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firewood facts

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Lanningjw, Nov 19, 2009.

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  1. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    That guy is a complete @$$hat.

    But pine does cause chimney fires.

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  2. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

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    settle down guys, I figured out what he was talking about.

    If you read the sentence above the whole "DON'T" burn pine thing it says there are X number of fireplaces in use and it has a picture of a fire place with no spark screen. This being said I can see the concern this guy has is a spark from the pine landing on something flammable and....

    If you read on down where he talks about wood stoves he does not say to not burn pine in a stove he just says it will burn faster and have less heat than hardwood.
  3. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I think it is a softwood maple? From http://www.mapleinfo.org/htm/boxm.cfm

    "The wood of boxelder is light, weak and soft. Because of this and the tree's poor form, it is rarely used for commercial lumber production. The trees are sometimes used for pulp or biomass fuel. Literature states that the sap is high in sugar and can be used to make a syrup, but it is not typically used for this purpose in New England.
    The trees are fast growing and have been planted as street trees, but their weak branches and short life make boxelders a poor choice as an ornamental. Boxelder's fibrous root system and prolific seeding make it valuable for erosion control, and it has been planted in windbreaks and shelterbelts in the Great Plains to help control wind erosion."
  4. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    just because its soft, or actually less hard, doesnt make it a soft wood. technically speaking, softwoods are conifers, and anything with leaves is a hardwood.
  5. Gunks

    Gunks Member

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    I agree. I burned a lot of willow two seasons ago just because my neighbor's big willow tree came down in a storm and the wood is right there.
  6. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

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    YES. You saw my cards. I have so many old time wood burners tell me, "What in the hell are you thinking, burning that pine" One guy said "did you learn that it was Ok to burn pine on the inter-net?" In fact I have some really nice cedar that I took down last year, one of the boys came by the house and reminded me to remove the bark from the cedar or I will clog up my chimney.

    These are the same guys who are burning the red oak that they split 3 weeks ago. I grabbed my moisture meter and tested the center of one of the splits. It was around 36%. I told them it was not dry enough to burn. Once again they said, "you've been reading that Internet again. They actually were kinda pissed at me. I don't want to be a smart ass because I use there splitter, You know the kind of splitter that runs on a case of beer not gas.
  7. Hurricane

    Hurricane Minister of Fire

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    Burn it and stay warm :)
  8. GrantC

    GrantC Member

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    Ya gotta be tough if ya wanna live out West!

    -=[ Grant ]=-
  9. moosetrek

    moosetrek New Member

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    So let's take the sparking, popping wood and burn it outside so we catch the whole dang forest on fire, and not just a living room? Either way I think that argument takes the short bus.
  10. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    I've always heard that.

    Maybe a more useful split would be deciduous and coniferous?
  11. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    I honestly don't know what it's classified as, but pine makes pretty good lumber even though it's a softwood and boxelder does not. I would consider boxelder as a soft deciduous tree, a little bit harder than sunflower trunks.
  12. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

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    I have been burning some willow this fall. I picked up about 3/4 cord of it last December helping a friend out who had alot of willow down in his yard after a storm. He wasnt in any kind of shape to handle it so I cleaned it up for him and took the wood. It did season well. Very light now. Burns really fast, almost zero coals. For a quick evening fire to take the chill out of the room it works. To help a friend out I would do it again but I would pass on other chances to scrounge willow.
  13. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    It is classified as a hardwood like all leaf bearing tree's .... that's why I make the original comment. :smirk:
    After you split some fresh cut BE then tell me it's soft like a sunflower trunk. While I agree it's not a great wood it's harder than pine and dries fast so it works for shoulder season wood or to mix in with better woods.
    I will load my boiler with BE and you load with sunflower trunks and I bet I will be warmer or better yet you hit me over the head with a sunflower trunk and I will hit you over the head with a BE log and we will see who is standing. :)
  14. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I have split boxelder, which is how I know, because it splits in chunks and pieces and the splitting implement sinks in, like splitting a pillow. Lot of swinging but not much happening. Harder wood pops apart instead of absorbing the hit, even pine.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to argue with you about it; I think it's absolutely wonderful that you like boxelder! Heck, if I had a bunch of it I'd gladly save it for you, free of charge.
  15. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Leaves = hard, needles = soft? Well...not exactly. There are exceptions to every rule of thumb, and scientific definitions that occasionally seem to defy common lore. Balsa, for example, is technically a hardwood. Depends on how the tree lives, grows, and propagates, rather than on simply "how hard" the wood seems to be. Really pretty interesting stuff. Balsa's a "soft" hardwood, while Yew is a "hard" softwood. (I have some Yew, and it's tough, hard, heavy stuff that burns as well as Oak & Madrone). Learn more here (among many other places):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardwood
  16. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Fossil, thats funny about yew. I recently cut down an out of control 20' yew and said, man that looks like good burning wood.
    Its now seasoning. It is very heavy, dense and slow growing. Mine is 60 yrs old and about 7"s in diameter. We'll see.
  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I recommend you treat it just as you would Oak. Get it split and stacked and let it season for two years. Burns good. Wish I had a bunch more of it. I think you'll like it. Rick
  18. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    Grew up with a cabin in the Sierras in Calif. Pine was all we burned. Never a mishap.

    I shutter when I think about this now, but I don't think my father cleaned that chimney on a regular basis at all. (Fireplace was used throughout the winter every other weekend - burned hot because it was all the heat we had and cabin was not insulated.....What I would call a a REAL cabin in the days when they were used primarily in the summer - until the ski resorts came into being...)

    Cabin is still standing and pine is still being used ALL winter. (My stepmother moved into the cabin permanently several years ago - unfortunately she passed away last spring - not due to a fire...she was 96 years young!)

    So glad this forum exists - best info. out there.
  19. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I don't know that I "like" boxelder but it burns and keeps the house warm and I got a bunch cut and piled for me to haul away. :)
    I just split a face cord or little more today and most of the splits popped apart some were more like the tearing of elm and some less than 20% split in chunks or compressed like a pillow as you described. I think it might be how and when it was cut and left as this stuff was a large group of trees pushed over and thrown in a big pile for a couple of years and now the farmer is cutting it into usable lengths and clearing everything out.
    So I guess the old 'burn what you got is my motto" weather it be pine boxelder or oak.
    Just for the record I also have some Birch,Elm, Locust, pine, apple , peach ,cherry,mulberry I think and lots of Maple, and oak.
    keep warm :blank:
  20. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Geez,
    You guys haven't died off yet?
    This kind of info would have us believe that the whole western half of the U.S. should be ready for the new wave of settlers.
    Folks around here shun pine too, but I've been burning it because I guess I just don't know any better. DOH! What was I THINKING?!
    I also burn poplar. I'm doomed, doomed, I tell ya'.

    Dave
  21. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Yew is very low moisture. No need to give it two years.
  22. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Are we talking about those things people let overgrow 3 feet off their foundations?
  23. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Solar, Exactly. Mine have grown wild for 60 yrs and are now 25' tall with 7" trunks. I just did some research and found out they used to use the wood for all sorts of tools, arrows, bows etc. Its also supposedly has a magical component.
  24. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Go figure. I just pushed a dozen 15 footers over the bank a month ago without even considering their BTU value.
  25. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    I doubt we're talking about the same Yew. I'm talking about Pacific Yew trees...not little evergreen shrubs. There are a host of things referred to as Yews. Here's what I'm talking about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taxus_brevifolia Rick
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