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would you burn pine?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Turner-n-Burner, Apr 17, 2007.

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  1. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    Would you go through the effort of splitting and stacking pine - If you had to cut it up and haul it off your parent's property anyway?

    My parents lost the tops of three big pines in the recent nor-easter.

    I'm thinking of just taking a little to use for kindling - I don't really have a lot of space for stacking left, and I think I'd rather use that space for good hardwoods - but I figure I'd ask the experts first.


    -Dan

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  2. HalJason

    HalJason Member

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    My space is limited too, living on a half acre in suburbia. However, the nature of scrounging is that you take what you can get. If I have a pile of hardwood sitting around waiting to be split I'll turn pine down. If I'm not already splitting every evening, I may as well take it.

    I do stack my pine (and other similarly light stuff, like poplar etc...) separately, so that I can intentionally take from those stacks when it's mild out, and not end up with a stove full of pine when it's frigid out.

    I do have about 2 cords split and stacked, and a 3rd waiting to be processed, from a tree I took down on the property last year. I work on that wood when I don't have better hardwood waiting to be processed. I'll be burning all of that this coming winter.

    -Hal
  3. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Just like Hal said; I'd take it if I didn't have a bunch of 'better' wood to process.

    I just took two big trailer loads of boxelder and wouldn't mind more. There seems to be a good time and place to burn just about any type of wood; especially the free kind.
  4. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Free is always good. I've just converted dad over to burning it because he was a little apprehensive about it based on the stigma that seems to surround it. He likes it now though, especially for day wood.
  5. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I'd take it. I don't know if your situation is similar to mine but my unit has a 4 split minimum from a cold start. 3 splits, and I can't get the firebox warmed up enough for the fire to ever burn good or set the secondary combustion off but 4 splits and it doesn't matter much what type it burns nice and secondary burn lights right up. Since I get all red oak, it's a shame in Spring/Fall when I just want a little heat in the night and I load up 4 red oak splits and warm my small ranch 10-14F. I'm looking for some pine & maple to fill in so I can burn my 4 split loads in Spring/Fall without having to open windows.
  6. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Also, pine is good for burning down large dense-hardwood coal beds without creating even more coals, so you get constant heat while making room for the next load of "good" wood. That's why I'm stocking some pine this year.
  7. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Very good point DiscoInferno.

    I never noticed that ridiculous coal build up until operating the stove HARD on wood for extended periods. I'm lucky in the sense that the coal design of the firebox gives a lot of depth, but the build up of 3-4 inches of hot coals was still too much. Pop in a couple pines splits and leave the air control pretty wide open and it burns down purty quick.
  8. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    In my stove (fireplace) the floor is only maybe 2" below the door opening, and I don't have one of those wide ash lips to catch stuff that falls out. So especially with a good ash layer underneath I've always got coals trying to jump out onto the hearth when I spread them out. Not so much a fire danger as a pain in the butt to collect them and toss them back in, but burning them down makes things a lot easier .

    Now what I haven't figured out is the best way to arrange the coals and pine splits for maximum coal burnoff. I think you want to pile the coals as far forward as possible (assuming front primary air), but should the splits go on the pile, or behind the pile to "draw" the air through the coals? This may not make any sense, I don't know firebox fluid dynamics too well. But I do notice that when I pile the coals up in front with no splits or splits on top, coals in the back tend to go dark. I take that to mean that the air never gets back there, just hits the coal pile and goes straight up. I didn't have much pine to experiment with this year.
  9. Bones

    Bones Member

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    Disco, try sweeping coals towards sides abit so airflow goes front to back.
  10. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Pine, Yep. Willow, Yep. Poplar, Yep.
    It's all wood. Now, if I was paying for it.....I'd want something else, but free (my labor is only excercise), then I'll even burn old pallets.....
  11. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    So effectively cut a front-back channel though the middle of the pile? Biggest drawback there is that I have an independently controlled "air boost" channel at dead center front bottom of the stove that I want a lot of coals over. (When open, that part of the firebox burns more like a coal stove.) I've tried to cut a channel on either side of center through the pile, which is hard to do but works OK. Next winter when it gets cold enough here again to actually build up a coal bed I'll do some experiments. This year I used red maple on coal beds and it still produces a fair number of coals.
  12. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I would say that it might or migh not be worth going out of the way for, but as long as you have to deal with it anyway you might as well finish the job and get the benefit of it. Pine isn't the best heating stuff in the world, but it's perfectly burnable, and as long as you've done some of the work...

    Gooserider
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I cook off a cord or more of pine every year. No coals but aside from that it tosses some wicked heat.
  14. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

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    I heat exclusively with pinon pine, so I wouldn't pass it up... :)
  15. keyman512us

    keyman512us Member

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    Well...
    I've got a boiler ("and it's outdoors") so, according to most: "I guess I'll burn anything". Maybe I'm not the best one to ask in this regard...lol.
    Judging by the above...You are going to be in for some "Donation of labor" so to speak...might as well get something out of it (Burn the wood).

    Now my question here is how is the WHOLE situation going to be handled? Are you just cleaning up the tops? Are you going to "call in the cavalary?" (hire anyone to help out?) Are you going to cut the pines "all the way down"???
    I'm trying to "read between the lines on the above statement"...
    Is a tree company or the town/city involved in this "endeavor"? Or are your parent's "picking away at it"??? It's your family...having said that...I would go "all or nothing" (especially around family circles). The last thing I would want to ever remotely have to hear (down the road) at a family function/gathering "Ohh sure you came running got what YOU wanted and then WHOOSH you were gone..." (Not saying that is how it is...but that is how it is sometimes).

    How big are these pines? Is there any "lumber" in them? Or are they so gnarly all that could come out of them is firewood? How "tight" is your parents yard? Got any pictures you could share with the forum of "what you are up against" so to speak?
    If you are going to have to haul it away anyway...you might as well get some return on investment.
    Being into tree work myself (for $ profit vs. "scrounging") you have to "size the whole job up". What I consider an afternoon worth of work may be a formidable challenge to others. I would consider the business that I handle as being a "Tree disposal Specialist" lol. I take on some jobs that require "being creative"...so I would suggest putting some thought into how you go about the whole situation. How big is your "circle of family and friends"??? Sounds like a good "Beef and beer bash" might be just what is in order...
  16. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    Hey Keyman,

    No town or tree company involved, though my brother is a landscaper with a dump truck, and my brother-in-law has a buddy that has a chipper (X-tree company guy). So all the brush will be piled at the curb for easy shredding/loading. Any big stuff that I don't take will go in the dump truck. (if only I had my CDL - scrounging would be SO easy!!!)

    As far as the remains of the standing trees - haven't figured that one out yet. It was getting dark when I first went by to survey the damage, so I don't know if the trees can survive the damage or if they have to come down.... When the tree companies aren't so busy (and charging top dollar) we'll call in an expert to make that call.

    And thanks to everyone else - I'll definitely keep some of the wood for next season!

    -Dan
  17. Bill

    Bill Minister of Fire

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    I like the sound of pine popping in the fire. My dog used to lay by the fireplace until we smelled hair burning, now she doesn't get that close. A spark jumped around the screen. I can't turn down free wood, even though I have all I need on my property. I guess it's from the days I bought wood in the city and would watch the parks in spring for the tree trimmers. I guess scrounging just gets in your blood.
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