Eastern White Pine as firewood

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MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
71
Southern Maine
I have perused a few threads and I was happy to see that not everyone is a hardwood firewood snob. I have a lot of red oak on my property, but I also have some Eastern White Pine that is 24" at the base. Some of these I want to take down because they are too close to vehicles, out buildings etc. and I have seen random White Pines around me suddenly snap 15' above the ground during certain wind storms. I don't trust them even if they seem healthy. But they are so huge I don't want to just fell them and let them rot. I want to burn them. Is there anyone who would not burn Eastern White Pine if they had these trees available for free? I probably have 15-20 of these trees that I could take down whenever I wanted. I have never had a creosote problem in my current setup, but have never burned pine before. From reading the other threads, pine does not create a creasote problem, but what is it about burning pine that created the "mythology" of chimney fires such that many spread this to this day? Nobody sells softwood when selling firewood. Is that just because it does not contain the same BTU per cord or because it is considered dangerous? Thanks.
 

Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
725
Southern WI
Any species let to dry for the right amount of time is fine to burn. People steer away from softwoods like pine due to its lower btus content. Personally, I burn pine. Great for the shoulder season.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,125
Massachusetts
i've burnt pine in my old defiant. it burns well no smoke if you burn it right. i didn't have any creosote problems and i burnt 6 cord of it in one season. bonus i also didn't get much ash with it. and it was eastern white pine. when wet very sapy
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,628
Northern NH
If you have that many trees, you may want to look around for someone with a portable sawmill to come over. You can get quite a pile of pine boards and structural wood to build a wood shed and a few other projects. Do not worry, you will still end up with pile of firewood. from the tops. The only caveat is if its "urban wood" full of nails or other hardward. Buying new blades get expensive if the wood is full of hardware. Most guys with mills have metal detectors but if its obvious its full of hardware they may not want the hassle. Ideally you would need to stack and dry the boards but plenty of folks have built with green wood. Just consider using deck screws instead of nails.

The other trick with white pine is borers will move into the bark when the logs have been cut, they are fine siting over the winter but once it warms up the borers move in and start munching from the outside in. In a few months you can hear them munchng. Ideally you cut the logs all at once but if you do need to let them sit, stripping the bark off keeps the borers out for awhile. covering the butt ends with wax is also a goof thing as it keeps the ends from splitting. You will be quite surprised how much wood you will get.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,990
Marshall NC
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Here is what I do with white pine. My cabin logs are white pine. I wouldn't burn it in the wood stove.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,313
Downeast Maine
If you have that many trees, you may want to look around for someone with a portable sawmill to come over. You can get quite a pile of pine boards and structural wood to build a wood shed and a few other projects. Do not worry, you will still end up with pile of firewood. from the tops. The only caveat is if its "urban wood" full of nails or other hardward. Buying new blades get expensive if the wood is full of hardware. Most guys with mills have metal detectors but if its obvious its full of hardware they may not want the hassle. Ideally you would need to stack and dry the boards but plenty of folks have built with green wood. Just consider using deck screws instead of nails.

The other trick with white pine is borers will move into the bark when the logs have been cut, they are fine siting over the winter but once it warms up the borers move in and start munching from the outside in. In a few months you can hear them munchng. Ideally you cut the logs all at once but if you do need to let them sit, stripping the bark off keeps the borers out for awhile. covering the butt ends with wax is also a goof thing as it keeps the ends from splitting. You will be quite surprised how much wood you will get.
This is a great post. If those trees are as big and straight as indicated in the OP, then those logs could yield thousands of board feet.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,857
Iowa
Fear not the EWP in your stove ;lol The grove surrounding my place is 99% EWP. When they fall, I css. Really enjoy burning this stuff. Seasons easily. Starts easily. Leaves very very little ash. I do recommend seasoning in full sun/wind and if possible top covered a few month's prior to burning. It doesn't like wet shady storage to well. Enjoy!
 
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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,013
Newport, Wa
Out in WA State we don't burn hardwoods. None Available. Pine is great if you dry it out at least 6 months. Just need a lot of it.
 

shortys7777

Feeling the Heat
Nov 15, 2017
368
Smithfield, RI
I have a half a cord of some type of pine or spruce that has been split stacked and covered in the sun and wind for 1 year. It's at 11-12% I'm probably going to start burning it in a few weeks.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
Love pine - it's what I burn primarily. Splits easy, dries relatively quick, lights in a jiffy, and throws some lovely heat quickly. Season it, and burn it!
 
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firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,470
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Pine is fine . . . to burn . . . or as others have said, if you have enough of it and it is decent it makes fine boards.

I burn a fair amount of eastern white pine since I am always having large branches or trees come down in the winter (and fall) storms. I either split it up into kindling, firewood for burning in the shoulder seasons when a quick, hot fire without a lot of coaling is desired or if it's all gnarly will keep it for campfire wood.

Why pine is often associated with chimney fires may be due to the fact that some folks equate how well seasoned wood is by its weight. Of course, pine and most of the softwood relatives we find here in Maine, tend to be on the lighter side even when freshly cut. And pine, like any species of wood -- hardwood or softwood -- will produce creosote if it is unseasoned and burned in a woodstove . . . but conversely if it is well seasoned it can (and in my household will) burn just fine like any other species of wood.

Some folks may also think the pine pitch may result in more creosote, but I suspect that is not the case . . . it's messy to get on your gloves, saw, hands, etc., but once it dries out is no more harmful than anything else found in any other species of wood in terms of creosote.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,990
Marshall NC
Yes, Dataman, not much but pine up there in Newport. I lived up there for 8 months, right overlooking Diamond Lake.
 

WoodBurnerInWI

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2020
275
Madison, WI
I typically will get multiple pine logs when the tree guys come drop off logs at my house, and I've got a nice area in my stacks devoted to just pine and other softwoods. Last year into early this year the pine logs I accumulated easily equaled a cord plus when split and stacked. I'll let it dry 8 months minimum but it usually goes for over a year plus before it burns. Right now I'm burning pine cut last year and it's wonderful! Woke up to 80 degrees in the house this morning :cool:
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
868
NW Ontario
I typically will get multiple pine logs when the tree guys come drop off logs at my house, and I've got a nice area in my stacks devoted to just pine and other softwoods. Last year into early this year the pine logs I accumulated easily equaled a cord plus when split and stacked. I'll let it dry 8 months minimum but it usually goes for over a year plus before it burns. Right now I'm burning pine cut last year and it's wonderful! Woke up to 80 degrees in the house this morning :cool:
oooo eeeee! just sweating buckets all night?! :)
 

hickoryhoarder

Minister of Fire
Apr 5, 2013
662
Indiana
I like white pine a lot. Like you, I don't like it near buildings and driveways, cuz it snaps. Great kindling. If seasoned long enough (doesn't take all that long enough), and burned in a hot enough fire it should not problems in the stove pipe or chimney.
 

sweedish

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2019
250
Michigan
At least 1/3 of my stack is pine. I burned almost all pine my first year due to it being standing dead and near the driveway. I’d be tempted to take the logs to a mill though
 

WoodBurnerInWI

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2020
275
Madison, WI
oooo eeeee! just sweating buckets all night?! :)

Not too bad upstairs where the bedrooms are (was around 75 or so in most areas) but 80 on the main floor.
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,441
Long Island, NY
Burn it when it's seasoned (6 - 8 months).

Add it to get a slow starting hard wood fire going.

You can't go wrong, here.
 

thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
14,045
Foothills of The Adirondacks
I have perused a few threads and I was happy to see that not everyone is a hardwood firewood snob. I have a lot of red oak on my property, but I also have some Eastern White Pine that is 24" at the base. Some of these I want to take down because they are too close to vehicles, out buildings etc. and I have seen random White Pines around me suddenly snap 15' above the ground during certain wind storms. I don't trust them even if they seem healthy. But they are so huge I don't want to just fell them and let them rot. I want to burn them. Is there anyone who would not burn Eastern White Pine if they had these trees available for free? I probably have 15-20 of these trees that I could take down whenever I wanted. I have never had a creosote problem in my current setup, but have never burned pine before. From reading the other threads, pine does not create a creasote problem, but what is it about burning pine that created the "mythology" of chimney fires such that many spread this to this day? Nobody sells softwood when selling firewood. Is that just because it does not contain the same BTU per cord or because it is considered dangerous? Thanks.
We've been burning White Pine for X amount of years, it is cut,split and stacked for a full year before we burn it. I did tell the wife that I would clean the chimney/pipe once we were done burning Pine for the shoulder season. We don't get much buildup but I still clean it after we burn four face cord.

We also use Anti-Creo-Soot spray, I started using this my first year of burning when we didn't have firewood that was seasoned for one year because the wood stove was installed around April or May. With the help of members from this site we made it through without any problems, we didn't burn White Pine back then. The ACS Spray works like they say.

Our stove is a Lopi Liberty.
 

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ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,531
Northeastern Ohio
i've burnt pine in my old defiant. it burns well no smoke if you burn it right. i didn't have any creosote problems and i burnt 6 cord of it in one season. bonus i also didn't get much ash with it. and it was eastern white pine. when wet very sapy
I agree great in a BK as shoulder wood, two weeks ago a huge one fell over, winter work awaiting, will post a picture later.
 

ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,531
Northeastern Ohio
I have perused a few threads and I was happy to see that not everyone is a hardwood firewood snob. I have a lot of red oak on my property, but I also have some Eastern White Pine that is 24" at the base. Some of these I want to take down because they are too close to vehicles, out buildings etc. and I have seen random White Pines around me suddenly snap 15' above the ground during certain wind storms. I don't trust them even if they seem healthy. But they are so huge I don't want to just fell them and let them rot. I want to burn them. Is there anyone who would not burn Eastern White Pine if they had these trees available for free? I probably have 15-20 of these trees that I could take down whenever I wanted. I have never had a creosote problem in my current setup, but have never burned pine before. From reading the other threads, pine does not create a creasote problem, but what is it about burning pine that created the "mythology" of chimney fires such that many spread this to this day? Nobody sells softwood when selling firewood. Is that just because it does not contain the same BTU per cord or because it is considered dangerous? Thanks.
This one came down three weeks ago in a storm,took down the power lines over 700 feet from the road, now I got to get to work on it, the BK loves pine.
 

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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,228
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Pound for pound good pine contains more BTU's than hardwoods. The issue is density, you get fewer pounds per cord and fewer pounds in a stove load.

Those of us that live in the coldest climates of North America heat primarily with softwoods because it's all we have available to us. The density issue is an easy problem to solve, keep a larger volume of wood on hand, and when purchasing a stove get the next size larger firebox.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,990
Marshall NC
ohlongarm: Nooooo! Don't cut that one up. Let me build a log cabin with it.
 

ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,531
Northeastern Ohio
ohlongarm: Nooooo! Don't cut that one up. Let me build a log cabin with it.
If you can drive here with a trailer you got it no bs,i'm serious, and I'll let you have one four feet at base if you cut it.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,603
NE Ohio
So for you guys that burn a lot of EWP...about 5 years ago they took down a bunch of EWP at work...I grabbed a few loads and am almost out of it now, but even though its been CSS and top covered in a sunny/windy spot the whole time, the stuff still doesn't burn down to nothing...always leaves a black chunk of "styrofoam"...and the wood is dry dry dry...light as can be. What gives?
I only load a split or two at a time mixed with other better woods due to its penchant for "going out" after the initial flame show is over...it burns well at first, even though the sap is long "dried up".