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Who else burns birch?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by kobudo, Nov 12, 2008.

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  1. kobudo

    kobudo Member

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    In Northern Minnesota I have mainly birch and pine on my lot that I use for firewood. There is a good deal of maple around I just don't have it on my property.

    When burning birch I try to pull some of the bark off before burning. I was told it is bad for the woodstove pipe. Does anyone else do this or do you just throw 'er in and let it burn?

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  2. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    Burn it BURN IT ALL!! MWUHAHahahaaa

    ya, I burn the bark. It's also maybe natures absolute best fire starter material.

    I love birch.
  3. VTZJ

    VTZJ Member

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    Throw 'er in and let 'er burn.
  4. Custerstove

    Custerstove Member

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    Don't believe that nonsense - burn it all. The only advantage to removing bark is to allow the wood to dry faster without splitting the log. Apparently the bark can trap water moisture in the log. Ever notice that the center of a log is not always seasoned when you split wood?

    Actually, if I remember correctly the center of the log is dry but the layer next to the bark is often un-seasoned?
  5. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

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    Birch is becoming one of my favorite species to process and burn. Easy on the saw, easy to split. Decent BTUs.

    Strip off some of the bark so that the wood dries faster. The bark is wicked good kindling when dry. As long as it is dry it will not harm your stove.
  6. ScottF

    ScottF New Member

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    I just burned up about a cord of birch recently that someone was disposing of because it was not hard enough wood for him. All dry and cut up and I just needed to split. It burned great bark and all and provided plenty of heat for over a month
  7. Dill

    Dill Feeling the Heat

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    Before I found this site, I had never heard of removing bark. I don't have enough time to bother with that.
    Toss it in, more btus. I'll burn birch, if the tree needs to come down. Heck the last 2 years, I've burned alot of poplar cause thats what I needed to cut in order to make the garden bigger.
  8. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'll burn Birch if Ash is not available but I peel off all the bark that I can. Birch also has to be much dryer to burn well. It will simply rot if not split and put under cover.
  9. skinnykid

    skinnykid New Member

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    I have a butt load of birch. I like it.

    It burns well and heats just fine.
  10. Wrigley

    Wrigley New Member

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    Burn birch here all the time, bark and all -- no problemo. Like any other wood the key is making sure it is dry!
  11. MadTripper

    MadTripper New Member

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    I have some in the stove as I type. It is one of my favorite woods although it needs to be seasoned very well. I had some unseasoned two years ago that tossed a lot of creasote out. The stuff I have now actually has mushrooms growing out of it but after a week or two in the basement, it dries completely and burns great.

    I never heard of pulling the bark. Black locust bark makes great kindling as well and that usually just falls off once it is seasoned.

    Tripper
  12. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Whoever told you birch bark is bad for stove pipe,,,,,,,, hunt him down and STUFF a fist full of curlies in his mouth and tell him I said BS ! BURN IT , it is some great wood!
  13. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I burn a lot of white birch and use it for my first logs after the kindling is burning. I frequently drop them in the winter and let them sit for a few months before getting around to cutting and splitting. I find that if I slit the bark down to the wood lengthwise with a chainsaw (twice on big logs), that when I do get around with dealing with it, that the bark has pulled away from the wood and can easily be left in the woods (except at branches). I have also found that if this is done the wood dries qucik and doesnt rot any faster than any other hardwood. I usually split it by hand and its goes well. Yellow birch also burns well but usualy needs a splitter as it can be real stringy.

    Be aware that its not worth cutting up the smaller branches unless you can split them, they usually start rotting before they dry out fully.
  14. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Paper bark birch is like "gold" in these parts. About as close to hardwood as we are ever gonna get? Rare to score some of that stuff though %-P
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    Birch is great burning stuff. However, if you don't get it cut to stove length and split soon after you drop it, then get it under cover, it also rots really fast - that bark is a great moisture seal. However I do save branches over 1" or so, even if I can't split them and they get a bit punky, they still make good kindling.

    Gooserider
  16. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    We have a few different types of birch in our wood pile... yellow, paper, white and a little bit of grey.
    As long as it burns, i'll be happy.

    this is our first year burning, and we started harvesting in april. When we first started, it was maple and maple only. no exceptions, all that birch will set fire to our chimney, burn down the house, pillage the fridge, key my car and knock up my daughter (says my father in law). it took us from april to august to get 6 cords. When I finally started taking everyone heres advice "it ALL burns" and stopped being so selective we harvested another 6 cords in a little more than a month.
  17. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Birch is a nice burning wood, but as noted above, its gotta be dry or it'll just sit and sizzle. Leave the bark on when you split ti and stack it bark side down to aid in drying...bark side up on the very top layer and you barely need to put a tarp on your stack. Remember birch bark is totally waterproof...the indians used to make canoes out of it for this reason.
  18. breamer999

    breamer999 Member

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    Wonderful stuff it is, has a sweetish smell to it when burning. I prefer yellow birch to maple, and it has more BTU's than maple
  19. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    I peel off the white paper birch bark whenever I can.. because its too good to throw into the stove!
    I save it and use it to start fires. I was splitting some black birch this summer.. man, that stuff smells great.
  20. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    Indians made canoes of the bark.
    That's why you need to split the larger stuff (> 6" dia), although I've had good luck not splitting, as long as it's covered and given a year to dry.
  21. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    ya, split it or the injuns will steal it for canoe building. Going to have to tell my Blackfoot friend about that- accusing the NDNs- huh!
    :)
  22. flewism

    flewism Member

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    I have 1 cord plus in the wood pile, as that's what in the insert right now roaring away. great wood to add to the coals when it get home for work. This the first year I've had birch but I will get some more. Mine was cut and split in March of this year and she is ready.
  23. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    They built canoes out of it due to the fact that it's not permeable by water.

    That's why you'll find birch on the ground in the woods with the wood turned to mush and the bark intact.

    If you keep it under cover and its' not to big, it will dry through the cut ends after a while.
  24. Rich_CT

    Rich_CT Member

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    I haven't burned any birch yet, but it sure looks like that will be my main source of heat next winter. This past WE my dad and I cut down 3 black birches and 1 black cherry on my property. I wasn't sure what to expect from the birch, so I sure am glad to see all the positive feedback re. how well it burns. I'd have to say it is splitting fairly easily (with my 6lb maul).

    All of the trees that we cut down had quite a bit of rot at the base of the trunk. I've got at least 2 more birches that have some rot that we'll cut down later this winter. Anyone else seeing issues with birch and trunk rot?

    Rich
  25. Tfin

    Tfin New Member

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    Birch is great to burn....bark and all.
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