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Burning pine

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Joful, Apr 22, 2012.

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  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    That two year dried pine kept this joint cozy most of this season. We usually burn white and red oak but a big pine got on my nerves on Saturday afternoon two years ago and down it came. Went in the stove three or four splits at a time this winter. In fact three of them are burning right now. And I expect that the house will still be here tomorrow.

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  2. Coleman Stove

    Coleman Stove New Member

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    Yeah exactly.. I like burning pine. To me, it smells good.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    So, the first load of the aforementioned white pine was dropped in my driveway over the weekend, and I got to cutting and splitting it today. Golf ball-sized globs of sap oozing out of many pieces, which can really get messy when you grab a round in the wrong spot. Noodling a few of the pieces to gnarly to split coated me and my saw in sap buggers, and this stuff is not easy to split! Maul sinks an inch into the soft end grain on a hard swing, and just sits there. I really feel for you guys out west, who don't have any decent hardwood. You don't know what you're missing!

    You guys sure this stuff is safe to burn? Seems it's damn near half sap by weight.
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, as one of the "guys out west", I'll say worry not. There are around 115 species of Pine, and I've never dealt with anything like your describing. Lodgepole and Ponderosa behave just fine without all that mess you're describing. The sappiest wood I work with is Juniper, and it's not really all that bad. Burns good, too, when seasoned...like everything else. Dunno what sort of Pine that is you're wrestling with, but I'm glad I've never seen anything like it. Rick

    Gonna scoot this thread over into the Wood Shed...
  5. Oregon Bigfoot

    Oregon Bigfoot Feeling the Heat

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    I have a bit of pine from my next door neighbor's yard, I'll burn next winter. In fact, I just cut two Swedish Candles out of that pine, last night, that I will try soon enough.

    Through the years, I have a burned a bunch of Douglas Fir, some hemlock, some pine, some white fir, some grand fir, some spruce, some tamarack, and it all burned hot. Conifers make great firewood, and start much easier than hardwoods. I have not burned Juniper that I can remember, but heard that's great firewood.

    I burned some pine, maybe 1/2 a cord, a couple years ago from the Deschutes National Forest from another neighbor, probably taken from near fossil's neck of the woods. It burned hot, split easy, and the smoke smelled great!

    Pine and the other conifers are probably one of the best shoulder season woods. Like that said above, the key is to SEASON the wood until it's dry, just like you season your hardwoods. Hardwoods burn longer, but pine will get your stove hotter, faster. Pine will always be welcome in my wood shed.
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Pine works well for exceptionally lazy people such as myself. Tree guy dropped off a pile of log length pitch pine early spring. I will buck it late fall, most of the sap will be hard by then, but I will then leave the rounds where they fall for another 6 months- a year before splitting. Pitch pine splits much easier if it is dry, but needs to be stored horizontal, and off the ground to dry enough for hand splitting, even with a fiskars.
  7. onetracker

    onetracker Minister of Fire

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    in 35+ years of woodburning i've never burned pine in a woodstove, other than as kindling. however based on what i've read here and especially from the folks out west, i've got about a cord of white pine split and cooking now to experiment with this autumn. i have ALOT of pine in the form of storm uproots and the dropping of widowmakers near the house. after getting the hang of how it bahaves in my stoves, i'll have years worth of shoulder season wood.

    my plan is to get it bucked into rounds asap and stack it off the ground right where its dropped. then each spring, i'll split up a cord or two and let it season for the summer. its gonna feel real good to not be burning 2 year seasoned hardwood in october and april.

    but damn does it have a lot of bugs in it!

    OT
  8. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Those of us "batch" burning into storage...

    Frankly.. I don't care how fast it burns. I just want the BTUs out of it.

    I'm not trying to light a fire, then choke it down to run as long as I can. I just want the heat into the water. The Lambda sensor runs the draft and fans.. Stuff the heat into the tanks, that's all that matters.

    Different way of thinking. Dry wood.. it's going in the boiler.

    JP
    DexterDay likes this.
  9. varna

    varna Member

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    I don't have a problem burning pine....I have a problem with all the prep with pine. I feel that it takes as much "work" to CSS a cord of pine as a cord of oak or any other wood for that matter..... Takes up the same amount of space in my wood shed, same amount of work to move to my woodshed, but only a fraction of the BTU's of hardwood. Fortunately, where I live oak is king and for me to mess with pine is a waste of time. If it's all I had.......yeh I'd burn it.....but luckily I can avoid it like the plague.
  10. Ironwood

    Ironwood New Member

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    Pine and spruce keeps the shop warm. I've burned both for over 40 winters and no problems.
  11. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I find pine to be a bit less work just due to it weighing less. It does take up the same space, but fortunately, I don't have to worry about that.
    Takes less time to c/s/s. Takes MUCH less time to dry, so if you need dry wood pretty quick,....there ya' go. I am glad to have oak though, so I don't have to load the stove in January, 20 times a day.
    I hate the idea of using up the oak during "shoulder" weather. Seems a waste.
    I have about another 1/3 cord of spruce/w. pine to put in the shed, then that's done for next winter, and I can move on to other things.
    It's all about perspective.
    Realstone likes this.
  12. DMZX

    DMZX Member

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    I have burned a good deal of pine over the last 35 years. 99% of it was dead lodge pole. I seek out those tall, limbless snags that have been naturally seasoned for several years. Lodge pole pine is a short live species and not fire tolerent, so there is no shortage of standing dead.

    On the other hand, Ponderosa Pine can live for hundred of years and through many fires. Large snags are rare and often old lightening struck trees. I leave PP pines snags alone as they can stand for a very long time and provide prime habitat for a variety of birds and chippys..
    DexterDay likes this.
  13. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Uh, pardon my ignorance, but what's a chippy? Chipmunk?
  14. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Joful, you have found that white pine really does have a lot of sap. But you will also find that white pine will burn very well. As for the sap, if you get it on your body, some Miracle Whip; just a small amount, will remove it fast. Just get it when the wife is not watching....
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  15. Realstone

    Realstone Lord of Fire

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    Small hairy nuisance rodent. Best spotted on falling trees
  16. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Yep, we've got a couple of those around here. Uh, the property, lest someone get the idea I might be referring to them.
  17. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I've got 3 decent firewood guys that I can count on for firewood. (I count my blessings on that one!!)

    Every time I ask any one of them for pine i get the "WTF is she talking about, she's insane look".

    I've dared any of them to bring me some. I think one of them is going to take me up on it (his son has a tree business). We'll see.

    It's awesome for shoulder season, and using it will get you through burning some not so perfect hard woods here on the East Coast.

    Where are you, Joful???
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Not far from Philly, Dixie.

    At least in the short term, I can get all the free hardwood I am able to retrieve (more limited by my free time than anything). So, burning up this pine is more a favor to the friend who wants to get rid of it, than anything else. I'll plan to go ahead and use what he brings, but I do hope he doesn't bring me too much more. Every hour I spend splitting this messy pine is an hour less I have for retrieving something better!

    Thanks!
  19. DMZX

    DMZX Member

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    Exactly. The term is all encompassing.
  20. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    If this thread were not so long I would say you have got to be kidding. I dunno WTF the goons at the DOE are talking about. I have burned pine all my life, all up and down the west coast. Burns fast and hot, has a great smell to it when burning, and I never had any problems with it burning in fireplaces, wood stoves, OWBs or in open campfires. It is not on my top 5 list of firewoods, but it is not on the bottom 5 either. Some drawbacks are that most species are light and have less heat than most hardwoods or doug fir, it can get sappy, and when you cut some species of pine the terpentine fumes will knock you over. But other than that, it cuts and splits easy, and burns good. I would rate it 2x better than cottonwood. I do not know how much Monterey/Knobcone/Bishop pine I have burned, but it is a lot. I have about a dozen 40+ foot black pines on my property, and they are a nice store of future firewood.

    You should see the size of some of the Jeffery and Ponderosa pines in the Cascades and Sierras. They are some HUGE trees. BTW, Monterey pines are the most common/abundantly grown trees in the world. Some pine species are as dense as hardwoods and have the same or more heat as well, like Pinyon pine (same heat value as most oak and hickory). Pine rules! The DOE sucks...
  21. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    What if my wife only buys mayonaise? ;)
  22. RORY12553

    RORY12553 Minister of Fire

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    There is a show not sure which channel it is but it is called Mountain Men. One guy who lives in Montana went out and cut what might have been a dead standing pine. Basically he cut it down and stacked it next to the house to use in the next month. I am very new to wood burning but I wouldn't do that.

    I have enough soft wood due to when I first started scrounging I was "Lucky" enough to get a willow tree. I use the word lucky in a very sarcastic manner.
  23. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    This will be our first year burning White Pine in the shoulder season, with the hot weather we've been having it looks like it will be ready to go by the end of August.

    We have 1.24 cord stacked for this year with another .62 that might be ready. Next year we have just over 2 cord of White Pine ready to go.

    zap
  24. ethanhudson

    ethanhudson Member

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    Where I live (Black Hills, SD), and in many other parts of the west there is a Pine Beetle epidemic. There is literally thousands of acres of dead standing Ponderosa Pine in the Black Hills alone. I routinely fell/split/stack dead standing ponderosa pine that is less than 12% MC. So in an ideal world I'd agree with you that the stuff should be left to season in lieu of burning right away; but I have burned my fair share of dead standing pine within a month of hauling it out of the forest with no ill effects.
  25. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I do the same except I'm cutting lodgepole pine (no big knots to deal with like Ponderosa pine, and it is higher in BTUs)
    It's really nice to be able to fall, buck, stack and burn, all in the same day. Saves on space too, because you don't have to store wood for three years before you can burn it. That seasoning wood for years has always been the biggest detractor for people wanting to heat with wood.

    BTW, pine is no good, I always try to dispose of it as quickly as possible by burning it in my wood stove, but only when I'm cold.
    wapiti39 likes this.
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