My wife and I live in Springfield Missouri and quite a few people around here burn wood for either a supplemental sorce or as a main sorce of heat. Our home has new windows good insulation and a new furnace but we still prefer to burn wood over our natural gas furnace. We are lucky that we have a very cheap sorce of wood. We have a tie yard here that sizes railroad ties pryor to treating them. They then sell the butt ends that are just the right size to burn in the wood stove. I just can't stay warm with any thing other than wood heat. We alos are able to cut the cost of our utilities in the process.
PA girl that's to long of a winter. We burn at least two cords each winter also. Isn't willow a very soft wood. Does it throw off much in the way of BTUs. Oak is the sood of choice here in Missouri and our oak tie ends cost us about $35 for a very large PU load. It has no bark so it has little ask and it fits the stove very nicely