Burning rotten wood?

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tickbitty

Minister of Fire
Feb 21, 2008
1,566
VA
If you have some wood that's good and dry but is punky or has some rot, do you burn it anyway? Someone told me they never burn anything with even partial rot. They have a cat stove, so I wonder if that's why? I just got a load of sorta rotty wood. There's some good stuff in there but it will take some sorting. But I just figured the rotted stuff would just burn right up, just faster. But maybe that's bad?

I just don't want to hurt the stove, or anything like that!
 

fossil

Accidental Moderator
Sep 30, 2007
10,568
Bend, OR
Don't have a cat stove, so can't address that aspect...but I'll burn partially punky splits in my stoves. If it's really punky through and through, I toss it in my dump trailer for the next run to the yardwaste recycle facility. (Don't have an outside fire pit). If I'm splitting and I've got some stuff that's punky on one side but otherwise solid, I'll split off the punk best I can & toss it, keep the rest for the stack. Not because I think it'll do anything bad to my stoves, rather simply because it's of marginal heating value. Rick
 

Beowulf

New Member
Dec 24, 2009
211
SoCal Southern Sierras
About the same process that fossil mentions above... I burn it in a non-cat stove, but can't picture why a cat would matter. Don't like the mess is the main reason I keep as much out as possible.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,156
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Not much to add here . . . non cat stove . . . but I specifically toss my punky wood into my punk, chunk and ugly pile . . . this wood usually gets burned in the Fall of the year . . . or I pull from it when I need wood for camping or the fire pit. I will occasionally whack off some punk while splitting . . . but unless it's a sopping wet, falling-apart mess (i.e. fertilizer) I just keep the wood and burn it once dry.
 
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eernest4

New Member
Oct 22, 2007
603
ct
netzero.com
some rotten wood really smokes and stinks when you burn it. If neighbors or smoke police
are a consideration, you may not want to burn some of the rotten wood.

I try not to burn rotten wood because of the smoke and or stench it can create and out of a desire
not to have my neighbors call the fire dept on me...
 

branchburner

Minister of Fire
Sep 27, 2008
2,758
southern NH
fossil said:
If I'm splitting and I've got some stuff that's punky on one side but otherwise solid, I'll split off the punk best I can & toss it, keep the rest for the stack. Not because I think it'll do anything bad to my stoves, rather simply because it's of marginal heating value.
Same here, but I find I'm keeping more punk than I used to because it burns just fine when fully dry, and is good for short pre-season fires (like today).
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,654
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I don't like to waste wood. If it is stackable and solid enough to be split I usually put it in the stacks with the other firewood. It burns just fine. If it splits funny and is crumbly then it goes to the campfire pile which easily hits half a cord per 5 cords of stacked wood. This campfire pile is always burned up in our annual pumpkin carving party to occur this year the weekend before halloween! This fire can be substantial.

Just remember, 8500 btus per lb. Nomatter how solid it is.
 

Got Wood

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2008
926
Dutchess Cty, NY
branchburner said:
fossil said:
If I'm splitting and I've got some stuff that's punky on one side but otherwise solid, I'll split off the punk best I can & toss it, keep the rest for the stack. Not because I think it'll do anything bad to my stoves, rather simply because it's of marginal heating value.
Same here, but I find I'm keeping more punk than I used to because it burns just fine when fully dry, and is good for short pre-season fires (like today).
+2 ..... I have found though that punky wood does absorb moisture (rain water) so it needs to be kept covered in order to stay dry.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,138
Lackawaxen PA
I used to save all the marginal wood for the fire pit. What I learned is all dry wood burns. In fact nothing goes up as fast as a dry piece of punkey wood. The only issue is getting it dried and keeping it dry. It's basically a sponge. So I still keep all the punk wood in a separate covered pile. I use it in the shoulder season, when we do quick small loads to take the chill off.

Tom
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Since I do our grilling over an oak fire I use the punk wood to get the grill fire going good.
 

woodjack

Minister of Fire
Jan 10, 2008
502
Woodstock, NY
xman23 said:
I used to save all the marginal wood for the fire pit. What I learned is all dry wood burns. In fact nothing goes up as fast as a dry piece of punkey wood. The only issue is getting it dried and keeping it dry. It's basically a sponge. So I still keep all the punk wood in a separate covered pile. I use it in the shoulder season, when we do quick small loads to take the chill off.

Tom
Same here. As long as it's dry I've had no problems burning punky wood. I use it in the spring and fall, and to help my fires get going in the winter.
 

SolarAndWood

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2008
6,788
Syracuse NY
If it snaps when it splits, it heats the house. If it peels or crumbles or has too many bugs, it goes in the pit.
 
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