1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

American Chestnut

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Mich-Man, Dec 20, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Mich-Man

    Mich-Man New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Hello my fellow woodburners!
    Anyone have experience burning American Chestnut in a wood stove? I heard from a neighbor of mine that it stinks and is very smoky when burning? (smokier than most other varieties of wood I guess) Any truth to this statement? Reason I ask is because I have 3 60' American Chestnut trees tha are dead and standing on my property. I'd like to use them in my Jotul Castine. Might think twice about it though if it is prone to not burning well ect...
    Hey thanks!!!!!

    Mich-Man

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. ohio woodburner

    ohio woodburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    408
    Loc:
    NW Ohio
    I know i'm not much help because i have never burned chestnut but if you move this over to the wood shed there's alot of people that could help ya out
  3. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    68
    Loc:
    Virginia - North Carolina
    are you kidding?

    Most real American chestnut wood is very rot resistant and is virtually extinct except for some places out west that were not infected with the great chestnut blight.. It sells regularly for over $10 a board foot here, when you can find it which is rare- most comes from old buildings being torn down and the wood salvaged.. You need to get it milled and sell as lumber not burn it.

    By the way- I have been burning some scrap cut off pieces of chestnut from a furniture project that I just finished up. Burns extrely well - better than oak- of course this is old growth and well seasoned wood- probably close to 80 years old and been drying in a barn for most of that time.
  4. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    68
    Loc:
    Virginia - North Carolina
    I bet you are thinking of horse chestnut which is an entirely different thing.
  5. BucksCoBernie

    BucksCoBernie New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    450
    isnt the american chestnut almost extinct? i'm glad you pointed out that the tree is standing dead lol.
  6. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Ramsay, Michigan of the U.P.
    NO chestnuts roasting on an open fire this Christmas !!! call a lumber mill!! If it's quality,you could buy lot's of firewood with the cash$$$$
  7. Mich-Man

    Mich-Man New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    From what I understand, the American Chestnut is not extinct. They just don't live to be big mature trees. I could be wrong about the i.d. of the trees on my property??... Though they did have identical "chestnuts" and leaf structure as the American Chestnut.
  8. Mich-Man

    Mich-Man New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Will call the local lumber mill!!!
    Thanks for the info!
  9. KeepItNatural

    KeepItNatural New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Messages:
    138
    Loc:
    Western Conn
    aside from the potential value for a mill that your wood might have-
    a very smokey fire tends to be an inefficient one. The smoke is a waste product from the fire- which could mean a ton of things but some of the simplest would be that the wood hadn't been dried properly or the fire hasn't been built properly.
    If you decide not to sell it and decide to burn it- make sure the moister readings are low enough, and then just build your fire with some good air flow... I think you'll avoid the problem your neighbor alerted you to.
  10. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Loc:
    Central Sands, Wisconsin
    The only American Chestnut trees I have ever seen, or heard of, are in the yard of the D.N.R. ranger station in Wisconsin Dells. I was under the impression that they were a couple of the last ones in existence.
  11. TROY COOK

    TROY COOK New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    139
    Loc:
    Ramsay, Michigan of the U.P.
    Chestnut trees even American variety can still be found, Rare but not gone completely ,..[googlevideo]http://www.willisorchards.com/category/Chestnut Trees[/googlevideo]
  12. argelesplage

    argelesplage New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Southern WI
    I've got two of these on my property that are doing well. The bigger one is about 50 yrs old. I've burned dead branches from it with no smoke problems.

    The poster who talked about its rot resistance and usefulness is right, and I'd sure check into whether the wood could be sold.

    The wood is terrific for fences and furniture; many, many old telephone and electric poles were made from it. My understanding is that if the chestnut blight has killed the tree, the wood may no longer be workable.

    More on the American chestnut (Castenea dentata) can be found here at the ACF foundation site.

    http://www.acf.org/
  13. waynek

    waynek Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Messages:
    169
    Loc:
    Southern WI
    I am just wondering the same thing.
    jackpine
  14. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2009
    Messages:
    68
    Loc:
    Virginia - North Carolina

    That isnt true.

    Some of the most desired wood by cabinet and furniture makers is the old chestnut salvaged from buildings that was built from trees killed by the blight. In many cases there were a profusion of " worm" holes in the lumber due to it standing for some time before being harvested. These worm holes add character to the lumber and the " wormy chestnut" look is highly desired. i know of one multi millionaire in the NC area that had a whole library with full wood paneling and shelving done with it. It is absolutely stunning.

    It is a beautiful wood- and some of the nicest working lumber I have ever seen. I bought some 1500 board feet of it, about 15 years ago at a fire sale price in West Virginia, sold about 3/4 of it for a nice profit and have been making some furniture frrm the left overs ever since.

    If you are a lover of trees and wood you owe it to yourself to read up on the history of the American Chestnut. it comprised some 1/3 of the forest in a lot of places mainly in the Appalachian Mouuntains. When the blight hit it devastated counties and states in the regiion. Both wildlife and humans suffered from the lack of the protein the nuts produced and which had previously been harvested every year.

    There are currently folks working on producing a hybridized " American" chestnut that is immune to the blight.
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,076
    Loc:
    Central PA
    American Chestnut is still found in forests here in central PA, and in general it is not too hard to find. They aren't the most abundant tree, but they are widespread in dry forests, ridges, etc., usually in the types of forest where Chestnut Oak is found. Problem is, they are killed by chestnut blight when they reach a diameter of around 4 to 6 inches, which is about the size when furrows in the bark begin to appear. I have heard that this is not coincidence - the furrows in the bark allow the blight to take hold. Many of these trees are shoots from the roots of a tree that grew many years ago when the blight occurred, died, resprouted, the sprouts died, new ones appeared, etc. Some of these trees produce nuts, but only for a few years before the blight kills them. Most of the American Chestnuts I have seen are multi-stemmed clumps of trees which include both dead stems and smaller live ones.

    Penn State has for years been working on crossing and back-crossing chestnuts, and has released seeds of hybrid chestnuts that are mostly American Chestnut, crossed with a european or chinese species to give them resistance to the chestnut blight. As I understand it, only a few people have the seedlings so far, but more are on the way.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page