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Burning pine, doing fine

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Rory, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Rory

    Rory Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    197
    Loc:
    Central Me
    I think I'm on my fifth year with my Tarm solo 30, unpressurized storage system. I haven't bought more than a pittance of oil since I started, so I'd say its a success. My wood has ranged a bit in quality, but this year has to be the lowest of the low, but with a low enough moisture content to burn. Last winter I had a couple of large pine trees cut down, and I cut and split the tops and branches, and it added up to quite a bit of wood. I also, on the advice of a forester, cut down a fair bit of poplar last year, but I wasn;t able to get back to it until it was pretty dozey - complete with the purple mushrooms. And this mess along with a small amount of beech mixed in has kept us warm and in hot water so far this year. I know there are some parts of the country where evergreens are all they have and so that's the fuel, but in this part of the country good hardwood rules and folks would be incredulous to hear about heating a house on pine - let alone having smokeless fires to boot!

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  2. 2.beans

    2.beans Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Messages:
    520
    Loc:
    new hampshire
    i use 50 percent pine to heat with, i get tons of it for free. i just burn alot more then if it was hardwood, but its free.
  3. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    I think you'll find that there quite few folks on here that burn pine mikefrommaine comes to mind, but I know there are others as well. In Europe, I think they have mostly softwood, which burns well in a gasser, which is one of the reasons they build them.

    TS
  4. goosegunner

    goosegunner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    1,289
    Loc:
    WI
    I have more red and black oak cut than I can burn in 5 years. I also have red pine that I like to mix in. It really seems run best with some soft wood in the mix. I have not tried a load of just pine.

    This winter I will be cutting again but most likely looking for some wood other than oak if you can believe that.

    gg
  5. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    2,410
    Loc:
    northern-half of maine
    I've been burning a little bit of poplar and spruce. It works, but i got 10+ plus cords of rock maple/beech ready to go. prefer to burn hardwood, but can't waste the wood.
  6. Up to this point I've burned 90% softwood. Works fine for me and my 'tree guy' has been delivering it cut to length and even stacking it lately. He's just glad to have someone willing to take what most around here consider trash.

    Though I do have 4-5 cords of 3 year old oak waiting to go when I finally add storage.
  7. SmokeEater

    SmokeEater Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    329
    Loc:
    Northeastern NY
    The only difference in burning evergreens vs hardwoods is the density. A split of evergreen is just not going to have the same weight of wood as a split of dry hardwood given the same size. In truth the pound of dry evergreen has more energy than the pound of dry hardwood due to the higher content of pitch which has a higher heating value. Theoretically, a gasser filled with 50 pounds of dry evergreen wood will produce more heat energy than the same gasser filled with 50 pounds of a dry hardwood. Dry it and burn it no matter which species it is. A pound of dry wood is a pound of dry wood no matter which wood.
  8. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    571
    Loc:
    UP Mich
    Nothing wrong with burning low quality wood, especially if its free. I've been burning only junk pine, poplar and white birch so far, and the Seton doesn't seem to be offended at all ....:)
  9. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
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    1,623
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    SmokeEater knows this, I'll bet he buys softwood pellets. There are those who think that hardwood is THE ONLY wood to burn in any kind of stove/boiler. Even if in the prosessed pellet form, this simply is not true. We measure wood by volume, not by weight, but pellets on the other hand are by the ton, so...... there ya go. Pound for pound, wood with the same moisture content has pretty much the same BTU content. Bottom line, pine is just fine....if it's dry like any other wood.

    TS

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