Burning pine you say?

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neverbilly

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2015
158
Arkansas, USA
I don't think I have ever known of anyone burning pine here. And we have a bazillion pine trees. Easily, the most prevalent tree. Loblolly and shortleaf mostly. The majority of lands here have been converted to southern pine plantations. Millions of 70ft to 90ft straight pines with no limbs except the top 20% or so. I should just do this and satisfy myself that it's worthy or not. So, how does it split? Can you hand split it? Should you split it green? Let it dry some on its own before splitting? If so, how long? I also have a hydraulic splitter. Sure does have a lot of nasty sap! Any secrets to splitting or burning this stuff? I can get all I want times a million. From Boy Scout days, I know it burns a big flame, just not hot like oak. But the sap, ugh!
 
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BigJ273

Feeling the Heat
Feb 15, 2015
460
Maryland
It can be knotty. Prob best to use a splitter. If there’s no knots, it splits pretty easy with a maul. My opinion. It’ll be dry in a year, maybe less. I burn it in the fall and spring If I have it.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,782
Iowa
Big splits are fine as it dry's quick and they will naturally burn longer. Straight tree's without branch's sounds like easy splitting potentially. Stack it off the ground and top covered. Give it a try.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
It's hard splitting when full of knots. I bet there are limbs on the bottoms, they just fell off a long time ago and you can't see them anymore, but they are inside the tree. The local mill cuts a lot of wide pine boards and they always plenty of knots. These are big trees as well. If you can see the "eyes" where the limbs used to be you can cut out sections between them and those will split easy.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,197
SE North Carolina
Here in costal NC we have long leaf pine. BTU per cord is the same or as red oak. Its heavy stuff. Dries in less than a year. Burns hot with all the sap. Not much ash at all but it’s fluffy. It will burn 6-8 hours in my F400. I’m guessing yours is maybe loblolly which is lighter than long leaf. I split it all by hand. Fiskars maul to break big rounds into quarters then I switch to smaller axe.
Smaller knots pullout or sheer and big ones I just get with the chain saw. It really soaks up the rain. Cover top and sides. Burn it if you got it. Save the good stuff for overnight burns and burn an extra lof pine during the day.

Evan
 

KindredSpiritzz

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
790
appleton, wi
i love having some pine in my mix to burn, specially when im trying to get the fire going first thing in the morning or when i need some junk wood to toss on just to keep the fire from dying out
 

MMH

Feeling the Heat
Jan 21, 2019
351
NV
I’m in Nevada and have pine species predominantly. Knotty is difficult, otherwise splits pretty easy especially with a splitter, not bad by hand either. Burns hot; drys in a year or less depending on climate etc. I can get 12 hrs out of my stove with it. Definitely not trash as some say, although understandable when you have numerous choices. For me, i have few choices and even if I had choices I’d still keep some pine around.
 

neverbilly

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2015
158
Arkansas, USA
As for limbs on straight stems, yeah, pine trees drop/shed limbs as they grow. It seems there is a word for that, meaning self-pruning. Or maybe that's it! Anyway, yeah, those limb knots will be inside the stem.

This is loblolly mostly. And shortleaf. Don't have longleaf here.

Should you split it green or allow it to dry some after felling, and if so, how long to dry before splitting? It has a lot of sap when just felled... messy.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
As for limbs on straight stems, yeah, pine trees drop/shed limbs as they grow. It seems there is a word for that, meaning self-pruning. Or maybe that's it! Anyway, yeah, those limb knots will be inside the stem.

This is loblolly mostly. And shortleaf. Don't have longleaf here.

Should you split it green or allow it to dry some after felling, and if so, how long to dry before splitting? It has a lot of sap when just felled... messy.
I hate splitting conifers green, my maul/axes have a tendency to bounce, especially if it is fresh cut. Leaving the logs uncut won't help you much either. Seems to be easier to split after I let the rounds sit for a while, especially if they are frozen. I believe once the tree is cut up the tree cells start to die and desiccate inside the tree. Once the rounds freeze the fibers seem to separate easier. Maybe it's all in my head, but I've read others prefer to split frozen wood.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,071
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Should you split it green or allow it to dry some after felling, and if so, how long to dry before splitting? It has a lot of sap when just felled... messy.

Depends on how long you have before you want to burn it, softwoods dry quite well if just cut to stove length and stacked without splitting, usually within a week or two you can see cracks developing within the face of the log as it begins to dry. Often after a few months in the summer the MC is way down, it's easier to split at this point, there is also less sap once dry. My dad runs uses this philosophy, non of his softwoods are split until just before they go in the stove, they are dried as stove length logs over the summer and split by hand as needed during the winter.

Splitting the wood frozen really does help, but I'm not sure if Louisiana gets cold enough for this to be a viable option for you.
 

neverbilly

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2015
158
Arkansas, USA
Nope, frozen wood is not possible here!

I note that there is an entire pile of pines at the dump here but they are too far gone, kind of rotten. What a shame, it's a tractor-trailer load. The big question is when I should have jumped on that, assuming they were brought there green. And the other thing to determine is if it's like already mentioned by others there, to buck them into rounds and let them dry a bit. And then when to split after that! I suppose I will have to experiment. Also, I know where some giant rounds are. The wood doesn't seem to rot as fast in those big rounds. It's certainly far better not having to deal with sticky sap.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,117
Downeast Maine
The sap is easy to deal with. Vegetable oil, butter, lard, etc. will all remove the sap easily. Solvents also work, but aren't as skin friendly. I don't know about you guys, but I don't think it's manly to have damaged skin, my wife certainly doesn't like it!
 
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blacktail

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2011
1,419
Western WA
The sap is easy to deal with. Vegetable oil, butter, lard, etc. will all remove the sap easily. Solvents also work, but aren't as skin friendly. I don't know about you guys, but I don't think it's manly to have damaged skin, my wife certainly doesn't like it!
This. I grew up climbing fir trees. Pam cooking spray was the cleaner of choice for pitchy hands.
 
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