Tamarisk: It’s a fair cop

A wise scientist once remarked on the burnable properties of wood:

BEDEMIR: Tell me, what do you do with witches?

VILLAGER #2: Burn!

CROWD: Burn, burn them up!

BEDEMIR: And what do you burn apart from witches?

VILLAGER #1: More witches!

VILLAGER #2: Wood!

BEDEMIR: So, why do witches burn?


VILLAGER #3: B–… ’cause they’re made of wood…?

burn her

burn her

And what is also made of wood? Tamarisk, the invasive salt cedar that is the scourge of the river basins of the arid southwest. (Sorta. Click the link.) And what do we do with Tamarisk? Cut it down and burn it! But what if…


Both green and dead tamarisk chips were good fuels for gasification, performing more efficiently than a sample of mixed softwood. Further, the data suggest that significantly more energy can be recovered from tamarisk when harvested green, compared to waiting for the tamarisk to die and age. When incorporated into a comprehensive restoration plan, tamarisk appears to have potential to be used as a valuable energy source rather than viewed as unwanted waste.

It’s a fair cop.