If you spend much time in my part of the world you will soon figure out that much of the land that is in "woods" is too wet to plow. The farmer did not allow trees to grow out of a sense of environmental stewardship. Rather, he let them grow because he could not profitably do otherwise.
The other thing you will notices is that those wet spots are dominated by two species, Silver Maple (known colloquially as 'soft maple') and ash trees. Most of the ash trees are now dead.
You will find the occasional elm tree living on borrowed time. In a few rare, undisturbed locations you will find tamarack or sycamore or swamp white oak or burr oak. The thing about Michigan is that we do not have nearly the richness of species found farther south, down in the Ohio river valley.
The risks of mono-cultures are well documented. I am always on the look-out for new species to backstop the soft maples and dead ash in local woods that are subject to flooding.
|Step (A) is frequently flooded for up to 15 days. Step (B) is under water for up to 7 days. Step (C) is only occasionally flooded|
|The planting location (step) is one of the middle columns on this table. The pH range is on the extreme right.|
Black Gum, Cottonwood, Coffeetree, Bur Oak, Pin Oak, and River Birch are listed as able to survive 7 days of flooding.
At 33lbs/cubic foot, dry Soft Maple is only a middling wood for burning. One of the tricks is to get it dry.
Using Soft Maple as the basis, Ash is 25% better than dry Soft Maple. The thing about Ash is that it carries very little water and dries lickity-split. Most wood burners will tell you that Ash is at least twice as good as Soft Maple.
European Alder, one of the few wetland trees that can fix nitrogen is 6% less dense than Soft Maple.
Sycamore and Sweetgum are nearly identical to Soft Maple with respect to wood density.
Black Gum and River Birch are about 15% more dense than Soft Maple.
Oak is about 35% more dense.
Pecan and Honey Locust are about 40% denser.