Due to planting some trees in an unfortunate location, I lost them due to root-rot.

I have about eight small dead trees with trunks about 3/4" thick, and am wanting to cut them up for smoking woodchips for grilling. Since each tree doesn't have much wood - maybe three to five pounds each - and since I'm just a very casual grill cook not an enthusiast, I was hoping I could just mix all the chips together in one bag.

The trees are: two cherries, an almond, something that might be pecan, another that is possibly a plum, and a nectarine.

If you had a bag of "assorted" wood chips like those above all mixed together, would it taste terrible to smoke with, for a casual cook who just grills chicken, porkchops, and hamburgers?

I also have a copious amount of mulberry, but I was leaving that seperate since it's of a significant quantity. I wouldn't mind mixing in some to the assorted bag if advised to, though.

2 Answers 2


All of the listed are stone fruits/nuts that should only be very subtly different in flavor as long as you don't have some which is too sappy and all would be considered pretty medium strength woods which go well with anything from fish to pork. Might be a little too light for some peoples tastes for beef, but burger would be fine and I am not the quite the selection snob some are. I will use a wide range for anything depending on what I have available.

General guides are that something like alder is a top and traditional choice for fish. Fruit wood like apple is in general considered sweeter and is uses with fish, poultry, bacon and I would put almond and nectarine in the same range. Cherry, plum, you tend to get a little more resin so a little stronger smoke, but especially mixed you probably will not notice any difference between them. I have done prime rib with any of them and loved the results, but most of the advice lists call for things like oak or whiskey soaked grape vines, and I agree that those are great, but too strong for some people.

Mulberry, I have zero experience with and do not know. When I have cut, it seemed fairly resin filled to me so I would be cautious myself, it might act like a soft wood and taste too bitter. You want to avoid that. The other woods, the subtle differences are really to subtle for most people, including me, to care. The prep of the meat and using the correct amount of smoke to meat your taste is more important by far than which of those woods you are using.

  • 1
    Thank you for the details! I forgot there were two apple trees mixed in there also. I've used Mulberry in the past for chicken, porkchops, and hamburgers, and enjoyed it, but I think it the wood was dried out and aged more, whereas the mulberry I just got is fresh (a huge tree branch fell down in a storm).
    – Jamin Grey
    May 14, 2017 at 17:58

Yes, you may mix different species of wood together for smoking. If the combination tastes unbalanced or muddled to you, just pretend the wood chips are from a rare Amazonian hardwood species, and it will suddenly taste amazing, even to the fussiest of "experts". Better to obsess about the quality of the meat itself, or maybe even the characteristics of the wine.

P.S. sorry about your trees, that must have hurt.

  • 1
    Thanks for the sympathy - it was more of a facepalming moment for planting the trees there in the first place. This year I'm planting even more trees, in the same location, but higher elevated. If they die again, then it'll really hurt!
    – Jamin Grey
    May 14, 2017 at 18:02

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