What to do with fallen pines?

spitfire557

New Member
Jan 29, 2019
28
PA
Hello all, I purchased a 17 acre property in 2018 and have an abundance of blown over/fallen pines. I spent this past weekend cleaning some areas up and was initially going to throw everything in the burn pit (most of it is in the beginning stages of rot and splitting it for the wood stove is out of the question). I quickly realized it would take weeks to burn and need to come up with a better solution. I don't mind letting it lay and rotting, but certain areas near our pond I want cleaned up altogether.

Is there any suggestions for how to expedite the rot process or is there any other ideas on how to solve this problem? I've cut most of the blown over trees up into sections so they are on the ground and not suspended, hoping that helps considerably.

Thanks!
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,599
Indiana
If your not going to burn it your stove the only option i see you having is a lot of bonfires...
 
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thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
13,152
Foothills of The Adirondacks
Hello all, I purchased a 17 acre property in 2018 and have an abundance of blown over/fallen pines. I spent this past weekend cleaning some areas up and was initially going to throw everything in the burn pit (most of it is in the beginning stages of rot and splitting it for the wood stove is out of the question). I quickly realized it would take weeks to burn and need to come up with a better solution. I don't mind letting it lay and rotting, but certain areas near our pond I want cleaned up altogether.

Is there any suggestions for how to expedite the rot process or is there any other ideas on how to solve this problem? I've cut most of the blown over trees up into sections so they are on the ground and not suspended, hoping that helps considerably.

Thanks!
In the summer I'll take what I can to the town wood dump but in the winter I start burning the rounds I split.
 

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Smokepole

Member
Sep 28, 2019
100
Foothills N.C.
Hello all, I purchased a 17 acre property in 2018 and have an abundance of blown over/fallen pines. I spent this past weekend cleaning some areas up and was initially going to throw everything in the burn pit (most of it is in the beginning stages of rot and splitting it for the wood stove is out of the question). I quickly realized it would take weeks to burn and need to come up with a better solution. I don't mind letting it lay and rotting, but certain areas near our pond I want cleaned up altogether.

Is there any suggestions for how to expedite the rot process or is there any other ideas on how to solve this problem? I've cut most of the blown over trees up into sections so they are on the ground and not suspended, hoping that helps considerably.

Thanks!
I have a large gully on my property. The ones I don't leave laying ,I put in there.
 
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spitfire557

New Member
Jan 29, 2019
28
PA
Looks like I'll burn what I can and then leave the rest lay. Will cutting it into sections speed up the rot process at all or would I be wasting my time?
 

Prof

Feeling the Heat
Oct 18, 2011
485
Western PA
Looks like I'll burn what I can and then leave the rest lay. Will cutting it into sections speed up the rot process at all or would I be wasting my time?
Cutting it just so it comes in contact with the ground would speed things along, but I wouldn't spend too much time on this. The more ground contact the more the mycelium will have access to the wood--who knows, might get some interesting mushrooms out of the deal.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
5,448
Northern NH
The pine borers will move in quickly and speed up the rot.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,117
Lackawaxen PA
Once I had a tree guy grind my piles. Now with an ATV and a trailer. I leave the branches as big as possible. Load them in the trailer, and strap them down. I take it out in the woods far enough to not see from the house. Currently the pile is 20' X 20' and 5 ' high. To make is rot faster, I take the chain saw to the pile, making vertical cuts. It will makes the pile compress to half it's size. I think the animals like the cover to.
 
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Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
779
Newport, Wa
Once I had a tree guy grind my piles. Now with an ATV and a trailer. I leave the branches as big as possible. Load them in the trailer, and strap them down. I take it out in the woods far enough to not see from the house. Currently the pile is 20' X 20' and 5 ' high. To make is rot faster, I take the chain saw to the pile, making vertical cuts. It will makes the pile compress to half it's size. I think the animals like the cover to.
On Limbs you can have shredded up. On Trunks if they are dry burn em.
 

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thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
13,152
Foothills of The Adirondacks
Looks like I'll burn what I can and then leave the rest lay. Will cutting it into sections speed up the rot process at all or would I be wasting my time?
That chit will last forever, if I move ours it will go up the base of the hill some which will leave the gully open so if we get any other damage in that area, I can still run the length of our gully with the UTV.

I also like access to a bunch of areas on our property in case of a fire.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,128
Unity/Bangor, Maine
The way I see it . . .

1) Take the largest and most solid pieces and buck up as firewood. It's great for burning in the shoulder seasons . . . making kindling . . . or buy some baling twine and see if you can sell some road-side come Summer time to campers.

2) Burn it . . .

3) Dispose of it in the woods . . . there's two views on the best way to do this. Some folks subscribe to putting it in a big brush pile which can provide shelter to rabbits and other small critters. Other folks like to have the brush strewn about so there is more ground contact and it doesn't look as obvious as a huge brush pile.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
4,720
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
We used to buck and burn the trunks (we had a lot more wood usage back then, open fireplaces). We'd put a bucket on a tractor and push all the branch wood into big piles, and have bonfires for family gatherings and such. They probably saw some of those conflagrations clear back in town. :)
 

burning VC

New Member
Feb 6, 2020
8
wNC
This is my first post here.


whatever you do, don't push them into three piles in a triangle arrangement,
and then burn them at the same time....

My buddy cleared 1.5 acres, and ended up with three MASSIVE pyramids of pine, each 18-25 feet tall....
maybe 25 foot diameter bases...

We innocently lit all three, and consigned the night to playing fire warden, garden hose in hand

I guess three, 100-foot tall towers of flame in a triangle ::DT -- gets noticed at night...



Imagine our surprise when the Fire Marshall showed up,
and told us that Airplanes flying overhead could see the 'Distress Signal Fire'
for 100 miles when flying over head and were reporting it to the closest Air Traffic Controller at the local airport...
and the metro airport 50 miles away,
repeatedly...for hours...


Oh yeah, that IS the Fire Signal for SOS or something :confused:
1581042968678.png

We did notice you could see the orange glow reflecting off the bottom of the cloud layer,(2500-3500 feet)
like we were shining a huge Orange Spotlight up,
_g
right before we were sternly re-educated about Signal Fires..


The combined heat was making a clear spot in the clouds overhead, when everywhere else was getting light rain...we thought rain would help us manage down the total BTUs, but we ended up making a dry spot/hole in the clouds...

so again, DONT do that.

ymmv
 

spitfire557

New Member
Jan 29, 2019
28
PA
This is my first post here.


whatever you do, don't push them into three piles in a triangle arrangement,
and then burn them at the same time....

..........

so again, DONT do that.

ymmv
Wow! That's a hell of a story though! LOL

I appreciate everyone's advice on here though, I'm going to let them lay where they are. It's a relatively shaded area and they are all in contact with ground so we will see how long it takes to rot away.
 
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Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
355
Eastern Alps, Italy
Years, literally. I only burn pine and spruce, and my house is just as warm as if I were burning the finest hardwoods. Add the fast drying and ease of splitting in the equation, the fact that it’s free and near your home makes it an excellent candidate for the wood stove... just a thought
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,228
Northern Maine
I’m lucky. My neighbor has a local logger thinning his hemlocks. All in the 18-30 inch range.
He called me and asked if I wanted some of mine removed while he has equipment on site. (Joe cleared my lot and thinned 14 years ago) Obviously I said sure! Just don’t kill my privacy from the road. I also have a huge one near the garage that needs to go he’s going to remove and clean up.
Hopefully he drops me off a few free loads of firewood.
 

spitfire557

New Member
Jan 29, 2019
28
PA
Years, literally. I only burn pine and spruce, and my house is just as warm as if I were burning the finest hardwoods. Add the fast drying and ease of splitting in the equation, the fact that it’s free and near your home makes it an excellent candidate for the wood stove... just a thought
Understandable, but this stuff is mostly half rotted and would not be worth any time at all.
 

billb3

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2007
4,674
SE Mass
I still have a pine log from Hurricane Gloria on the forest floor in front of my house. Logs can take a while. They can go quick too. That one may be an exception.
The branches decay faster if they have contact with the forest floor rather than piled up.

If they are starting to decay and already full of beetle grubs the best thing is probably just to get them on the ground and let/help nature take its course. Decaying wood should be dragged as far from your house as you can as large populations of carpenter ants nearby can find your home a comfortable respite. Maybe termites as well.
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
2,755
Ottawa, ON
This is my first post here.


whatever you do, don't push them into three piles in a triangle arrangement,
and then burn them at the same time....

My buddy cleared 1.5 acres, and ended up with three MASSIVE pyramids of pine, each 18-25 feet tall....
maybe 25 foot diameter bases...

We innocently lit all three, and consigned the night to playing fire warden, garden hose in hand

I guess three, 100-foot tall towers of flame in a triangle ::DT -- gets noticed at night...



Imagine our surprise when the Fire Marshall showed up,
and told us that Airplanes flying overhead could see the 'Distress Signal Fire'
for 100 miles when flying over head and were reporting it to the closest Air Traffic Controller at the local airport...
and the metro airport 50 miles away,
repeatedly...for hours...


Oh yeah, that IS the Fire Signal for SOS or something :confused:
View attachment 256615
We did notice you could see the orange glow reflecting off the bottom of the cloud layer,(2500-3500 feet)
like we were shining a huge Orange Spotlight up,
_g
right before we were sternly re-educated about Signal Fires..


The combined heat was making a clear spot in the clouds overhead, when everywhere else was getting light rain...we thought rain would help us manage down the total BTUs, but we ended up making a dry spot/hole in the clouds...

so again, DONT do that.

ymmv
Only on a cloudy day! 628C062A-9B65-433B-A4EB-0AA3E19FC021.png