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Getting to be that time of year. I have a concern about my fuel supply.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by pr0vidence, Sep 8, 2009.

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  1. pr0vidence

    pr0vidence New Member

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    Greetings once again all!

    It's been a good summer here in CT, not too many unbearably hot days. Bad growing weather, but that's ok.

    So I spent a fair amount of time processing wood for this year, as well as the next few years. I have a concern and I am not quite sure what to do, or if I should even worry about it. One of the trees that we cut down had a single, big thick vine hanging off of it. It was in the fall last year after the leaves had fallen off of everything, and the vine had been cut near the base of the tree some time before (I do not know now long before) and was hanging from the upper parts of the tree a few feet off the main trunk. I asked the people I was with if they knew what kind of vine it was (it was at their house), specifically if it was poison ivy, and was sort of given a brush-off "nah it's fine" answer. I do not know if it was or was not poison ivy. My friend who is VERY allergic to PI lived there as a kid and claimed he played in that area all the time and never got it.

    Anyway, I have 3-4 cords of wood now pretty well seasoned in my (recently built) wood shed, which includes the tree that had the vine on it (among 4 or 5 other trees that came down). I am a little nervous that if the vine was PI, it could cause a problem for myself or my neighbors. However, I have no way of knowing, at this point, which pieces of wood in the pile are from the tree with the vine that may or even may not be PI.

    Myself and my friend have put a lot of work into cutting, storing, processing, splitting, stacking the wood. We built a 14x6x8 foot wood shed to store it in. We put a lot of effort into this wood so I am not fond of the idea of dumping the entire store of wood. As well my wife will not be pleased if I tell her I want to do that we well, especially this close to the burning season.

    someone please tell me burning it will be ok :-/

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  2. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    Hairy vine equals poison ivy. My guess is it would only affect the pieces that have it on it, at that I'd say pulling it off with some pliers would do the trick. I can't see dumping a whole seasons worth of wood, I'd just pull the vine off the pieces as they show up.
  3. pr0vidence

    pr0vidence New Member

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    thanks for the reply. There is no vine or remnants of vine left over. it is completely gone. My concern (maybe not a concern?) is remnants of the oil left on the bark of the wood. I considered pulling off the bark of all the wood as I pull it out of the shed....but that also seems like a heck of a lot of work.

    So it is less of/no concern if there is no vine?
  4. Nonprophet

    Nonprophet Minister of Fire

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    The active agent in Poison Ivy and Poison Oak is Urushiol oil. It is INCREDIBLY potent stuff!!! Archaeologists have broken out in a rash after exposure to 750+ year old dried stems and leaves of Poison Oak/Ivy!!

    I wouldn't want to see you throw out your whole wood pile, but I would recommend only handling the wood with thick rubber gloves, and, don't touch anything else with those gloves except the wood!!!

    Here are some Poison Ivy/Oaks facts:

    1. The Urushiol oil in poison oak and ivy (that which gives you the rash) is extremely potent and can be delivered to your skin from contact with ANY part of the plant, leaves, vines, flowers, dead, alive, etc.
    2. Urushiol oil is VERY potent--2 micrograms of urushiol oil is enough to give someone who is sensitive to it a bad rash--for comparison one grain of table salt is about 60 micrograms......in theory the amount of urushiol oil equal to the size of one grain of table salt would give 30 sensitive people a skin rash, and the amount of urushiol oil that would fit on the head of a pin is enough to give 500 people a rash........
    3. Contrary to popular belief, the rash does NOT spread from the weeping/feline skin blisters...the rash is ONLY caused by the oil itself contacting the skin. Many people go to great lengths to bandage and cover their rash in the false belief that the fluids from the rash will get on their sheets, clothes, etc and spread the infection--this is NOT TRUE. While it’s true that the affected area can get larger over a few days, the fact is that the urushiol oil had already been absorbed into the skin, and it just took a few days for it to manifest itself in a larger area. I used to spend a lot of time and money trying to keep the rash protected so it wouldn’t “spread,” now I know the facts!
    4. Ethyl alcohol (NOT Isopropyl!) is the cheapest and most effective way to remove the oil from your skin immediately after exposure. After 30 mins to an hour the oil has already been absorbed into the skin, then your best bet is Technu.
    5. Technu is probably the best product out there to clean the urushiol oil from your skin after a few hours have elapsed since exposure.. Interestingly enough, it was originally designed in the 50’s to clean nuclear contamination from soldier’s skin, it wasn’t until the 80’s that it’s ability to break down urushiol oil was discovered--completely by accident. As someone else mentioned, Fels Naptha soap is also very effective for some people.
    6. One of the best secrets for minimizing the itching and healing faster is to take VERY hot (as hot as you can stand it!) showers. The heat of the water releases the oil from the skin faster, and this reduces the amount of histamine that your skin releases (what makes it itch....). If you’ve got a bad exposure, frequent very hot showers are your best friend.....it can stop the itching for several hours at a time!
    7. Many people get urushiol oil from their pets as the oil easily bonds to clothing and fur.....if you’re in an area with lots of poison ivy/oak and you have pets, keep a bottle of Ethyl alcohol around (about $1 from the drugstore) and wash your hands with it right after playing with your pets......

    Hope maybe this info will help someone--I’ve learned all these lessons the hard way!!!
  5. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    98% of the trees I cut and burn have vines on them...what are you going to do? Processing wood is hard enough without dicking with the vines. I treat all vines as poison ivy so I ALWAYS wear gloves when handling wood...and that's about it. For the last few years I use over the counter 'Tecnu' after cutting. In the 4 years using that I haven't gotten poison ivy and that's a record for me.
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Over the counter aids are great but there are times when they are too far from where you are working with the wood. Simple dirt or a flowing stream (hard water) can aid in preventing the spread and in some cases prevent any reaction IF you act immediately. Simply wash the effected area with the water or rub the area with dirt (this will remove oils from the skin).

    As far as burning the wood you should be alright (if there is contamination) if you do not allow the wood to smolder and waft the smoke around you. If your unit is catalytic then the oils (if any are present) will probably not survive the combustion. All in all if your highly allergic friend played in the area and never got poison ivy I would say that your tree simply had an ivy vine. 5 leaved ivy is quite common in my area but so is poison ivy and oak and I am allergic to the poison ones. Chopping the vine will not always kill the root so you may have an opportunity to view the leaves if any sprouts come up.
  7. mike1234

    mike1234 New Member

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    I don't think I hit the 98% mark, but a lot of the trees I process have vines on them. If I think I might have gotten into poison ivy, after I am done working throw the clothes (including gloves) in the wash, and wash myself off with dawn dishwashing soap (that stuff cuts oil!!).

    When you are cutting with a chainsaw you are throwing that stuff all over you, if you have not broken out yet, maybe it's not poison ivy.

    If you are careful not to burn the vines, handle the wood with gloves, and if you think you get into it, act fast to wash your hands (with dawn), I think you will be fine.

  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've never seen poison ivy 'hanging off'. It clings rather tightly to the trunk with it's hairy roots.
    Hanging off would indicate to me grapes, wisteria or any number of vines that grow up into trees.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We have some trees with poison ivy growing on them but also have just as many, or more, that have grape vines all over them. We simply do not worry about the stuff and neither my wife nor I have broke out from it.

    If the vines are stuck to the trees, it most likely is poison ivy. If you have cut them to length and stacked them, it is a very simple matter of pulling the vine off the log before taking the wood into the house. Just throw the vines into a pile or better yet, in a container of some sort (bag or bucket). When you've gone through the whole stack then you can discard the vines somewhere. Just don't burn them.

    We did do this one year. As I took the wood from the stack after seasoning, the vines then almost fell off but I'd just brush them off and left them in a stack, later to be taken back to the woods and dumped where they would rot.
  10. quads

    quads Minister of Fire

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    +1
  11. pr0vidence

    pr0vidence New Member

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    thanks much for the replies all. I feel much better about burning the wood now. I had just read some horror stories about burning things contaminated with PI oil and people breathing it in and having a lot of problems as a result.

    Onward to burning season!
  12. lexybird

    lexybird Minister of Fire

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    i wouldnt worry about ,just do as the others mentioned and wear gloves if your sensitive to it ,its not bubonic plague ..just some itching and a rash lol
  13. wendell

    wendell Minister of Fire

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    There was a post on here last year about the effects of burning PI so it has been on my mind. A few weeks ago I cut up a cheery tree that had uprooted and it had a vine about the size of your pinky with the constant "roots" you are describing. I had wondered if it was PI and tried to be careful around it but a couple times forgot and rubbed my face with my gloved hand. Nothing happened so I assumed it was something else but it sure sounds like it was PI or is there something else that is very tightly bound to the tree?
  14. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    Keep in mind a couple of things Just because you didn't get PI rash does not mean it was not PI. I know several people including me that seem to have no reaction to the stuff upon skin contact. A couple of years ago I was cleaning out some weedy areas around the house wearing shorts and gloves with holes and got nothing , my wife moved my shoes and got it from them !
    Burning PI is much worse than skin contact in fact it can kill a person or cause severe damage if you breath alot of fumes. The good news is burning in most wood burning appliances will not release enough at a level where you would inhale large enough quanities to cause a reaction. Burning it in a bonfire / campfire setting would be the only was you could cause any harm with the wood you have. Just wear gloves when you handle it keep it away from kids and burn away.
  15. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    Yes there is another vine that clings to a tree that looks similar to the poison ivy vine and will even grow beside it but it is 5 leaved and does not cause a reaction. I am sensitive to poison ivy and oak and have had sub-acute cases where I was not hospitalized but was medically treated as I had 40-50% of my body in "reaction". Came in contact with it from a job I had. I have learned how to handle the stuff but sitll prefer tho avoid it. Induced draft catalytic burners will work effectively in destroying the vines oils if they are on the wood or if the vines are fed into a fire on it's own but normally the smoke version of PI oil is very harmful to those that are sensitive to it. Some people who are not normally reactive to the oil will react to the smoke of incompletely burned PI oil. In the lungs that would seem potentially lethal.
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