Burning Pine for firewood? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Go Back   Homesteading Today > General Homesteading Forums > Homesteading Questions

Like Tree10Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 06/07/08, 10:55 PM
Where we all fit in!
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!

If it needs a home, it ends up here!
Reply With Quote
Old 06/07/08, 11:25 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: north central wv
Posts: 2,314

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

Reply With Quote
Old 06/07/08, 11:34 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,261

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.


If they can do it,
you know you can!

Reply With Quote
Old 06/07/08, 11:41 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: MS
Posts: 3,812

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/07/08, 11:48 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 2,736

We burn mostly pine because that's mostly what we've got. Works fine.

Bret F likes this.

God bless,
Opportunity Farm
Northeast Washington

"While we have the opportunity, let us do good to all." Galatians 6:10

Reply With Quote
Old 06/07/08, 11:58 PM
RiverPines's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,408

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!

nehimama likes this.

"We spend money we don't have on things we don't need to create impressions that won't last on people we don't care about."

My site.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 12:46 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: West Tn
Posts: 1,077

Like the other said, it burns really fast. I like hardwoods for the long term heat.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 04:14 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

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 06:12 AM
Wind in Her Hair's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Northwoods of Minnesota, formerly of Texas
Posts: 17,438

we reserve pine for campfires and even then, we don't cook on it -its too ashy - -we use oak for cooking fires. We don't burn pine in either our woodstove or our fireplace - only hardwoods. We don't waste downed pines since we eventually use it for recreational campfires.

Here's ONE of our stands of pine campfire wood. We stack it separately from the hardwoods.

I know that others do use pine for heat - but to us, its just not worth the risk. One good chimney fire and your Homestead goes up in smoke. And thats not a gamble I'm willing to make ...

nehimama and michael ark like this.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

Last edited by Wind in Her Hair; 06/08/08 at 06:20 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 06:30 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: No. Cent. AR
Posts: 1,730

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!

Bret F likes this.
Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 06:30 AM
Macybaby's Avatar
I love South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 4,866

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.


Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 07:22 AM
ginnie5's Avatar
wife,mom,taxi driver,cook
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Near Charlotte NC
Posts: 6,661

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.


You can say what you want about the South,
But you never hear of anyone retiring and moving North.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: East TN
Posts: 6,976

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.


"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self confidence"
Robert Frost

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 08:52 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.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 08:59 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.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Middle of nowhere along the Rim, Arizona
Posts: 2,515

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.



Firefox.org: For science fiction fans, by SF fans

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse (... and Other Disasters)

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern Wisconsin
Posts: 798

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 06/08/08, 07:57 PM
ET1 SS's Avatar
zone 5 - riverfrontage
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Forests of maine
Posts: 5,545

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.

HuskyBoris likes this.

Forest Gump for president

Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 12:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 88

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.

CountryCabin likes this.
Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 3,549

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.

Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 05:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Former State of Franklin
Posts: 3,549
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.
Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 06:51 PM
big rockpile's Avatar
If I need a Shelter
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 16,390

In Colorado we burned Pine, Aspen, mixed Coal in it.

big rockpile


I love being married.Its so great to find that one person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.

If I need a Shelter
If I need a Friend
I go to the Rock!

Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 08:14 PM
Living the dream.
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Morganton, NC
Posts: 1,915

I burn tons of pine, both white and yellow, because that is what we have on the property. All is well seasoned and stored under cover. The white pine is about like balsa wood and burns fast, fine for taking the chill off in the early and late spring as well bring the house up to temp in the evening during colder weather, takes a bunch of it though. The yellow pine is better than some of the local hardwoods, such as yellow poplar, and can be damped down for a nights worth of heat when the temps are above freezing. Both leave a noticeably darker soot in the stove than hardwoods and will make greasy black mark on your skin in you bump the side building the next fire. I clean 2-3 times a winter with no issues.

Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 08:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: maine
Posts: 1,152

Burn it
Pound for pound dry firewood is dry firewood whether it be Oak
or Pine. Sure Oak burns longer but it is twice as dense.
I think there is about a cord of pine here drying in next winters mix of firewood.
Good shoulder season wood like poplar is.

Possum Belly and w8n4rut like this.
Reply With Quote
Old 04/26/14, 08:26 PM
Possum Belly's Avatar
An Old Cowhand
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 2,871

I have burned a fair amount of Southern White Pine with no problems. I prefer hard wood but have lost some pines and hated to see them rot so we just burn them in our heater.


The nails that held HIM, set me free.
Tolerance = Doing your best not to gag when the liberal left shoves their agenda down your throat.

Reply With Quote
Old 04/27/14, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 2,406

Down here it's yellow pine.

I've used dry for kindling, but never for my main wood.

I've been through one chimney fire. Don't care to do that again.

Reply With Quote
Old 04/27/14, 09:14 PM
Gray Wolf's Avatar  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Eastern Washington state
Posts: 539

We burn only pine, because that's what grows on our property. Never had a problem but we never damp down the woodstoves and let them roar.

Reply With Quote
Old 04/27/14, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,300
Originally Posted by agmantoo View Post
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.
Agmantoo beat me to it get it dry seasoned , burn it hot and control it by how much you add

if burnt small but hot it will work very well

by small i mean add 2-3 pieces don't fill the fire box , it will burn fast and you control that by how much you add at any one time

when i say pieces i think of each piece as approximately the same volume as a 16 inch long 4x4 , if you have larger pieces add fewwer and add them to a good bed of coals

the problem with green pine is really the same as any green wood the water vapor will carry unburnt gasses into the chimney that will condense on a cold flue and build up , pine being soft will burns easier green than hard woods that you need a lot more heat to get and keep going so flue temps will be lower allowing it to condense easier

the big issue is it burn a bit like solid rocket fuel the second time around

after building a 3 sided shed to store my wood in a few years ago , I can tell you it was very wise money spend , wood stored under a roof gets so much drier than any i had stored under a tarp and burns that much easier and safer and i don't have to knock a foot of snow off before i can get to my wood
Reply With Quote
Old 04/27/14, 11:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: wisconsin
Posts: 53

from everything ive heard it is just fine as long as you burn it hot and fast. i talked to a guy who has a high mass masonry stove (which always burns verry hot and fast) and he collects discarded Christmas trees in town every year, chops them up and stores them. then he can keep his house warm all winter using last years trees. just dont let them smolder.

Reply With Quote
Old 04/28/14, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 199

My wife and I went to a nice resort with chalet style cottages along a large river on our second anniversary, the cottages were not insulated and it dropped down to about 3 degrees that night "June 21" The only firewood provided was wet pine, and my wife started feeling really sick from the cold as I sat in a chair all night long feeding the fire about every 10 minutes. went through the entire contents off the wood box that night my chair was probably about 2 feet from the fire and I was cold. At one point I put my hand on the stove and held it there for about 5 seconds without it even coming close to burning.

I cannot possibly try to imagine heating a home with pine unless you don't enjoy warmth or sleep.

Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:46 AM.