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truth on pine

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Occo370, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. Occo370

    Occo370 Member

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    i know this is an age old debate.. but i have access to approx 8 cords of pine.. all is bucked and ready to split. I was told this was cut down in the begining of the summer. i have an earthstove 1003c ( catalyst ). i have a couple cords of oak for this years well seasoned but want to get a good collection of next years wood ready. SO........... what are the advantages of pine/disadvantages of pine and how long to season..

    thank you in advance for your responses.

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  2. bsearcey

    bsearcey New Member

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    Pine burns fast and hot......period. I'm not sure about the effects of burning alot with a cat. I do believe my cat from Condar had instructions not to burn alot of it. You may be able to get by if you are dilligent about cleaning the cat, but I would lean more on the side of caution and make sure I was mixing it with less resinous wood. I seriously doubt the pine you are talking about will be good this season.


    Adavantages:
    Burns hot and fast. Usually very abundant and cheap or free.

    Disadvantages:
    Burns hot and fast. Makes anything it touches real sticky.

    I'd say go for it if it is easily gotten.
  3. Pagey

    Pagey Minister of Fire

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    Some of the cleanest burning wood I've run through the Endeavor has been pine. I find that with our hot, dry summers here mine is usually ready in 6 months, though 8-12 is always better. It does burn quick, though.
  4. ANeat

    ANeat New Member

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    Access to 8 cords, as in free?? That would tough to pass up no matter the wood
    ScotO likes this.
  5. Occo370

    Occo370 Member

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    It's free. And there's alot. I don't mind fast burn. But. Don't want to clean ss chimney every couple weeks. Or every month. And def don't want a chimney fire. Since my wife loads the stive when I'm not home
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Likely good for next year. I would take it. The main disadvantage is that you need roughly twice the volume of pine as you would oak. Twice as much splitting, stacking, hauling, etc. Worth it to me, since I often get stove lengths delivered to my yard for free. Not having to deal with the brush, felling the trees, cutting to stove length, loading the truck, buying the gas, etc., outwieghs the disadvantages. As to the creosote issue (ducking as I type this) I am pretty sure that burning green oak is as least as bad as green pine. That being said, I season my wood, hard or soft for two or more years.
    ScotO likes this.
  7. Occo370

    Occo370 Member

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    Ohh yeah. One more thing to add. There is no sap. That's odd to me. Anyone have any input on this
  8. ANeat

    ANeat New Member

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    Do you know what type of pine it is??? Im not sure but some may be better than others??

    Found this real quick Species/Weight per cord/Mbtu per cord

    Pine, Jack Pinus banksiana 2,669 17.1
    Pine, Norway Pinus resinosa 2,669 17.1
    Pine, Pitch Pinus rigida 2,669 17.1
    Pine, Ponderosa Pinus ponderosa 2,380 15.2
    Pine, Red Pinus resinosa 2,669 17.4
    Pine, White (Eastern) Pinus strobus 2,236 14.3
    Pine, White (Western) Pinus monticola 2,236 14.3
  9. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  10. Occo370

    Occo370 Member

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    I have no idea what kind. Would someone be able to assist in I'd if I posted some of the splits
  11. HeatsTwice

    HeatsTwice Minister of Fire

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    I've burned cords of pine. Much of it also did not have much sap. The pine I've been burning recently has been killed by the terpentine beatle. They usually eat all of it leaving the wood bone dry and great for burning. Perhaps its the same with yours. Thats why you may have so much of it. As soon as the beatle gets in one tree, they usually devoure the ones around it.

    My stove is so big (3 cu feet) that I put 8x6 inch splits in once every 2 hours. This type of pine has not choked the flue with soot as one might have expected. But sometimes I burn a few splits which have sap. This has once or twice clogged the chimney vent a little, which I clear by spraying it using a hose and sprayer nozzel from the ground.

    I love pine. I get a lot of it from arborist dumps on my property. I get a lot of other types of wood that way also : Walnut, Fir, Eucolyptus, Bay, Acacia.
  12. Occo370

    Occo370 Member

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    I appreciate all the reply posts. I am going to do some more research but in the meantime I'll get a cord or two. Thanks and if u have any more input pls post
  13. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    I burned a decent amount of it last year...some if it punky but dry. It doesn't leave a lot of coals...and you do have to reload a bit more often. But free is free. A lot of people give it away; they think it'll clog your chimney. Whenever I scrounge the stuff, I just tell them I'm burning it outside in the firepit. I don't look a gift horse in the mouth...although, I've never scrounged from a horse. Anyway...I use it during shoulder season and to get the fire going. I'll save the hardwood for the colder months.

    I don't know much about the cat stoves. But last year, I had nothing but brown fluffy ash in my chimney. And I burned a good amount of pine. The key with anywood is well seasoned.
  14. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I burned 3 cord of pine last year. My cat is fine and nothing in the stack. Bucked and free is all good in my book.
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Name that wood is my favorite passtime. I'd take all the pine you can get. Pine may not measure up to the better hardwoods in some ways, but it is far from the worst wood out there, and free is free.
  16. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've burned white pine. (It can be a PITA to split by hand because of the knots, especially bigger rounds).
    I've always let it age until the bark turns red (younger wood) and falls off.
    Usually a year .
    Never had an over night burn and you do have to be careful not to over load ( the neighbors really don't like to see flames shooting out the chimney) so you gotta like tending the fire.
    I've got a bunch of red oak right now so I've been throwing most of the pine out.
    But I do have a about a quarter cord of dry pine and about a third of a cord of rounds that will either get split or rolled into the woods.
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Not much to add here that hasn't already been said . . .

    As mentioned there are different species of pine . . . some better than others when it comes to burning. Around me, it's mostly eastern white pine which isn't really very high on the BTU pecking order . . .

    The eastern white pine we have here is wicked good for: 1) kindling, 2) burning in the shoulder season, 3) burning when you're home and don't mind feeding the fire more often and 4) since folks are paranoid about pine clogging up their chimney it's one wood which is nearly always offered for free and many folks will not be so eager to grab it meaning if you're a bit late on the draw and see a Craiglist ad listed several hours or days later you may still be able to get the wood.

    The eastern white pine we have here does have some disadvantages: 1) if it is fresh cut you will have to deal with the sticky sap (not so much of a problem if it has been cut and left to dry in the sun and wind for a bit), 2) splitting wood with knots in it can be a challenge (conversely if there are no knots it will split like a hot knife through butter), 3) it tends to burn fast and hot (again . . . why it is good for the shoulder season when you want to take the chill out of the air or for use as kindling to get the fire up and going) and 4) it's not a good, "overnight" wood since it doesn't coal up very well and as mentioned burns hot and quick.

    Seasoning . . . honestly . . . again focusing just on the eastern white pine which I am familiar with here in Maine . . . it seasons in a few months . . . but I give it a year to make it nice and dry and suitable for burning.

    Creosote . . . I've said it before and I'll probably say it again . . . I suspect that one reason for folks thinking pine is the wood of the Devil and causes creosote is that seasoned wood tends to be pretty light . . . pine is pretty light-weight even when fresh cut . . . if someone didn't use a moisture meter or at least give it plenty of time to season they might think the pine is ready to be burned and try burning unseasoned pine in their chimney which would cause a build up of creosote . . . but this is something that would happen by burning any unseasoned wood in your stove. My own take . . . don't worry about pine clogging up your chimney . . . just make sure you burn at the proper temps and only burn it after seasoning the wood.

    Sap . . . no or little sap could be due to the species . . . or it could be simply that time, sun and the wind worked together to dry it out nicely.

    Final thought . . . I wouldn't go out of my way for pine . . . but every year I burn some pine in my stove (normally in the fall during shoulder season as it works nicely to take the chill out of the air, but not make the place unbearably hot) . . . most of this pine comes from large branches that break/fall during the previous winter. So far, no issues . . . if you have access to wood that is free, wood that is already bucked and you have access to a lot of it, have the space to store it and don't mind the fact that you may be burning more wood, splitting more wood, etc. for the same amount of heat I would go for it . . . free wood is almost always good wood in my book.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Most of the time you can forget 90% of whatever you've heard about burning pine!

    Pine burns fine as long as it is dry. It will cause no more creosote than other wood and probably less than most....if it is dry.

    There are basically only 2 drawbacks to burning pine. The biggest being that it will not hold a fire a long time like the hardwoods so is not a good wood for night fires. This also brings up the second drawback which is that you need more of it to get the same amount of heat.

    In your case, your really did not state the price or if there is a price at all other than hauling it. Low or no price it would be great for mixing in with some of your well seasoned wood for daytime fires or for spring/fall burning.
  19. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1 Minister of Fire

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    If it is from down in the Pine Barrens, it is probably Pitch. If from other parts of NJ, I would guess White.
  20. Occo370

    Occo370 Member

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    Pitch or white. How do they compare
  21. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    Somebody already posted the BTU/cord bvalues for both White Pine and Pine (Pitch Pine is better), but I'll add that Pitch Pine is in my experience really nice to work with. It splits nicely, smells nice, burns well. It is pretty decent firewood. I haven't worked with fresh Pitch Pine, so I don't know how sappy it can be, but the older stuff I have split really wasn't sappy at all.
  22. flyingpig

    flyingpig Member

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    Something from Raleigh CL

    http://raleigh.craigslist.org/zip/1931231985.html

    I've got the same word from my stove dealer, who happen to use the same insert too. He said NC pine has more sap than usual, and personally he won't burn them at all.

    Well, I guess I need to clean up my chimney more often....off to Amazon to order the Sooteater!!

    Cheers.....Som
  23. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Not sure about the OPs cat stove, but I load mine up with pine and have no problems with either an overnight burn or flames shooting out the chimney. Set the tstat and let the stove do its thing like any other wood.
  24. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Call me a hardwood snob if you want because I just passed up a couple cords of free pine. Too much good hardwood around here to waste my time with Pine. I guess if I was in a pinch I'd consider it.
  25. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I'm one of those who "suffers" burning pine exclusively. But the species I burn, pinon pine (spelled "pinyon" below), has a density and btu content on a par with many hardwoods, so I have no complaints, except for the distances I'm having to travel to get to it these days...

    Species................Million BTU/cord *

    Gambel oak..........30.7
    Pinyon..................27.1
    Douglas-fir............20.7
    Ponderosa pine......16.2
    True firs................19.5
    Aspen....................18.2
    Engelmann spruce...15.0

    * Based on 80 cubic feet/cord and Air-Dried wood at 12%
    moisture content per Utah State University Forestry Extension

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