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Burning sweetgum balls

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Nokoni, Dec 26, 2005.

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  1. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    Is it safe to burn sweetgum balls? Or will they gunk up my stove and chimney pipe? I guess they are the seed pods for the tree. I have a huge (13th largest recorded in the state) sweetgum tree and would love to finally find a good use for the things.

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  2. hosspuller

    hosspuller Member

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    IF the Gumballs were dry, I don't see much differences to burning wood. Except, they won't burn very long, handling them is a pain, etc. then they stick together in a bucket too. Don't ask how I know...
  3. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    If it were me, I'd cut the damned thing down. I hate them. I had one taken down this year and have been struggling witht he wood for a couple months now. damned near impossible to split.
  4. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    I wish hickory nuts and husks were as easy to pick up as sweet-gum balls. I can't even rake hickory nuts. Have to pick them up one at a time. This is a real pain because most of the husks also split open to reveal the nut, so I have to pick up five pieces for every nut that falls. One nut, and four husk quarters that the squirrels or the neighbor children scatter all about.

    At least I can use the hickory nuts and husks for BBQ'ing (for hickory flavored smoke).

    I'm experimenting with burning some in the stove as I have a lot of them by now. More than I need for BBQ'ing. So far, they don't really burn with much flame, they just smoke. If the sweet gum balls actually burn, even if it is quickly, I'd be tempted to try using them for kindling or just as a occasional boredom remedy.

    That said... I helped the b-n-l cut down a sweet gum tree about three years ago because he didn't like picking up the balls. Now he just has to pick up hickory nuts and husks.
  5. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Here we go again! An other *&^&** tree I never heard of. Gotta go and check out the 'net and see what the heck you folks are talkin' about.
  6. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Aaaaghhh! Burn 'em, burn 'em quick ! That's the most alien looking seed pod I've ever seen in my life. If they grew here I know what I would have been throwing at my younger brothers when we were kids.... :p
  7. Nokoni

    Nokoni New Member

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    Yes, they are very strange seed pods. The are quite beautiful.......unless you have about two million in your front yard to contend with. I think I have finally found a good use for them though, kindling.
  8. Runs With Scissors

    Runs With Scissors New Member

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    Hey MO Heat

    I'm With you on the hickory nuts, PITA to deal with. I have about 30 large hickorys of different species (mocker nut shag bark and pig nut) and had 3" of nuts in some areas. On the lawn their bad, on the driveway their worse, like walking on marbles.

    And god be with you when you try to mow the lawn, they richoet everywhere.They ding the cars pretty bad too.


    Even caused my nephew to crash/drop his new (hyabuse ? Hyabusa ? Hiabusa?) his fast japaneese motorcycle.



    Those sweetgum pods are called Monkeyballs around here.........not sure why.
  9. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    none of those weird species here in Massachusetts.....the permafrost tends to kill them, and if that doesnt do it, the dang gummint is trying to think of a way to tax them!
  10. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    If I had 30 of those danged trees dropping nuts in the yard and driveway, I know what I'd be burning for heat next winter. You called it: PITA.

    One is bad enough. I have a few more out back, but there's no grass in the woods. Just natural.
  11. Runs With Scissors

    Runs With Scissors New Member

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    On the plus side though, the shag bark nuts and pig nuts are quite tasty if you are willing to work to get at the meat.
  12. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    Yep. Grandpa was here a while back and he went after 'em like Yule Gibbons. Although I know not what species I have.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Reminds me of when I lived in town. The neighborhood was full of oaks. Tons of acorns. We would warn each other when we were going to mow for the first time every year so everybody could go inside and take the kids with them. It was like a rifle range around there when you mowed.
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