Using biomass for woodfuel

Eucalyptus woodfuel

Fuelwood properties > Eucalyptus woodfuel

The basic densities of wood of eucalyptus species grown on rotations of less than 10 years appear to be around 450 kg/m³ – intermediate between softwoods and native hardwoods.

Actual figures are likely to vary between species and to be influenced by growth rate. Average basic density will increase with age, and is likely to be between 500 and 550 kg/m³ in trees older than 30 years. Data on the basic density originating from Australia often reports much higher basic densities for eucalyptus species, but such data are from trees in natural forests where the trees are frequently over 100 years old.

The wood of young eucalypts grown on short rotations is largely sapwood and hence it dries very easily. This is particularly true of smaller diameter logs, as heartwood tends to start forming in stems over 5 years old. Smaller-diameter logs from such trees appear to be fully air dry within 6-9 months if dried under cover. Larger logs from the base of 10 year old trees will contain a higher proportion of heartwood and are likely to dry more slowly. Logs from trees older than 15 years, such as large specimens in gardens, will contain mainly heartwood and can be expected to dry much more slowly. Anecdotal evidence supports this.

Air-dry eucalyptus logs burn freely with good flames. No species is reported to emit sparks when burnt on open grates.

In New Zealand, eucalyptus logs are regarded as a premium fuel for domestic woodburning stoves.