Question -- what to do with a very large fatwood stump?

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Nov 11, 2008
Central California
This pine tree came down maybe 10 or 12 years ago, and the stump has been sitting around since then. It seems a shame just to dump it. I've used some of it for starting fires. But it is a hassle to get it into small enough pieces.

Is it really bad on a chain saw? Does fatwood make problems in the stovepipe? Is it safe to use it, or does it create lots of creosote? Should I give up on it and drag it to the dump? Thanks for any ideas...



Minister of Fire
Aug 11, 2008
Anderson, Indiana
split it and burn it!


Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I've got an armful of it from the base of a pine tree and you don't want it in your stove. If you give it enough air to burn cleanly then you'll overfire and if you smolder it then you will get black sooty smoke. Rolling coal. I will bonfire it eventually.


Feeling the Heat
Feb 13, 2007
Southeast CT
Very good to use for starting fires. See if you can somehow cut in 10" pies and then split. I'd love to have a arm full of 1" splits of that.


Mod Emeritus
Nov 20, 2006
Northeastern MA (near Lowell)
It makes great kindling and fire starter, but you don't want to burn a lot of it by itself at once.

Note that the yuppie stores and catalogs will charge big bucks for small amounts of the stuff, usually in some sort of fancy container - if you have friends / relatives that burn maybe you can do a bunch of "gift baskets"

Other than the dirt that tends to get on any wood that lays around, I wouldn't expect it to be a particular problem for the chainsaw. As others have suggested, cut it into shortish lengths, and split it to 1" or less square, and use it for kindling.



New Member
Nov 8, 2008
I had about a half cord of that a few years back. keep it as FAR away from your stove as you can. two pieces of it in my outdoor burn pit, and it looked like I was burning a tire in my backyard. very embarassing. I'll use it one split at a time to light outdoor fires, but thats it. the stuff is toxic and it smells and looks like you are burning plastic.

North of 60

Minister of Fire
Jul 27, 2007
Yukon Canada
Looks like clean burning fuel to me. Iam pretty sure it would put a pretty good glow on a cat. All our pines have heavy sap content.
If I was worried about that stuff Id freeze.


New Member
Aug 7, 2008
Northern MA
in respect to the fuel aspect: if its dry (and im sure it is after 10 years) it'll burn clean or at least relatively clean. in respect to damaging your chainsaw: it doesnt look to bad to me. i had a stump/root ball that i needed to cut just to move it out my yard, so i waited until my blade was dull and ready to be ditched. then i just cut what i could. if you're worried about the chain: dont use a new one but grab an old crappy one. but once again, it doesnt look too bad; you should be fine.


Feeling the Heat
Oct 22, 2008
NJ Piney
You hit the yuppie firestarter jackpot!!!!!
It's not too bad on the saw as long as you can sledge or hose off the clumps of dirt.
I would split and store it in them over-sized zip-lock type storage bags or an old trash can out in the garage if it's already real dry!
It's good stuff but I won't buy it!


New Member
Dec 18, 2007
A friend was telling me that when she was a little girl they had a big stump like that & they would shave off pieces for their fire starter.


Sep 3, 2006
Midland, North Carolina
Here in North Carolina, where the the pines are plentyful, going out and finding heart wood (now called fat wood) is something that has been done since time. Matter of fact its one of my hobbies (boring life) going out and finding it. It is not only in the stumps though, for some reason some trees that have been down for a long time shed their bark and leave a whole length 3to 4inches round. I cut them up in 10 inch peices and split them with a hatchet. I made a kindleing box yesterday out of cedar that I got from a freind that has a saw mill and I put my cuts in it, it sure does smell good. Just don't use a lot of it, you don't need to it burns like gas....
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