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Truth to burning moldy or fungi wood?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Tigg, Sep 9, 2011.

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  1. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    I am by no means a pro, rather green to be honest. This will be my first season for burning and I'm trying to get prepaired. I had a pile in the shade and decided to move it in the sun for a couple of days before I stack them in a rack I made and noticed some peices have quite a bit of fungi on them. I have heard that it will do no harm but, thought I would ask the pros for there opinions.
    Is there any harm in burning wood with mold or fungi on it?
    Any info would be much appreciated.
    Thanks

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  2. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I assume the wood is well seasoned, not punky, and just growing some fungi. If so, no worries. I knock the big fungi off and toss in the barn for the coming winter. Cheers!
  3. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    I'll bump this up with my comment. I knock off the fungus outside - don't want to bring mold spores inside and take chance at effecting indoor air quality. As for burning I think it would smell foul personally but don't think there is harm.

    Thanks to the 22 inches of rain above normal I have quite the fungi collection on the bark myself. I am one that usually debarks my wood before I store it near the house so the mold goes way anyway. Amazed my the critters (ants, worms, larvae) I've found under the bark of two year old C/S/S wood.
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    Fungi must add btus. I'd burm them.

    Matt
  5. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I'm wondering if the would be full of moisture? If so, perhaps not a BTU advantage. Time for an experiment! Cheers!
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Tigg. We've burned wood for a while now and have never worried about any mold or fungi.


    For those experiencing the big rains, I recall 20 some odd years ago when we received an unprecedented rain for our area. There were very little bean or corn harvest that year because everything was so flooded for so long.... It was a real mess and I hope we never see that again. I recall we got over 20" of rain over a 2 day period and with this being flat land, there was no place for it to go. The air even stunk from rotting beans, corn, beets, etc. It happened in September too. Lots of wood did get mold that year for sure. We had absolutely no problem and know of nobody that did with wood. However, like normal, I would not want to bring into the house any more wood than what the stove needed right then. That way any fumes or odor goes up the chimney.
  7. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    Burn away, I know I would.

    Shawn
  8. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    Mold, mushrooms and the like are always a bad sign. Wood is a valuable fuel because the tree has stored solar energy in the form of lignin and cellulose. Those molds and mushrooms have jumped in line ahead of you and are consuming that energy before you have a chance to use it. They mean that your wood is too wet and you have allowed them (the fungi) to eat it up before you can burn it. Every calorie consumed by fungi is a calorie stolen from the woodburner.
    As one of my forestry professors said, "there's no such thing as dry rot." Fungus can only grow in the presence of moisture. Keep your wood dry!

    Heed the last two lines of Frost's poem, The Woodpile, which ends like this:

    It was a cord of maple, cut and split
    And piled—and measured, four by four by eight.
    And not another like it could I see. 25
    No runner tracks in this year’s snow looped near it.
    And it was older sure than this year’s cutting,
    Or even last year’s or the year’s before.
    The wood was grey and the bark warping off it
    And the pile somewhat sunken. Clematis 30
    Had wound strings round and round it like a bundle.
    What held it though on one side was a tree
    Still growing, and on one a stake and prop,
    These latter about to fall. I thought that only
    Someone who lived in turning to fresh tasks 35
    Could so forget his handiwork on which
    He spent himself, the labour of his axe,
    And leave it there far from a useful fireplace
    To warm the frozen swamp as best it could
    With the slow smokeless burning of decay. 40
    Realstone likes this.
  9. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    NH_wood,
    It is not punky by any means. I'm not sure if it is well seasoned, being pretty new to this. Only been cut down for roughly 6/8 months. Its white oak by the way, hah. How can you tell if i is well seasoned? What part of NH do you live?

    n3pro,
    I plan on knocking as much fungi off as possible. Not a real fan of bringing ino the house to. Man, I cant beleive all the critter inside the pile. Frogs seem to be rather popular as well as these little red bugs that look like roaches, I think they call them water bugs or something like that. They're roaches, hah.

    Backwoods Savage,
    Thank you for the welcome, I appreciate it very much.

    shawneyboy,
    Will do :)

    Brewmonster,
    Well, thankfully after a long day at work I came home and moved the pile into the sun. That really did the trick. It really stopped whatever was growing. The only issue was keeping the wood on the grass. It was still moist under it. So, I moved it onto the driveway and will keep it there until tomorrow or Monday. I want to make sure it gets plenty of sun to dry out as much as possible. So, hopefully this will preserve what is left of this wonderful white oak.
    Nice poem by the way.


    Thanks for everything guys, I appreciate it.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Tigg, that is white oak so there is no way that will be ready to burn this winter. Sorry about that.

    For stacking the wood, I cut saplings out in the woods to stack the wood on. Landscape timbers, 4 x 4's, railroad ties, etc. will all work well. The idea is to keep the wood from touching the ground. This also allows air to circulate under the wood which will hasten the drying process. However, you will learn quickly that oak gives up its moisture about the slowest of any wood. We cut oak and then wait 3 years after it has been split and stacked.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Notice the wood is off the ground and stacked on some small stuff we cut in the woods. I'm not particular to any type of wood so just cut any small stuff that is handy for stacking the fire wood on. I use maple, cherry, ash, or whatever.

    [​IMG]
  12. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    Backwoods Savage,
    It wont be ready to burn? Man, that stinks. What about the smaller peices?
    For stacking, I bought those brackets that you use with 2x4s. They are metal and are pretty nice for a simple stack job. I dont have a lot of space and these seem to take space nicely. I also put filter fabric down with mulch on top of it to keep the weeds and bugs down. Then I put small cinder blocks down to stack the racks on top of. I'm OCD hah.
    Wow, you are quite the stacker. That looks great. I need to split mine :( still.
    Thanks man, for the info and image.
  13. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

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    OWB is fine, just don't bring it in the house.
  14. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Probably not, unless the tree was dead with the bark fallen off for a long time. If it's dry, the wood will feel lighter (Oak will always be sort of heavy) and if you knock a couple of pieces of a smaller branch together, they'll sound like bowling pins.
    If not, can you go to plan B, find small standing dead trees that the bark has fallen off of?
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I would not even burn the smaller pieces. Why take the chance burning wood that is not yet ready? It is frustrating, can cause creosote and will also ruin a cat. Just not worth it. Better to stack it and then enjoy admiring those wood stacks for a couple years.
  16. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    Woody Stover,
    Well, some of the peices do sound like bowling pins when hit together. Some of the peices are very light to.
    I spent some time this weekend and split some, it was very easy to split, one to two swings.
    Hah, I dont really have a plan B. I guess plan B would be buy a couple of cords for this year.


    Backwoods Savage,
    No chances will be taken here my friend. For a first time burner, I will be taking all precautions.
    I will also let my wood sit for years before doing any burning. My only problem is I have no place to put it.
    I am almost all out of places to store my piles in the sun. All places for me to store is in the shade and gets zero sun.
    I may have to build some racks that are higher off the ground to store some wood in the shadey areas of my yard.
    This is a problem because my friend is going to be giving me about 3 very large oaks next month.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Tigg, don't worry about no sun. We've stacked wood in the shade for many years. Wind is much more important than sunshine. You have the right idea with stacking the wood higher off the ground. Good luck and I wish I had those 3 oaks!
  18. sheepdog000

    sheepdog000 New Member

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    I split a tree of Honey Locust and left it in a pile on my concrete patio for about 3.5 weeks until I could get my wood rack built, and the weather cleared (rain). Yesterday I split it all again into smaller pieces, then stacked it. Some of the pieces has poka-dot type mold on the ends, and even a few pieces has some fuzzy mold on the ends. Now it's split smaller and stacked, will it dry out and be ok? It's not getting burned till next year.
  19. Brewmonster

    Brewmonster Burning Hunk

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    I bet it will be fine. I had a pile of sugar maple sitting around all through our incredibly wet August and September and it developed just the sort of schmutz you describe. Finally got it split and stacked and that stuff seems to be disappearing already.
  20. Battenkiller

    Battenkiller Minister of Fire

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    OK crap! Bye folks, the... uh..... the microwave's packed for the move. %-P
  21. Remmy122

    Remmy122 New Member

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    Nice problem to have! I wouldn't try the White Oak this year. I tried to burn some oak I bought last year and was miserable. Ive only had 2 or 3 fires this year but it has been a much nicer experience since my wood is dried (still not oak). Be careful buying, a lot of people on CL will say its seasoned, and its split to order. Be sure to ask questions like "when was it cut? when was it split? what types of wood? How was it stored?" You know how it should be done, so if they're some where in the middle it might be worth it. I would grab a moisture meter and check any wood before they try and unload it. Worse case scenario pallets will get you through.

    Where abouts in NC are you located?
  22. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    Wow, its been too long. Over a year and a half, sheesh.
    Finally got my stove inspected and passed, hah. Stacked all my wood and now have 3 more oaks to split and store.


    Backwoods,
    Thanks again. All wood has been off the ground and well ventilated, hah as silly as it sounds. Yeah, those three oaks, didnt happen. He never chopped'em down. Too scared. I did have three dropped in my yard recently, so, I'm happy.

    Remmy,
    I have been very weary about buying wood off of CL, too many scammer and spammers. I bought a truckload off of a memer of another forum. If I need any wood in the future, he is my back up. Though right now, I'm stacked. So stacked I had given some away. Just the small drops and random sized peices.
    I'm in Cary. Where are you?

    Thanks a lot guys, I appreciate it.
  23. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    I'm late to this party, and I'll just echo earlier comments, but maybe it's confirmation for you, Tigg.
    Burn the mold. I've had some pretty purple, yellow and white stuff before. All due to rain not drying off quickly enough.
    (I had my piles in a shaded, un-windy spot, and too close together. I agree that wind is more valuable than sun.)
    I always knock off the bark if I can before stacking my winter's supply in my heated basement. A few pieces that are
    still moldy / punky / damp I put in the rafters of the wood room. I put in a cord at a time, and put a fan or de-humidifier
    on it for a few days to knock off the exterior moisture. Never had a further problem of mold in the house.

    Welcome to the forum. No questions refused. And we love pics - stacks, tools, sheds, etc. We call them our "porn".
    There are some great discussions in our history of comments - use the search engine sometime, too.
    Happy burning!
  24. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    Better late than never ;)
    Thankfully all of the mold has since left the building. After moving my stacks to the driveway and letting them sit for several days, the mold has disappeared. Though it is still a concern. I am moving all of my wood to one location. It will be as far off of the ground as I can stack in a safe manner and also be in a nice location to let the wind go through it.

    Actually, that was going to be one of my questions. Removing bark. Is it better to remove the bark before burning? If so, why?

    Thank you very much for the welcome maplewood, I greatly appreciate it.
    Being new at this it is nice to know that there are people out there willing to help. I'll have to download some pics of my old stacks and the little guy responsable for cutting it, hah. A carbide tip chain and lots of bar oil goes a loooong way.

    I'll be back with some pics.
    Thanks again

    Oh by the way, you from New Brunswick? Wouldnt be Bouctouche by chance?
  25. Tigg

    Tigg Member

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    Ok, heres a few shots of my wood.
    I'm moving all the wood to one location mostly because of bugs. It seems to attract wasps, bees of all kinds and several kinds of beetles.
    Shot from the front
    [​IMG]

    From behind
    [​IMG]

    In the back
    [​IMG]
    I had moved every peice by hand from the above shot to this pic. Put them all on plastic pallets, my back hurts, hah.
    [​IMG]

    New wood just dropped and finally cut.
    [​IMG]
    Another angle.
    [​IMG]
    New location of all wood will be here. I am in the process of grading it as level as possible.
    [​IMG]

    This is what I used to cut everything, its my little beast.
    [​IMG]


    Thanks for looking
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