The yellow box is a common tree in the southeast of Australia. It is a popular shade tree, and its flowers are excellent for honey production. But how does it rate in the fire? In this guide, we’ll take a close look at whether yellow box makes good firewood and how it compares to other popular varieties.

Does yellow box make good firewood?

Yellow box is a highly 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. Yellow box gives off a mild aroma as it burns and doesn’t produce much smoke if the wood is well seasoned.

  • Gives off high heat output.
  • Burns clean with minimal sparking.
  • Splitting can be tough work.
A yellow box log in a woodstove
Yellow box is quick to light once seasoned.

Yellow box firewood burn qualities.

1. Heat output

The heat given off by wood is an important consideration. Whether relaxing on the sofa or huddling outdoors around the campfire, you want to stay warm.

Yellow box provides impressive heat efficiency at around 26.1 million BTUs per cord. That’s similar to jacaranda, apple, beech, and pinyon, all excellent firewood types.

Check out the following table comparing the heat output of yellow box to various other common types of firewood.

Wood varietyHeat per Cord (Million BTUs)
Black walnut22.2
White ash24.2
Yellow box26.1
Bur oak26.2

2. Smoke

Yellow box firewood typically produces low amounts of smoke. You won’t get smoked out using an open fireplace.

Like any wood, it should always be seasoned adequately before using in the fire. If it’s still green, the wood contains excess water creating smoke as it burns. Unseasoned wood is inefficient, evaporating water instead of keeping you warm.

3. Ease of splitting

Splitting yellow box can be a challenge. The wood is hard, and its wavy grain doesn’t break apart as easily as other options. We recommend using a powerful splitting axe or maul to make the job easier.

It is best to split yellow box when green. Once the wood has dried out, it turns incredibly hard, making the job harder.

To split seasoned yellow box, you’re best to wait for a frosty cold morning. This hack will make the job easier on your arms.

4. Sparks

Sparking and popping fires can be unsettling, and there’s potential for an unwanted fire. In the outdoors, the result of a random ember can be catastrophic.

Yellow box gives off some sparks in the fire, but fully seasoned wood is usually fine. It’s a better option than mulberry or pine, but we still suggest keeping a fireguard in place if it’s an open fire.

Use caution if you’re camping. It only takes one random spark to create a fire hazard.

5. Aroma

Yellow box firewood gives off a pleasant fragrance as it burns. It is very mild, so people with sensitive smells should enjoy it.

Yellow box is ideal for meat smokers and barbecues thanks to its slow-burning properties. It also imparts a delicious caramel-like flavor to food; meats like pork and lamb pair well with this variety of wood.

6. Coaling

Firewood that produces good coals provides longer-lasting heat. That means you won’t have to frequently add more wood to keep the fire going.

Yellow box is excellent for coaling and compares with the best types of firewood like oak and Osage orange. However, most people will discover a lot of leftover ash the following day. This isn’t a big issue, but more cleanup will be required.

7. Creosote build-up

Creosote is like black tar deposited on the chimney as firewood burns. Some varieties produce more than others, which means more chimney sweeping.

Well-seasoned yellow box produces low levels of creosote as it burns.

An infographic showing yellow box firewood statistics
Yellow Box Firewood Data.

How to identify yellow box

A yellow box tree has peeling, dark brown bark with a rough texture. Underneath the external layer is smooth, pale bark. The tree has short gum nits and thin, greyish-green leaves. The wood has pale gray sapwood and light pink heartwood.

How long does it take to season yellow box?

Yellow box will take around 12 months to season in warm, dry climates, while 18 months is recommended for those living in cooler, damper areas.

Burning the wood too soon will produce a smoky fire with less heat output. Split yellow box will dry out much quicker than large rounds.

A piece of yellow box wood and an axe next to the fireplace.

Tips for seasoning yellow box

To speed up the seasoning of yellow box, check out these handy tips.

  • Set up gaps: create stacks with a 3-5″ space to increase air circulation.
  • Cover the stack: use a tarp to protect the firewood from rain.
  • Raise the wood: lay the split yellow box on a pallet to create airflow underneath the pile.
  • Split the wood: this increases the surface area exposed to elements like heat and wind.
  • Fell at the right time: buck yellow box trees between winter and early spring when sap and moisture content is less.
  • Position correctly: reduce the curing time by avoiding shady, damp areas.

Fast facts about the yellow box tree

  • The scientific name for the yellow box is Eucalyptus melliodora from the family Myrtaceae.
  • Yellow box is a popular tree for honey bees.
  • Other common names include the honey box, yellow box, or yellow ironbark.
  • The tree commonly grows in parts of southeast Australia.

Summing up

Yellow box is excellent firewood suitable for the shoulder season or the depths of winter. It makes good coals that keep giving off heat late into the night. The wood burns clean without giving out too much creosote or smoke.

Similar Posts