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Free Pine and Maple

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Pepp31, Jul 9, 2009.

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  1. Pepp31

    Pepp31 Member

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    Hey guys, I was wondering if it is ok to burn Pine and maple in my stove? Can I burn pine by itself or do I need to mix it because I have heard it causes more creosote buildup. I have a tree cutting service giving me all the pine and Maple I want for free.

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  2. fsk2

    fsk2 New Member

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    Lucky. How did you get tree service to do this? Maple is great season it for 4 mths before burning. Pine is okay too. Turn damper down and load pine in on warmer day. Sve maple
    for overnite and cold days
  3. Pepp31

    Pepp31 Member

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    Hey woodhog, do you know of any sites where I can identify the wood through pictures. I am pretty sure I have picked up all Pine but the tree service lady said there should also be Maple in the pile and I would like to be able to ID it.
  4. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I don't think this old wives tale will ever go away. Just like any other wood Pine burns fine as long as it is dry. If it's free you can't go wrong, get all you can.
  5. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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  6. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it is fine to burn pine and maple, creosote forms when your wood isn't dry. I would disagree about maple being ready in 4 months. I have had maple still not completely ready in 16 months and never less than 8. I would Google Tree ID and see what you find. You might have the best luck using the Images.
  7. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Sweet deal! I agree on the seasoning. Give them 6 months at a minimum, 9 months or more is preferred. Longer is always better for seasoning.
  8. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    This question -- or a variation -- pops up about every month.

    Yes . . . it is OK to burn pine in a woodstove . . . in fact just about every wood can be burned in a woodstove although folks recommend not burning painted/stained wood in the stove -- especially stoves with catyltic converters.

    Like most every other wood out there you need to season the pine (and maple for that matter) for several months to a year. In some previous threads some folks have hypothesized that the whole "pine causes creosote build up" myth may be attributed to the fact that folks in the past would burn a bunch of unseasoned pine in a stove under the mistaken belief that it was light weight and therefore had less moisture and the result would be creosote build up . . . since creosote build up is made worse by a) not burning the stove hot enough and b) burning unseasoned wood.

    You can burn pine by itself or by mixing it with other wood . . . just be aware that pine has resin in it that can cause it to burn quite hot and burn up faster than say most hardwoods would. I would not recommend stuffing the fire box full of seasoned pine and touching it off . . . experiment a bit.

    You should also know that there is some variation with maple . . . silver maple is less desirable say compared to a sugar maple. These two species burn much differently. Knowing what species maple you have could be useful in deciding when and how to burn your wood.

    However, in answer to your last question . . . yes . . . if I was scrounging for wood I would take both pine and maple (regardless of the species) since wood is wood . . . however I am not sure at this point if you would be able to burn this wood for this upcoming heating season -- at least effectively and efficiently.

    Finally, I agree with another poster . . . in most cases I would suggest seasoning all wood -- including the maple -- for a minimum of 6 months, although I would personally prefer it to be at least cut and split for 9 months to a year before use . . . again . . . you gain more heat, the stove works cleaner and better and you will not be as frustrated in trying to get the fire going and keeping it going.
  9. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    Right, that's cut and split for 9 months. Thanks for pointing that out, Jake.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    post your pic's
  11. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    I find the pine burns hot - keep a close eye on your draft and shut it down before it runs away. I try to mix some softwood in with the hardwood instead of burning a load of only softwood.
    Get a moisture meter to measure how dry the wood is. I picked one up for $20 on e-bay, no charge for shipping. Get the wood down to 20% moisture if you can.
    Why is the service giving away their pine and maple?
    White maple is our main firewood here in Eastern Canada. Beech, rock maple and yellow birch are nice but harder to find. I would say 50%+ burn white maple.
    Free is the best!
    Happy Burning!
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Wendell, it might be soft maple which actually does season quite fast. Michigan has a lot of soft maple; that is the only kind of maple I have here. I like to mix it with the ash. The maple gets the fire going quickly. Soft maple also makes excellent kindling.
  13. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    Good point, I've only burned hard maple so didn't think of that but I do have a 6' diameter silver maple in my backyard that is getting near the end of its life so sometime down the road, I will be burning only soft maple for a few years.
  14. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    One way to tell pine from maple is pine should have a distinctive pine smell, whereas maple, at least the Red (soft) maple I have, doesn't have much of an odor. I find that even seasoned pine has a slight smell, and any pine that I am splitting is easily identified by smell.
  15. SmokinPiney

    SmokinPiney Feeling the Heat

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    Good seasoned pine burns very hot! I burned some old pine in towards the end of this winter and the stove really got hot. Definately watch your temps.
  16. Pepp31

    Pepp31 Member

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    How much shorter are the burn times of pine and maple compared to oak? Everyone I talk to around here says I am wasting my time, even though the wood is free. They think the pine and maple won't burn long enough for me to fool with.
  17. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    I still think it matters what type of stove you have. I try to get my pine and spruce down to 15% moisture content before I burn it. Then I will just turn the T-stat down and let it smolder away after I have had the fire roaring for 20 minutes or more. The flames will just snuff right out and the smoke will just roll in the stove to feed the CAT.
    N of 60
  18. North of 60

    North of 60 Minister of Fire

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    Ask them what people heat with up north. Maybe you can add the stove you use to your signature.

    Welcome aboard the wood burning learning train. :)
    N of 60
  19. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    It's true that you will feed more low density wood into the stove more often. Oak is great because it's long, steady heat output. Pine will burn faster. If you have the room to store it, and you don't mind feeding the stove, you will be heating your house for free. We tend to have more softwood around here anyway, so I'd be super excited to get all the free pine and maple I could handle, but if I could get free oak I'd probably do that.
  20. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    Pine will probably burn 2-3x's faster than oak, depending on the oak and pine. So if your working for wood, you need to work twice, or three times as long for the same burn.
  21. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I'm more than happy to put whatever work is required into whatever someone freely delivers as long as it isn't rotten. Sadly, I haven't reached the 'they deliver it to me for free' level of scrounging evolution yet. What's the secret Pepp?
  22. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    I don't know pepp's secret, but becoming friends with an arborist has worked great for me.
  23. Pepp31

    Pepp31 Member

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    It is free but I still have to go and pick up the wood. The site is about 7 miles from my house. As far as my stove goes, it is an Avalon Olympic freestanding stove which I have been burning with since 2006. I ended up finding the free wood deal by just calling around and asking.
  24. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    With that stove you should do fine with softer wood. You'll be able to shut the primary way down if the wood's good and dry. You won't get the 12 hours they claim, but that's a big firebox, so you won't be feeding it constantly. It makes sense to try some smaller fires at first so you can get an idea of how it burns and avoid overfiring.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    On the maple it depends on what kind of maple it is. Soft maple, hard maple, silver maple? All pine does not burn the same either. However, on an uneducated guess, figure on getting about 60-65% of the burn times compared to oaks.

    If it were me, I'd grab all that pine and maple.
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