Blue spruce firewood

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I'm having a nearly dead blue spruce felled by my friendly neighborhood arborist. It's between the house and the barn, and would hit either if it falls wrong. I'd still try to do it myself, but it has a deep wound, healed over, from the ground, up 6 feet. So, bring in the pro$. He says it's the largest one he's seen.

So, how's blue spruce burn? I'm thinking it'll be great shoulder season wood in 2 years.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Just like any other spruce, not a whole lot of heat and burns fast. Spruce makes really good kindling, it does throw a lot of sparks though.

You don't need to wait 2 years, if its CSS this spring it will be ready by fall.

I burn quite a bit of Spruce because there are a few dead standing ones around, but I prefer Pine over Spruce because it has more BTU's.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Just like any other spruce, not a whole lot of heat and burns fast. Spruce makes really good kindling, it does throw a lot of sparks though.

You don't need to wait 2 years, if its CSS this spring it will be ready by fall.

I burn quite a bit of Spruce because there are a few dead standing ones around, but I prefer Pine over Spruce because it has more BTU's.
Thanks AB. I should have enough shoulder wood through fall 2021, but this will be good for spring and fall 2022. It's the closest tree to the house, so the haul will be minimal for once. I'll watch out for the sparks.
 

hickoryhoarder

Minister of Fire
Apr 5, 2013
579
Indiana
Friends I know who have mainly spruce growing in their area burn a lot of it. (White spruce and red spruce in their case.) It's maybe no one's first choice, but it works.
 
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Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
It's like firecrackers in the stove when real dry.....takes off in a hurry... I like it for quick heat, if its branchy/knotty can be tough to split.
That wound will likely have a bunch of sap from healing and will burn like napalm.
I'm anticipating a lot of small knots, I have hemlock that has similar characteristics. I think it'll make a good addition to all the oak I'm accumulating.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,510
Northern Maine
Chip it is my choice or haul it into the woods to rot.
Even as fire pit wood too many sparks.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
Sucks to split and low BTU, but most of my firewood is spruce and fir. If you have a hydraulic splitter then it is fine, otherwise I would pass.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Sucks to split and low BTU, but most of my firewood is spruce and fir. If you have a hydraulic splitter then it is fine, otherwise I would pass.
I do have a small hydraulic splitter, and it's going to be 15' from the house. So it'd be more work to haul it away to discard than to just stack it close to where it's at and burn it in the mix over the next couple of years.
 

Solarguy3500

Member
Dec 3, 2020
98
Western MA
Chip it is my choice or haul it into the woods to rot.
Even as fire pit wood too many sparks.
I cut this spruce tree down next to my driveway last spring.
IMG_20200412_131557.jpg
The limbs went in the burn pit, and I cut up the trunk and hauled it out into the woods and dumped it to rot.

I'm going to make maple syrup next spring and I was thinking about dragging that spruce back out and splitting it up to burn for syrup making, but wasn't aware of the sparks as I've never tried to burn it before. Might try burning it for syrup making and if it makes too many sparks, I can always drag it back into the woods.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
I actually prefer to burn spruce in the stove, burnt in an outdoor fire the sparks go everywhere, in the stove it doesn't matter as long as your chimney isn't full of creosote.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
The sparks aren't that serious. My wife doesn't like it when lighting/loading the stove, but otherwise it's not a big deal.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I'd burn it. It burns fine. But I like warming up my stove with pine too.

Ever feel like you need a stove load for heat 3 hours before bed? That's when spruce comes in.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,783
Central Mass
I had 5 medium sized cut down 3-4 years ago. I don't let any wood go to waste so I cut it up and burned it during shoulder season. They were in my yard so it couldn't have been easier.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
I will confirm that it is tough to split! I banged on one small round with the fiskars splitting axe a bunch of times, to little effect. I took another one to the little splitter, it pushed right through, but was stringy to the end.

I'll be doing as much as possible with the splitter, the large rounds will require quartering with the sledge and wedge, as even the 8lb maul won't split this.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Let it sit in the sun and wind for a couple weeks, spruce dries fast, it's much easier to split once the ends of the rounds become checked.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
Let it sit in the sun and wind for a couple weeks, spruce dries fast, it's much easier to split once the ends of the rounds become checked.
Thanks, I was wondering about that. I can be patient if it's going to save some effort.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Thanks, I was wondering about that. I can be patient if it's going to save some effort.
It's worth the wait, we always cut standing dead trees so they are reasonably dry from the get go, my 8lb fiskars maul splits the large rounds into quarters, the X25 does the rest.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
I will confirm that it is tough to split! I banged on one small round with the fiskars splitting axe a bunch of times, to little effect. I took another one to the little splitter, it pushed right through, but was stringy to the end.

I'll be doing as much as possible with the splitter, the large rounds will require quartering with the sledge and wedge, as even the 8lb maul won't split this.
My Fiskars 8 lb maul just bounced off most spruce and fir rounds when I was trying to do things the hard way, and the largest were only 16". Very few rounds would split without using the wedges. My wife doesn't even like splitting spruce with the gas powered splitter.
 

Easy Livin’ 3000

Minister of Fire
Dec 23, 2015
2,920
SEPA
This wood is dripping with pine sap and super stringy. It's slow going and messy, even with the splitter.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
This wood is dripping with pine sap and super stringy. It's slow going and messy, even with the splitter.
Last summer I milled a nice red spruce log, about 10" on the small end, to make boards for my chicken coop. I found several voids full of sap randomly scattered throughout the log. Some were small, maybe dime sized, but a few were a few inches long holding 2+ oz of honey colored sap. Not all of the spruce logs I've milled have these sap voids, I have no idea what causes it. Have all of your rounds been like this?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,648
Downeast Maine
Probably damaged while growing and the tree defended itself.
Makes sense. I get more "feathers" and rough spots with spruce than fir or tamarack. Haven't had the opportunity to mill anything else besides those three though.