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Ficus/fig wood?

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    Ficus/fig wood?

    So, we finally bit the bullet and are having the two ginormous ficus trees in or front yard removed. The shade will be missed, the foundation damage, damage to the driveway, and potential damage to our neighbors' yards, not so much.

    Has anybody cooked with this, or am I just looking at firewood? The Internet seems... confused. I've seen everything from "it's great" to "you'll die horribly!". Honestly, if it's just firewood I'm fine, I just don't want to make anyone sick or anything. And cooking on this would be open fire in the fire pit, not in an offset or even as chunks in one of my cookers.

    #2
    A lifetime ago I was a landscaper in San Diego. I've planted and pruned lots of ficus trees. Most memories are of sooty honeydew and milky sap when pruning. I've never run across anything about using them for smoking. With all the avocado, citrus, and oak available in SD, I'd probably opt for the firewood bin when it comes to ficus.

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      #3
      Not the most trusted rag, but this article seems to say folks smoke with fig/ficus wood, and live to tell the tale....

      https://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/23/d...f-the-fig.html

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        #4
        Well, you can't smoke with green wood, so you'll have to store and season the ficus to take advantage of it next season. Ficus is a deciduous plant, and therefore more of a hardwood than a softwood. From that perspective it should be okay to smoke with. Like most non-mainstream smoking woods, you can find articles that praise them or hate them.

        The bottom line is that after the sap dries it's ready to be used as a smoking wood and will be okay. Before dried, some folks are unknowingly allergic to the sap - you don't want to use it until it's completely ready.

        Comment


        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          Deciduous? The ones I cared for in San Diego weren't. So I did a Google search, most are evergreen. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus

          mnavarre doesn't say exactly which ficus he has, or had, but I'd guess it's a benjamina, the most popular I came across in San Diego. It is an evergreen. https://www.evergreennursery.com/ficus-benjamina

        • ComfortablyNumb
          ComfortablyNumb commented
          Editing a comment
          Steve R. A tree can't be both, it's either one or the other. True there can be deciduous and evergreens in the same genus, such as oak, magnolia, and ficus. The article I cited stated that most ficus are evergreens and acknowledged there are some deciduous. To state "Ficus are deciduous" is like someone from California with a yard full of live oaks saying "Oaks are evergreens" Neither statements are true, it depends on species as to whether an oak or ficus is evergreen or deciduous.

        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          You're right, ComfortablyNumb. It was way past my bedtime, and you have done your homework.

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