a fine reply, thanks pigfarmer. those of us who've heated our abodes with wood and who've had the opportunity to select fell split and stack know what the expression 'heating with firewood you warm yourself thrice' means. just a quick 'wikipedia' on 'ironwood': 'Ostrya virginiana, the American hophornbeam, is a species of Ostrya native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia west to southern Manitoba and eastern Wyoming, southeast to northern Florida and southwest to eastern Texas. Populations from Mexico and Central America are also regarded as the same species. Other names include eastern hophornbeam, hardhack (in New England), ironwood, and leverwood. Ironwood may be slow growing but it has the densest, hardest wood of any native tree species.'