-prone areas.
- Raise the wood: lay the split jacaranda on a pallet to encourage airflow underneath the stack.
- Split the wood: increase the surface area exposed to heat and wind.
8 facts about the jacaranda tree
- The scientific name for the jacaranda is Jacaranda mimosifolia from the family Bignoniaceae.
- Other common names include the fern tree, black poui, blue jacaranda, nupur, mucakaranda, and omosaria.
- The tree is native to South and Central America but can now be found in many countries, including the United States, Australia, South Africa, and the Caribbean.
- Their root system is vigorous, so planting near paths, pipes, and water lines is not recommended.
- Jacarandas reach maturity at 20 years and have an average lifespan of 50 years.
- In the right conditions, they can live for 200 years.
- Although most jacarandas have purple flowers, there is a rare breed that produces white blooms.
- The flowers create a mess when they fall, and the stench can be quite unpleasant.
Jacaranda is excellent firewood suitable for wood stoves, open fires, or campfires. It makes good coals that keep giving off heat late into the night. Well-seasoned wood burns clean, producing minimal smoke.