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How much pine do you burn? How long to dry ?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by OldLumberKid, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    How much pine do you burn? How long does it take to dry compared with other woods?

    What's the role of pine in your wood pile?
    • Shoulder season only?
    • all-year round?
    • Just a little?
    • Something to mix in to help the hardwoods burn better? or
    • all of the above?
    • your main source of wood cos that's what you get where you live?


    I realize it's going to differ by pile, location and geography.
    (As for my pile, in the very wet, soggy and humid East Coast, it's covered on rain and snow days and exposed to full sun and wind on non-rainy days.)

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  2. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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  3. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    This was our first year burning pine, for the shoulder season only. I had two cords ready which we flamed up.
  4. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Have burned lumber scraps for kindling for years mostly,but will have about 1 1/2 p/u loads worth of split logs starting Fall 2013/Spring 2014 once its dried thoroughly.Love the smell of it,takes me back to childhood as a Cub Scout & spending time outdoors hiking & camping etc.I'm out of the native range of any wild White Pine - closest to me is in 3-4 NE IA counties,a fair amount up there one place is White Pine Hollow State Park/Preserve,over 900 acres for the 2 locations total.Any large older Pine seen around here & rest of state was planted decades ago.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  5. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Who knew?
    That's real interesting. And kind of why I asked, since I had the impression that a lot of folk avoid pine, but sounds like it's a perfectly viable wood for a main fuel for folks out there, so I'll be thankful for my latest mystery scrounge (pine).

    However, I guess those dried out dead trees you are harvesting are a light years from the sap-filled, nearly fermenting-in-the-core pines I'm seeing. I can't believe how stinky and sickly-looking the inside of the pine I've scrounged has been. Sad to hear about the bark beetles, though.


    Nice burns?

    Yes, provided you get a good piece. Love that pine scent, also takes me back to some vacations on the island of Jersey on a sandy path among the pines on the way to the beaches there.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    We had two white pines that lost large limbs last July. The storm we had was right after the 4th holiday. The limbs had broken and were barely hanging on. Now white pine has lots and lots of sap and can be messy to cut and put up. However, on December 1 I cut up those two limbs. There was no sap and the wood was extremely light. No problem burning that right away. (Now that is something you won't hear me say very often!)

    Most pine a year will do on the drying.
    ScotO likes this.
  7. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    You can get all the pine you want for free around here..
  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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  9. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

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  10. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I've got a ring of VERY large white pines ringing my yard... yet none of the dead out of them reaches my chimney.... With all the locust, maple, oak, birch and ash I could ask for... why bother? the pine gets burned in my fire pit in the summer.... it's a damned good way to enjoy a 12 pack :D
    ScotO likes this.
  11. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    So I should be thinking about a year then.

    P.S. Looking for the "overkill" factor; found it!^:)
    That was kind of you. :)
    I think the only cherry I've seen in a while, what was not in Washington D.C. was on a hardwood floor I helped a friend in Long Beach rip up after Sandy ruined the bottom floor of his house. That was some heavy wood, but I think it was also polyurethaned but can't be sure. Hated to see that lovely wood go bye-bye.

    On the wish list. (In the meantime, however, my charcoal grill is the de facto fire pit. Love it and so does the drooling furry cutting buddy, especially if there's salmon grilling.)

    But I'm looking at IPAs, Pilsner, Lager, Black and Tans and, once Lent is over, the occasional nip of bourbon or scotch.
    Thistle and ScotO like this.
  12. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    On the issue of sap, you are correct that these dead lodgepole don't have any sticky sap. In fact the sap issue is one reason I stopped harvesting Douglas fir. Even well seasoned Douglas fir splits would ooze pitch when we brought them in the house and it would drip on the floor around the stove and wood box area, and inevitably someone would step in it and walk through the house and we would end up with sticky spots throughout the house and on our sox. We get nothing like that with the Lodgepole pine, but that's just one of the many things in it's favor. Because lodgepole pine trees are so long and straight they are super easy to process into firewood, no twisted branches or knot, so splitting is a breeze. Another thing is they tend to die in groups so, I can drop all the trees I need in one spot, even overlapping them when I fall them, so I cut them off the ground and fill the truck from one central area. Unfortunately the overlapping lodgepoles can make great seesaws and that can slow firewood production sometimes. ;)
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    How much pine do you burn? How long does it take to dry compared with other woods? I burn only a bit . . . pretty much whatever large branches come down on the property from the winter or if I end up taking down a pine . . . such as the one I cut down the other day after thinking it was the reason for the loss DirecTV reception (although it turns out it wasn't the culprit.) I give the pine a year outside . . . another year inside the woodshed . . . unless I use it for camping.

    What's the role of pine in your wood pile? Kindling and shoulder season burning . . . unless used for camping.
    • Shoulder season only?
    • all-year round?
    • Just a little?
    • Something to mix in to help the hardwoods burn better? or
    • all of the above?
    • your main source of wood cos that's what you get where you live?
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  14. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We have CORDS of it CSS and probably more than we can handle waiting for us in a windfall scrounge we're working on. We brought home a full car trailer load stacked about 3-4' high last week and there's at least 15 more loads like that waiting on us. Burn it throughout the burn season. most everything we get is standing dead or windfall, but we gave it almost a full year anyway. Nice burning wood, easy splitting when it's beetle kill :) no sap.
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  15. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I like the way you think. >>
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  16. Bret Chase

    Bret Chase Minister of Fire

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    I am a fan of pilsners and belgain whites..... and rum :D
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  17. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    There are some 115 species of Pine, each with its own "personality". Processing the Pine that you have access to is likely a good deal different than processing the Pine I have access to...although, I really can't say as I've never known just where "Sandyland" is (cute name, though). Out here in "Softwoodland", I burn almost exclusively Lodgepole Pine along with some Larch, some Fir, and some Juniper. Haven't frozen to death yet. Never had a creosote problem nor anything even approaching a chimney fire. Had a couple of pieces of hardwood once. They burned OK. Rick
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  18. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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  19. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Now that I never thought I'd see. Maybe your hemlocks grow large?
    I got a 3 or 4 hemlocks out there, but they are kinda small ornamental things, full of twigs and such. (Reminds me I gotta spray them with horticultural oil to suffocate the doggone woolly adelgid pestilence.)

    That's a lot of personalities right there. Hopefully none of them multiple personalities. Us people have enough. ;) if trees start, we gotta re-think.

    Good to hear. I guess that was my biggest concern about pine. Maybe it gets a bum rap? If it burns hot, in theory that ought to help?

    :lol:

    OK I deliberately left out the rum cos I didn't want anyone thinking I was a lush. [too late probably] And because with rum, sometimes the requirement is to have some on hand for mixing (white Bacardi), some spiced rum for cooking and baking (Cap'n Morgan Black), and some dark rum for sipping, and dark 'n stormies (Gosling's) — see TMI. Lotta folks I know went through some rum during the powerless aftermath of hurricane Sandy, that's for sure. Have not replenished since. It will bring back memories.

    Just had another scrounge pine go down nearby. The wife is thinking we have no more room for any, and so do I. But I ... can't ... resist ... a ... good ... scrounge. Maybe just a round or two.

    As for the beetles, you can keep those up there. Woulda thought it was too cold for those buggers up in Western NY? Man that is a looong drive from SE NY, I did it a while back ... 9 hours from here to up near flipping Ottawa, lol.
  20. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I take what Hemlocks are on the ground,we still have another 3-4 years if not more needs gettin! If we have any that are big enough for milling that are down, we'll make use of them.
  21. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Good, hate to see good wood go to waste. Went by the golf course the other day for the first time in months. and they let some big juicy hardwood rounds rot from the outside. Dayum, I shoulda, but I thought they were going to pick it up, as they had busted the fence open and bucked it.

    The municipality mulched thousands upon thousands of tons around here post-Sandy. If you saw, you'd go into shock. About a football field and a half of row after row of mulch, 16 feet high and 20 ft wide and wide as a football field — 24/7 processing for months. :O
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  22. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    I see loads of chips every morning heading to the local pellet maker, Curran Renewable Energy. I always see the Asplundh truck with their chipper.
  23. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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  24. Adabiviak

    Adabiviak Feeling the Heat

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    How much pine do you burn? However much is available (probably a quarter cord in my yard now from random scrounges).
    How long does it take to dry compared with other woods? I'm so far ahead now, that it's probably overkill at 2 years plus. I'd give freshly dropped material a solid year at least (same as cedar, but I try to give oak two years, for example).
    What's the role of pine in your wood pile? Nothing special... I don't use it for overnighters, but it's not exclusively shoulder season material either.
    OldLumberKid likes this.

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