1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

dangers of a christmas tree

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by infinitymike, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    If you have never seen something like this it will blow you away.
    A dry Christmas tree will is extremely dangerous.

    This tree was about 5 weeks old and we constantly add water to it but it still doesn't matter.
    I did not add any accelerants added to the tree.
    It doesn't take much to get this thing going.

    Please be careful and get them out of your house as soon as possible.
    Also, I did this in a 55 gallon drum and on a slate patio.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,657
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    A well watered Christmas tree is pretty hard to set on fire . . . but stop watering it for a few days and it will go up pretty quickly . . . as you have discovered.
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,967
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Growing up in the city, I recall some of the bigger kids lighting up thrown away Christmas tree in the street, betwwen parked cars, no less.
  4. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    When I took it outside there was still water in the stand.
    A live in the ground tree takes a little more to get it going but it will eventually become completely involved.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,967
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Before electric lights, I do believe candles were used.
    mfglickman likes this.
  6. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    True and there were a lot more house fires because of that.
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Great demo, Mike. It's incredible how much potential energy is trapped in those pine needles, isn't it? I used to burn my tree too, but now we take it to the recycling center where it becomes mulch for our town......

    Back in the day, many people died from Christmas tree fires (as mentioned above they were decorated with candles), kinda amazing you don't see it more often nowadays.

    As for the tree drying out, I don't care how much you water that tree, after several weeks of being cut off the stump, it will eventually stop taking water out of the stand (most likely due to the resin plugging the cut end of the tree).

    Thanks for sharing!
  8. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Not really allowed to burn them here on LI but hey who said I follow all the rules:)
    There's a lot of stinkin rules on LI and NY for that matter.

    Yeah it's real scary to see how little it takes to ignite it.
    I have a still have a wreath and I will try to light with a sparking electric wire to show what can happen with broken or frayed tree lights.
    ScotO likes this.
  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    just be careful not to shock yourself when doin it! :p;)
  10. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,120
    Loc:
    Northern Kentucky along the Ohio River
    Why don't I see a movie!:mad: All I see is a black hole>>
  11. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,967
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Me neither.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Mike, I agree the spruce trees do get super dry and that is why we stopped cutting them. The scotch pines make better trees and are not the danger that spruce is.

    I believe firefighter Jake once tried to get one to light on fire and it would not burn!
  13. Hearth Mistress

    Hearth Mistress Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    852
    Loc:
    Pt Pleasant, PA (SE PA)
    ScotO likes this.
  14. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,888
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Reminds me of that Chrismas movie with Chevy Chase
    n3pro and ScotO like this.
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,657
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    This may be a dumb question . . . was the tree cut by you . . . or was it purchased on a lot?

    Follow up question . . . before sticking it in the water was an inch or two cut off the butt?

    I ask because twice now I've tried to light up a Christmas tree (balsam fir are the tree of choice here) and both times the tree caught for a second and then flared out.
  16. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,657
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Believe it or not . . . candle fires still start up a few fires during the holiday season . . . and some are in Christmas trees.
  17. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Sorry Do you see one yet?
  18. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
  19. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,657
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Interesting . . .

    A couple of thoughts . . . and just thoughts . . .

    Wondering if it may make a difference with it being a frasier fir.

    Perhaps the fact that it was also cut at some point and then transported on a tree lot for a while may have had something to do with it . . . or maybe it was the species.

    In any case, balsam or frasier . . . scotch or spruce . . . it's generally a good idea to keep any Christmas tree well watered and away from any heat source or open flame . . . until you get it out back on a patio. ;) :)
  20. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY

    Agreed 100%
  21. Standingdead

    Standingdead Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Loc:
    Saratoga county, NY
    I once made the mistake of disassembling a 48" wreath and stuffing the branches in my boiler with a thin bed of coals. I barely got my hands out before it sort of exploded in flame! Within seconds the flue stack was shutting down due to the heat. Took my heart a few beats to get back to normal...Not sure what I was thinking at the time but won't do that again.
  22. infinitymike

    infinitymike Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,710
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    OH thats why you live in the town of Burnt Hills LOL
    Standingdead likes this.
  23. nsfd95

    nsfd95 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    Eastern Long Island
    We used to do this in the parking lot behind the firehouse until a neighbor called the cops on us. The officer just pulled up and just shook his head at us.
    BrianK likes this.
  24. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,204
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    I once (when much younger) cut my christmas tree up in the family room and put it piece by piece
    into my big old fisher stove. It was quite a fiery display that my little kids enjoyed. Much smarter
    now in that regard anyway.;)
  25. ChrisNJ

    ChrisNJ Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2009
    Messages:
    379
    Loc:
    Burlington County
    Last year I cut up our Frasier Fir and stuffed the branches into totes to burn in the furnace, they engulfed to such an extent I found it frightening and was happy when they were gone from the basement, would grab a handful of branches and try and stuff them in through the door and they would practically explode in a fireball while I tried to get the door closed in time :-O Garbage men took this years tree.

Share This Page