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Ethical Dilemma or No Worries

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Redlegs, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    So here in Eastern Kansas “pine wilt” is killing all of the White Pine trees.
    Here is a Kansas Dept of Ag. On pine wilt:
    http://www.ksda.gov/plant_protection/content/350/cid/1276

    Now there are not giant stands of 3ft dia. trees but there are “here and there” some 18-24 inch dia. trees, usually in rows of several trees where they were planted are windbreaks or screens. Mostly there are “in the yard”, or close to a house or driveway. In the KDA response plan to stop the spread of the beetle that causes the wilt, the tree should be cut and burned or shredded on site where it is cut down. I called the county extension agent to ask about use for firewood, and was told that since all of Eastern Kansas was already within the infected area, that it was no big deal to haul firewood around within the infected area. I guess this is similar to the Emerald Ash Borer beetle issue in other parts of the country? I haven’t decided to start knocking on doors yet, but I was curious to see where the collective wisdoms of the forum fell on using these kind of trees as firewood.

    Also, I was interested to hear from anyone who had experience burning White Pine about it’s properties as a firewood, and its storage and handling?

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    If it's eastern white pine . . . not the best wood for firewood . . . great for kindling and shoulder season fires. Pretty sappy and messy to work with as a general rule . . .

    If it's free and easy to get . . . go for it . . . just don't pass up the really good stuff as you'll most likely want some of the good stuff when it gets really cold.
    Redlegs likes this.
  3. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    If you have the green light from KDA to move the wood within the area of infestation and you want kindling and shoulder season wood, get as much as makes you happy. Like Bobby McFarrin said "Don't worry, Be happy!" But like firefighterjake said, don't pass by a pile of white oak that's a bit more work just to get the pine.:cool:
  4. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    It will burn good if dry, just won't last a long time (not good for overnight fires).

    White pine is usually pretty knotty, so it won't be easy to split. It also has a lot of pitch (sap) that sticks to everything. Wear gloves you don't mind throwing away when you are done.

    I don't see any ethical issues here...if you got the OK from the KDA to move the firewood. I would get that in writing just in case...
    Redlegs likes this.
  5. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Maybe I'll try a couple and see how process and burn before investing too much into it. A local guy ( I am not a native Kansan) told me "those things will just creosote-up your chimney", but I thought if they were porperly seasoned on the pile that it wouldn't be so bad???
  6. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    It won't cause creosote if it's dry, which should take about 6 months or so. The wood does tend to be knotty, the sap is a nuissance, and don't count on this wood in the middle of winter. I agree you should pursue it if it's free and you've gotten the OK from the gov, just be aware of this wood's limits.
    Redlegs likes this.
  7. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

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    A lot of people think that Pine will "creosote-up your chimney". And they are right, if the wood is not properly dried. But that is because so many people have learned to burn wood that is not properly dried. I burn pine cord wood, and sometimes slab wood, along with my ash and other hardwood, and have learned over the years that you need to have it cut/split/stacked (c/s/s) for at least a year to have it seasoned well. Very early spring, like end of March, through the end of November can get you the right moisture content if in the right drying conditions. The White Pine burns hot and fast. Perfect for the milder temperatures. I usually mix 25-30% Pine in with my hardwood. Unless it is getting real cold, then I go with just the hardwood. In a wood stove you will have to keep in mind that it is possible to over fire your stove with certain wood. Depends on how dry it is, how small it is split down to, and how much air you are giving the fire. One of the reasons I like burning the Pine is that it has a good price for me. -0- I like that number. ;lol
    Redlegs likes this.
  8. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    I like that price the most too!
  9. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I like White Pine as firewood, although it is sappy like others have mentioned. White Pine burns faster and hotter than some of the hardwoods and is great for quickly heating up the house. I imagine that you could figure out how to get longer burns with White Pine than I get, perhaps by making large splits.
  10. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    What's the ethics issue?
  11. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Maple1, I was initially concerned about transporting the "infested" firewood, but really so much now.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Pine seems to usually get the bad rap and white pine gets a bad rap for all the sap. However, last July we had a bad storm and a neighbor had 2 large limbs come down from 2 different white pines. Both limbs were hanging onto the tree yet but not by a lot.

    I cleaned those up in early December. The first thing I couldn't help but notice was the lack of sap! One of the limbs I remember cutting somewhere around 50 logs from and there was not sap in the bar, chain or on me. Even when we loaded the wood onto the trailer, we just did not get any sap at all. So much for the sap theory... And yes, we'll burn them unless the neighbor wants them first. We'll be splitting them in the spring.
    OldLumberKid and Redlegs like this.
  13. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Dennis - was the lack of sap due to the fact that it was December, or the tree being down for awhile?
  14. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    If you do get to drop one.. just be careful... white pine can be very unpredicable... esp once they get near the 2'+ mark... I generally don't prefer to burn it in the stove...
  15. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Bret, did you mean unpredictable for felling...like kick backs, pivots and such?
  16. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Most of the trees I am looking are dead standing, like fully dead without any needles, or all the needles have turned brown, so I was sort hoping there would not be tooooo much sap. Another part of this was just to get something different on the pile. I am setting up to do a big run of elm, and (almost) anything else sounds good compared to that stringy fight.
  17. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    yes... big white pines, with their huge low branches can be hard to estimate the true CG of the tree.... they also can look completely fine on the outside, but the entire heart may be rotten and full of water... So, yes, a pine can spin on it's stump, barber chair, kick back, fall when you're cutting your notch (rotten core)... pretty much anything bad that can happen while felling a tree happens at a MUCH higher rate with a pine.

    Basically you never know what the damned things are going to do... and that's not a good thing when dropping trees...
    OldLumberKid and Redlegs like this.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    For certain it is because the limbs have been down. I expected to find more sap a few feet from the brake but just did not hit any.
    Redlegs likes this.
  19. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Bret, that was good intel...thanks a ton for that post!
  20. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Good info in this thread.

    I might be getting a pine that might eventually be coming down on a nearby relative's property. Was curious about its firewood potential.

    I think the biggest problem will be storage of so much wood in a sunny place during seasoning.
    Mind you, the whole place will be a lot sunnier, I think when it comes down.


    And also per the below, good to know in advance about the unpredictability. I definitely won't be felling it, myself, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of the following that Bret posted:

  21. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    most tree experts in my area when taking down a big "bull" pine... start at the top in a boom truck and work their way down...
    Redlegs likes this.
  22. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I took a pine down in my yard a few years back. It had to be the hardest stuff to split with all the branches/knots - you definitely need a hydraulic splitter. I would use it for cold starts and mix a small piece or two in with the hardwoods to get the stove up to temp and burning cleaner a little faster.
    Redlegs likes this.

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