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Old 06/07/08, 11:55 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 743
Burning Pine for firewood?

I know that green pine is not good for firewood, doesn't it gum up the chimney or stovepipe? But what about seasoned pine? Is it any better? The reason I'm asking is that the new farm has a whole lot of pines, and so does the general area. There are several that need to be cut down due to storm damage, and there are a whole lot of them that are already down in the general area. I hate to waste anything! So I was wondering if it would be worth cutting them in to firewood lengths and putting them back for this Winter? Thanks!
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Old 06/08/08, 12:25 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north central wv
Posts: 2,321
We burn a lot of pine here but it is slabs from the saw mill. We have a 6in heavy wall 1/4 in thick chimney that is about 3 ft from the house and after burning the not so cured wood we build a really hot fire to burn out the chimney when it rains or we get a good coating of snow. The pine burns hot and fast and I don't know how lpng it will take to cure. Good luck with it. Sam
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Old 06/08/08, 12:34 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,837
Seasoned pine is an excellent firewood for a savvy user. Just burn it hot and control the amount of heat by the quantity of wood placed into the stove. Have some hardwood for overnight fire holding or bury a chunk of pine in the ashes to aid in getting the fire going in the morning.
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Old 06/08/08, 12:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MS
Posts: 3,842
I don't know if the pines, in my neck of the woods, are different from other areas, but everyone around here says "no, no". We don't risk it.
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Old 06/08/08, 12:48 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 2,736
We burn mostly pine because that's mostly what we've got. Works fine.
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Old 06/08/08, 12:58 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,417
As long as its cured well and your stove/pipes are kept maintained, its good but it does burn fast. I like it for the first starting fire so I have a nice coal bed to keep the hardwoods going.
I say its a good first morning fire starter.

Uncured pine is a chimney fire asking to happen!
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Old 06/08/08, 01:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: West Tn
Posts: 1,104
Like the other said, it burns really fast. I like hardwoods for the long term heat.
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Old 06/08/08, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,627
everyone burnt pine and other softwoods fro m the local mills back before the sixties when most closed, soft slab wood was 5 bucks a cord, hard slab wood was 8 bucks a cord. delivered
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Old 06/08/08, 07:30 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: No. Cent. AR
Posts: 1,731
I burned seasoned pine for 17 years in SD - that's ALL the wood available out there. never has a problem, only had to clean the stove pipes once or twice all those years as seasoned pine burns sooo hot creosote does not have a chance to form. But then, I always keep the fire bright, hot, and briskly burning. It's taken me several eyars to barely get used to burning oak since my move!
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Old 06/08/08, 07:30 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 5,317
We burn what ever is dead in the tree line. Don't have a lot of wood here in this area of SD, so we can't be too picky. We have a lot of redcedar, which is in the juniper family. I think this might be the stuff they use for smelly cedar - it's red inside and sure does have the cedar smell - kind of neat.

Last year we burned a lot of cured pine. We gutted and repaired a section of the house. Salvaged what we could and cut up the rest that wasn't rotted and heated the house for several months on that. Talk about fast, hot burning. Our chimney is 4 years old, round insulated pipe and not very tall, so it's very easy to clean. So we keep an eye on it all winter long, and DH can run a brush through it as needed.

It is very messy - I've got to wash the ceiling again, but we painted it so that could be done easily. Would like to switch over to a corn stove, but those are spendy.

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Old 06/08/08, 08:22 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near Charlotte NC
Posts: 6,677
we got a whole load of pine last year. It had just been cut and was way to wet to do anything with. this year we'll be moving the woodstove to a better place and the stovepipe will go straight outside. I wonder if that pine will be seasoned by then? We don't do enough campfires to use this much any other way.
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Old 06/08/08, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: East TN
Posts: 6,977
Burn it. Pine is great for kindling so split a lot of it real small for fire starting. Then split some a little larger for putting on the fire in the morning to get a little fast heat. If you have a wood cookstove a little pine now and then for quick heat works good. Cure the pine well and clean your chimney often. Pine also attracts insects, which is probably why you have downed pines. Be sure to cure it away from your other wood and away from your house. If you keep it too long the insects will turn it to dust.
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Old 06/08/08, 09:52 AM
Living in the Hills
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,534
All we burn is pine. After 11 years (& we check every year) we have never had creosote in our chimney. Dh faithfully, goes up & cleans it out, & there is never anything to clean out. Pine burns hot & creosote never forms. Everyone here burns pine and I have never heard of a chimney fire. This year we were give elm. YUCK. Everyone talked about how great it would be. I hate it. The stuff won't burn. I went through 4 cords of pine and 1/2 a cord of elm, most of it is still out there. We have another couple of loads of elm to pick up, but I just don't care, it is so hard to use. And ash? Pine doesn't leave hardly any, but that elm is awful. I have to clean out the pine ash once or twice a month, elm, was every couple of days. Bleck.
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Old 06/08/08, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,192
Yup - burn it. I have a LOT of cedar trees that get burnt in my shop stove. I also use tons of scrap ends from lumber. Both burn great, and I have had ZERO creosote buildup problems. I burn whatever we get - excet Oak. I take Oak as a LAST resort. Even split and aged 3-4 years, the stuff just smoulders. Give me Pine, Maple, Locust, Ash, Hedge, etc, ANY day over Oak.
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Old 06/08/08, 10:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
Posts: 3,158
What type of pine? If it's still standing and only recently dead you may be able to cut it for lumber. If it's getting a bit punky, you can use it for borders for garden beds, parking areas, LOW retaining walls, erosion control, etc.

Depending on the type of pine it may or may not be a good firewood.

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Old 06/08/08, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 799
This is not a "one size fits all" answer. The use of pine here in Wisconsin is strictly a no-no. At best, it gets used for kindling. Mainly because there is an abundance of hardwoods such as oak,maple, ironwood, cherry, bitternut, hickory, birch, etc.

Pine in the western states seems to be of a much more dense nature, and burns much longer than the pine around here.

Every location is likely different.
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Old 06/08/08, 08:57 PM
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zone 5 - riverfrontage
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Forests of maine
Posts: 6,184
We burn pine.

We also burn anything else that is dead.

We make no effort to burn 'seasoned' wood, though our stove has a secondary combustion chamber. So that may account for the total absence of creosote.

To be fair we also burn a lot of lumber, and woodchips, and cardboard, and peat.
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Old 04/26/14, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 105
I just ran across this old thread when doing a google search on firewood. Just about all we have in the PNW is soft wood. Hardwood seems to be a "back east" or so it looks.

The cordwood sold in the area is pretty much all fir and tamarack. I just had a fair size pine tree taken down so we could add a bedroom to our off grid cabin before we move in. I plan to cut up that tree and add it to the firewood pile. I may let it season for a couple of summers to make sure the pitch is as dry as I can get it, but it will burn along with the other soft woods.
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Old 04/26/14, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: EastTN: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 5,379
Creosote is formed by burning ANY wood. The key is the moisture content of the wood, and the amount of air you burn with it. You can get just as much from 'simmering' uncured hardwoods as any softwood.

That said, I burn only hardwood as it is more dense than most pine, and will hold a fire longer.

If you're buying wood, and buying it by volume ( like a cord ), then you want the densest wood you can get for the same volume.

White pine is one of the few I certainly would NOT burn if I could avoid it, as it is a very low density wood.
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Old 04/26/14, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: EastTN: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 5,379
Originally Posted by ET1 SS View Post
We make no effort to burn 'seasoned' wood, though our stove has a secondary combustion chamber. So that may account for the total absence of creosote.
That secondary burn makes a HUGE difference. You can lower the amount of air inlet to the stove and still not make much in the way of creosote. The newer stoves beat the old ones all to pieces.
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