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Pine...bad?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by AlanS, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    Funny you say that. I have about a 1/3 cord of apple in my burn stack that I keep setting aside, I like the pinon so much better.

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  2. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    Took down a blue spruce and a pine last March. Cut it up, stacked it, and waiting to enjoy it next burn season. It totals about 1-1/2 full cords. I plan on using it for fall and spring burns, and for mixing in a few small pieces with hardwoods in the morning to get the fire restarted fast. I like to get the stove temp up to 400 degrees fast. My house is a one story bungalow (~15' chimney pipe) and if the stove top gets up to 400 degrees (no chimney thermometer) then the objectionable smoke minimizes and it is hot enough to rise above the taller buildings. Plus, the afterburn kicks in faster. At least, this is what I've found when using scrap 2x4s.
  3. DonNH

    DonNH New Member

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    I think there's a couple reasons people here on the right coast don't like to burn pine.

    1. There's plenty of denser wood around here, so the bang for the buck (either working it up or buying it) often isn't there.

    2. We've all heard stories about chimney fires when burning pine. A result usually of creosote building up by poor stove choice or usage followed by burning pine and having the fire get hotter than normal.

    The system we've adopted at the family homestead is that pine & similar low-grade wood gets used either in the workshop or for boiling maple sap (have to throw more wood in about every 8 minutes, and the faster burning hot fire is great for that application). The better hardwoods get saved for the house.

    At my own place (a couple towns away from the rest of the family) I burn whatever I've got around, which often includes pine, hemlock, pin cherry, white birch - all pretty similar to pine for density)

    Don
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    If I had access to hardwood, it would undoubtedly be my fuel of choice, for both BTU content and burn time. Alas, there simply is none around these parts. Even most of the Pine we burn comes from a fair distance away. Closest thing to hardwood is Oak and Madrone...couple hundred miles away to the west, along the coast, and nobody ever brings any of it over here to Central Oregon. If they did, I'd pay a premium for it. We burn what we can find to burn. Point is, there's nothing to fear about burning seasoned Pine, or other softwoods. The operative word being seasoned. Rick
  5. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    I'm with Fossil, if I had easy access to hardwood, it would undoubtedly be my fuel of choice too, but it's far and few between in these parts.
    The complete opposite is true of pine here though. It's free, plentiful and relatively easy to get, consequently that's just about what everyone burns around here (that and some Fir), so when you hear rumors that you can't burn it, or it will creosote up your chimney and you'll have chimney fires, it's going to cause some of us, who having been burning pine since birth, to chuckle and muse, once again, about the savvy of our wood burning brethren living on the (right?) coast.
    Certainly there are better types of wood to burn than pine, but for me readily available, easy to process, easy to burn, free pine is the staple fuel of choice.
  6. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    True. If I'm choosing between two free piles, I'm going with the hardwood. But if it's cottonwood vs. pine, it's pine. If space and time are no object, there's no such thing as bad free wood. In my case, I'm almost at my yard's capacity, (mostly with fir), so I'll hold out for hardwoods until I have space again.
  7. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    The following link information supports your preference of pine over cottonwood. The list is not all inclusive but is a good reference point. Cottonwood is about as far down the btu list you can go. http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm

    In my gasifier pine/spruce burns for about 6 hours max summer or winter. The big thing with pine and creosote is wood moisture and the natural type tars that are present with pine. Slow fires with too wet pine= creosote build up but wet wood of any kind will do that. I think the pine tars carry more volatile fuels than most hardwoods though.
  8. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    oy vey!
  9. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    NJ Piney
    STOP telling people it's OK to burn pine!!!
    If word gets out people will stop giving it to me.
    If you burn pine you will have to clean your chimney twice a day or you will have a chimney fire!
    If you don't believe me just ask anyone from New Jersey about burning pine.

    Ignorance is bliss!
  10. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Ja, it's a conspiracy. People that say it's OK to burn want you to burn your house down, effectively eliminating you as a consumer, reducing the demand in the game of supply and demand. ;-)
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