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Anyone Burn Tamarack for Firewood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by smed, Sep 25, 2011.

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  1. smed

    smed Member

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    I have plenty of Tamarack around the property, but have always thought that it was poor for burning because it has so much sap in it. Does it cause problems with the chimney? I have read that it is fair quality for burn efficiency. I know it is a bit hard on the chainsaw blades and hard to split.

    Any help would be appreciated! :)

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  2. RNLA

    RNLA Minister of Fire

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    I'm no expert but a good friend of mine grew up in NE Washington and said they used it all the time. I do not know why it would not be good if harvested and properly seasoned long enough before use.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it's pretty popular in Eastern WA. They consider it a nice hardwood.
  4. mtarbert

    mtarbert Minister of Fire

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    I burned a cord and a half two seasons ago and loved it. About as good as ash and dries 2X as fast as oak. Wish I had all I could get,,,,,,,,Mike
  5. DMZX

    DMZX Member

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    Tamarack or Western Larch is a highly desirable firewood east of the Cascades. It rates next to Douglas Fir as it is straight grained, few knots, easy to split and give good heat. Around here it goes for $175/cord where grand fir/pine goes $140-150/cord.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Smed, cut it and burn it. No worries about chimney problems so long as you let the wood dry before burning it. Same thing goes for pine; it will burn fine so long as you give it time to dry. A year should do the trick.
  7. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I've never burned any but a person that does said it burns hot, they like it.


    zap
  8. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    +1

    Considered one of the top choices for firewood in much of Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana.
  9. smed

    smed Member

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    I have a few dead standing Tamaracks on the property. I will be bringing those babies down soon, and hoping they are good enough to burn. Wondering about the moisture content with being dead for a few years. Probably get about a cord out of it!

    I guess I will let you know what I find! :)
  10. CTYank

    CTYank Minister of Fire

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    With them still standing, fair bet that the stem's are still pretty wet. Don't expect them to dry much until cut/split/stacked in warm south-westerly breezes. Or stacked near a stove for some weeks. Just can't rush this.
  11. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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  12. Lynch

    Lynch Member

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    i have one in my yard that is dead. have been thinking of cutting it down for some time now.
    only thing is it has some big black ants in it and down really know what i should do with it.

    dont want the ants to migrate to something else or who knows , like bring them into the house!

    most people i have talked to say it burn really hot!
  13. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    In winter the ants will go dormant and that is a good time to cut the tree and burn the infested part . From the splitter right in to the hot stove (if the rest of it is still too moist to call seasoned then you can save that part and let it season). Any attempt they make to migrate from that point just goes up in smoke. :lol:
  14. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    I've burned Tamarack, but I'm a bit more attentive to the draft, like with Pine.
    It dries quickly - a year is more than enough for splits.
    But it does burn hot, like pine. Control your fire or you'll have a hot chimney.
    I would not consider it a hardwood, though....
    Sap is not your chimney enemy. Moisture is.
  15. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    "Sap is not your chimney enemy. Moisture is."
    +1
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Just thinking aloud here . . . wondering if there is any difference between the tamarack we have here in New England (also called eastern larch, hackmatack or juniper by some -- although technically it is not juniper) and the tamarack out west.

    Around here it is considered a softwood . . . not that this would stop me from burning it in my woodstove . . . as long as the wood is seasoned, it's all fair game for my woodstove . . . as mentioned by Maplewood it tends to burn fast and hot.
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