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burn the bark ?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by aanderoy, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. aanderoy

    aanderoy Member

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    southern maine
    As a new wood burner I've have turned to this wiki several time already and many have provide a wealth of knowledge and for that i thank all that participate. My question to you is: should i burn bark pieces ?

    Two summers ago i had some trees cut. Mostly maple and oak. I cut the logs to ~16" lengths and put those unsplit pieces in several piles (not stacked) at clearings around the wood lot. There it sat for about a year. This spring i split the wood and corded it closer to the house to let it bake. As i was splitting/moving the wood fairly large pieces of bark were peeling/falling off. Frugal as i am, i just couldn't stand to see that go to waste. So i spread it atop the woodpiles and it is now quite dry. If i get to those piles this year, should i burn the bark?

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  2. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Try it. Probably no heat in it, but you may find something you like about your bark. I throw one piece of hickory bark on the top of every fire I start. I like the aroma on the start up.
  3. jotul8e2

    jotul8e2 Feeling the Heat

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    It largely depends upon your tolerance for coals and ash. Many wood burners will not burn bark at all. Me, if a piece comes loose, I just pick it up with the log and toss it on the fire. But piling a lot of bark into the stove all at once will leave you with a bunch of slow burning coals and ultimately a rather lot of ash.
  4. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    I burn the bark. You can break it up and use it as kindlin to restart the fire. It fires up fast and hot and coals well. I have Oak and Black Birch bark.
  5. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I read somewhere that bark creats a lot of smoke and creasote. If the bark falls off I throw it on my very wet ground to decompose.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I burn bark as long as it's dry. We get big slabs of it on fir and locust. Toss it on a hot fire, it will burn.
  7. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Bark for me is just more mess. I've got plenty of wood so I toss bark in the scrap pile.
  8. fire_man

    fire_man Minister of Fire

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    I used to depend on bark to get my reloads to light faster. I finally realized my wood was not seasoned long enough and now I hardly need the bark unless the coals are almost dead.
  9. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    i burn the cottonwood bark, adds that toxic smell to it. gotta love that. anyhow if you dont burn bark, isnt that mostly was slabwood consists of?
  10. Biff_CT2

    Biff_CT2 Member

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    Burn it.
  11. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Bark is great for getting a fire going from coals with seasoned wood.


    I keep it in "almost dying garbage cans w/lids". I have 2.
  12. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    For my birch bark, I save it for starting fire pit fires.
    Mostly the bark stays on the splits & gets burned.
    When/if it starts falling off, it's makes a mess, better left outside for Fire pit fires.
  13. woodmiser

    woodmiser New Member

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    I put the dried pieces that fall loose from the stack in a bucket for use as kindling. I pick out the better uniform lengths only. The rest I chuck.
  14. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    I read somewhere too that pine does the same thing.
  15. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    N60: You are on a roll, you must be feeling better. :)
    That's why I burn spruce instead of pine, no smoke or creosote.
  16. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    If the bark is wet, yes I agree it's as bad as unseasoned wood. The bark I use is falls off the splits and is bone dry. I just toss these peices into a bucket and use them when i need them. If I don't use them in the stove, they get tossed in the fire pit.
  17. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    I usually burn all mine up during sholder season, don't waste BTUs
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    With the dead white ash, we are getting lots of splits that shed their bark. That does not go with the wood around here. You can burn the bark if you wish. It will give you more ashes than heat though.
  19. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Never noticed the ash problem from bark, and don't burn dead white ash don't have much, but I burn the heck ot of the bark from Oaks.
  20. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I have the same situation here, but I do use the bark as kindling this time of year. Once I'm burning 24/7, there is no need. When dry, it makes great kindling but it does pile up the ashes. Ash is the only bark I bother with, though. I don't have any oak around here. And, I've never tried the super cedars.
  21. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    My fir bark never goes to waste and gets burned all the same.
  22. keninmich

    keninmich Member

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    According to another site...( arborist ) 90% of creosote is in the bark.
  23. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Creosote is the by product of incomplete combustion. Caused mostly by excessive moisture and low temps during pyrolysis. Its not in the wood, you end up making it if you have the correct recipe.
  24. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    +1 . . . otherwise folks burning wood species with thick bark such as black locust would have more of an issue with creosote and folks burning wood species with thinner bark such as white pine would have less of an issue . . . and as many an old timer will mistakenly tell you . . . burning pine causes creosote.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Bark falling off . . . burn it as kindling . . . or toss it in the woods. It will not give you a whole lot of heat, but it will not hurt things either. Generally I just toss it into the woods if it falls off naturally . . . I will not take the time to strip it off, but if it is falling off I just huck it into the woods to break down and become tree food for the trees still growing.

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