In the future - firewood trees
As a science fiction writer, I try to think how the future will look. Sometimes I look at big ideas like colonizing other planets, and sometimes I look at little things. It’s these little – and perhaps silly – things I’ll be writing about in this series.
As our understanding of genetics improves and we gain experience modifying or even creating genes, could it be possible to make trees that, instead of bearing apples or pears, produces blocks of firewood? I’m not talking about giant blocks that need split just a couple pounds of wood ready to throw into a fireplace. I’m thinking they would have a core of a longer burning type of wood, surrounded by wood and a bark that is easy to light.
I think you’d probably only get ten blocks or so a year from each tree, so you would need a small grove to heat your house for the winter. But the idea would be that over the several decade lifetime of the tree, you would get more wood “fruit” than you’d get from just cutting down the tree. And you’d get all that firewood without the hard work of sawing and splitting.
Of course one serious problem would be that each fall you’d have to watch out for several pound blocks of wood falling from twenty or thirty feet off the ground. But I think it’s an interesting idea.
Other posts in this series: