Is Honey Locust Good Firewood?

Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a medium-sized deciduous tree native to central North America, mostly found in the moist land of river valleys. It can be found as far north as Kentucky and Pennsylvania in the United States. Honey locust is an invasive species that can thrive in different environments. It is mostly used for food and traditional medicine by the North Americans, and it is popular for being good firewood. 

The honey locust is excellent firewood to be used both in a fireplace or outdoors. It is good firewood for several reasons, including its burning ability while producing a low amount of smoke. Furthermore, It burns for longer than most woods and produces good hot coal. 

It is a very dense, rot-resistant hardwood, like oak, that is great for burning indoors. It can spark and pop nicely. 

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 Varieties Of Locust

Locust wood has two main varieties: black locust firewood and honey locust firewood. While these two trees are very similar and are excellent firewoods, there are slight differences between the two.

The two varieties of locus firewood compared in a table:

Firewood NameBTUWeight DryWeight WetSeasoning TimeResin/Sap ContentSplitting DifficultySmokeSmellCoal ProductionCreosote Buildup
Black Locust 27.9 million per cord3982 lbs per cord4614 lbs per cord6 -12 monthsLowModerate to difficultLow to mediumSlight to pleasantHigh-quality coalsLow
Honey Locust 26.7 million per cord3832 lbs per cord4640 lbs per cord12 – 18 monthsLowEasy LowSlightly fragrant High-quality coals Low

Heat Output And Efficiency

Honey locust is an excellent wood for burning because of its hardwood nature. It has a BTU of 26.7 million per cord. It burns hot and produces high-quality red coals that are good for cooking both in and outdoors.

It produces more heat than most hardwoods due to its high density. It produces the same amount of heat per cord as bitternut hickory firewood and slightly less heat than black locusts.

Fire Characteristics

Creosote Buildup

Honey locust has minimum creosote buildup because it burns hot and has low sap content. This is why it is good for indoor use. 

Amount Of Smoke

High smoke production is why you must make sure the wood is properly seasoned before burning. Honey locust produces very low smoke compared to other woods (if properly seasoned). 

Is It Okay To Burn Honey Locust In A Fireplace?

Yes, it is okay to burn honey locusts in a fireplace. It has a slightly fragrant smell, it produces low smoke and really low levels of creosote. This is why it is ideal for burning it in a fireplace.

With a BTU of 26.7 million per cord, it is undoubtedly one of the best woods to burn in a.

How Long To Season Honey Locust Firewood?

Honey locusts should be seasoned for at least a year (12 months). For better heat output and fire quality, it is recommended to season it for 18-24 months.
Firewood is considered to be seasoned if the moisture content is less than 20%.

Is Honey Locust Firewood Expensive?

There is no fixed cost price for honey locust firewood and other firewoods. The price fluctuates due to changes in the market like supply and demand. However, one cord of honey locust firewood (128 cubic feet) costs around $300-$600.

Honey locust is more expensive than softwoods, but it is to be expected due to their heat output.

Pros And Cons Of Using Honey Locust As Firewood


  • It is optimal firewood with a BTU of 26.7 million per cord. 
  • It is easy to split.
  • Creosote buildup is less, so it is safe for indoor use.
  • It is rot-resistant and can stay in your barn for longer than softwoods.
  • It doesn’t smoke as much as softwoods like pine firewood.


  • It is not a kindling wood.
  • Its thorns are thick, long, and sharp and can hurt you if you are not careful. 

How Does Honey Locust Compare To Other Firewoods

Compared To Black Locust as Firewood

  1. Honey locust does not burn as hot as black locust firewood. There is a solid 1.2 million difference in their BTU per cord. 
  2. It is not as heavy as black locust.
  3. It is easier to split than black locust.
  4. It has a slightly fragrant smell stronger than black locust. Black locust wood’s smell is almost negligible. 

Compared To Other Woods

  • Weight: Honey locust is heavier than other woods, including Sweetgum, Pine, Fir, and Red cedar. It weighs 4640 lbs when green and 3832 lbs when dry. 
  • BTU: It has a BTU of 26.7 million while woods like American elm has a BTU of 20.3 – 21.3 million per cord. 
  • Smell: It has a slightly fragrant smell that may not be noticed, while trees like apples and pine have a sweet smell. 
  • Smoke: Hardwoods produce less smoke than softwoods. Honey locust is a hardwood that produces low smoke if properly seasoned. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is honey locust good indoor firewood? 

Yes, honey locust is good indoor firewood because it burns hot, doesn’t produce bad smoke, and their creosote buildup is very low.

  • How much does a cord of honey locust firewood weigh? 

A dry honey locust wood cord weighs 3832 lbs, while a green honey locust wood cord weighs 4640 lbs. 

  • Can I only use seasoned firewood for burning? 

Seasoned firewood is the best for burning. Unseasoned firewood will create more smoke than seasoned firewood, and it will not burn as hot. So yes, you can and should only use seasoned firewood for burning.

  • How much wood is in a cord? 

A cord contains 128 cubic feet of wood (3.62 m3).


Honey locust is exceptional firewood for outdoor cooking as well as indoor use as a heat source. It produces 26.7 Million BTUs per cord, which is more than red oak firewood and mulberry firewood. Furthermore, it leaves little to no creosote behind while emitting a minimal amount of smoke.

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