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Burning rotten wood?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tickbitty, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    If you have some wood that's good and dry but is punky or has some rot, do you burn it anyway? Someone told me they never burn anything with even partial rot. They have a cat stove, so I wonder if that's why? I just got a load of sorta rotty wood. There's some good stuff in there but it will take some sorting. But I just figured the rotted stuff would just burn right up, just faster. But maybe that's bad?

    I just don't want to hurt the stove, or anything like that!

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  2. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Don't have a cat stove, so can't address that aspect...but I'll burn partially punky splits in my stoves. If it's really punky through and through, I toss it in my dump trailer for the next run to the yardwaste recycle facility. (Don't have an outside fire pit). If I'm splitting and I've got some stuff that's punky on one side but otherwise solid, I'll split off the punk best I can & toss it, keep the rest for the stack. Not because I think it'll do anything bad to my stoves, rather simply because it's of marginal heating value. Rick
  3. Beowulf

    Beowulf New Member

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    About the same process that fossil mentions above... I burn it in a non-cat stove, but can't picture why a cat would matter. Don't like the mess is the main reason I keep as much out as possible.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Not much to add here . . . non cat stove . . . but I specifically toss my punky wood into my punk, chunk and ugly pile . . . this wood usually gets burned in the Fall of the year . . . or I pull from it when I need wood for camping or the fire pit. I will occasionally whack off some punk while splitting . . . but unless it's a sopping wet, falling-apart mess (i.e. fertilizer) I just keep the wood and burn it once dry.
  5. eernest4

    eernest4 New Member

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    some rotten wood really smokes and stinks when you burn it. If neighbors or smoke police
    are a consideration, you may not want to burn some of the rotten wood.

    I try not to burn rotten wood because of the smoke and or stench it can create and out of a desire
    not to have my neighbors call the fire dept on me...
  6. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Same here, but I find I'm keeping more punk than I used to because it burns just fine when fully dry, and is good for short pre-season fires (like today).
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I don't like to waste wood. If it is stackable and solid enough to be split I usually put it in the stacks with the other firewood. It burns just fine. If it splits funny and is crumbly then it goes to the campfire pile which easily hits half a cord per 5 cords of stacked wood. This campfire pile is always burned up in our annual pumpkin carving party to occur this year the weekend before halloween! This fire can be substantial.

    Just remember, 8500 btus per lb. Nomatter how solid it is.
  8. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

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    Personally I've never had a good experience burning punky wood. I usually just save it for campfires.
  9. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    +2 ..... I have found though that punky wood does absorb moisture (rain water) so it needs to be kept covered in order to stay dry.
  10. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    I used to save all the marginal wood for the fire pit. What I learned is all dry wood burns. In fact nothing goes up as fast as a dry piece of punkey wood. The only issue is getting it dried and keeping it dry. It's basically a sponge. So I still keep all the punk wood in a separate covered pile. I use it in the shoulder season, when we do quick small loads to take the chill off.

    Tom
  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Since I do our grilling over an oak fire I use the punk wood to get the grill fire going good.
  12. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    Same here. As long as it's dry I've had no problems burning punky wood. I use it in the spring and fall, and to help my fires get going in the winter.
  13. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    If it snaps when it splits, it heats the house. If it peels or crumbles or has too many bugs, it goes in the pit.

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