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Osage orange wood burns intensely

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The dried wood of osage orange is prized for firewood as it has the highest BTU on charts that rank that property among native trees. It’s resistant to rot due to its density and wood remains usable for years in a firewood pile. As firewood it gives off so much heat that persons using woodstoves are warned to use it sparingly as the intense heat it produces has warped certain of those metal heaters. The fruits, too, are slow rot as they are full of latex and shunned by almost all animals as food. The latex, also in the wood, makes this wood unsuitable to burn in an open fireplace as the incredible number of sparks burning logs produce would be a danger. Even in a woodstove, keep the door closed so sparks won’t fly around.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.