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I've researched the topic with really mixed results. Mostly get opinions. Are there any large trees you are NOT supposed to burn in indoor fireplaces?
 

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Cedar Trees give off a poisonous gas and should never be burned inside the home or shop.
 

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Any kind of evergreen puts off more creosote, which increases the chance of a flash fire. Burn hardwoods if possible.
 

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Any kind of evergreen puts off more creosote, which increases the chance of a flash fire. Burn hardwoods if possible.
Very true, the only time we use to burn a pine type wood would be in a real hot fire, but then you are still taking a chance with creosote build up
 

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No cedar trees do not give off a poisonous gas. If they did I've have already been dead years ago. Cedar actually makes a very good fire wood. Here is a really good listing of firewoods

Colestin Rural Fire District - Firewood - Types, Fuel Values and Ratings

and a firewood Q&A
Firewood q&a archive

Can I burn Cedar?

Can you safety burn cedar wood? We just cut down several cedar trees and were wondering if it is safe to burn.
Frank

Frank,
Sure you can burn it, but it depends on what you burn it in and how you go about it. Cedar makes just about the best natural kindling you can get. It splits easily, lights easily and burns hot. It also spits and crackles so it is not good in an open fireplace. Also, if you are burning it in an open fireplace, you might find it doesn't last long. If you burn it in a stove, you might find it makes a smoky fire if you turn down the air. The thing is, when heated, cedar releases its combustible gases (smoke) very quickly, so it needs a lot of air during its peak release period. Cedar works well for quick fires in spring and fall to take the chill off.
Cedar Trees give off a poisonous gas and should never be burned inside the home or shop.
 

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As for the Creosote build up, it doesn't matter what woods you burn, ALL woods have a chance of depositing creosote in the chimney. The biggest thing with Creosote build up is the amount of air let up the chimney and the heat and activity of the fire. Granted softer woods will deposit creosote faster if you are not careful, but all woods can still deposit the creosote so don't go around believing that you are safe just because you burn a hardwood.

I burn Pine and cedar woods all the time and we have a specific way to deal with the build up.
Besides doing our own chimney sweeping, we also have a burn indicator that attaches to the outside of our wood stove and shows us the correct operating temp for the woods stove to help prevent creosote build up.

here are some links that explain creosote build up.

What causes creosote build up?

Chimney Safety - Fire Safety At Home - Safety & Prevention - Fire Department - Services & Public Safety - City of Vancouver, Washington, USA

Just remember that EVERY time you burn you are taking a risk of creosote build up.
 

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Good old forest service website
Celtis occidentalis
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE :
Hackberry wood is of medium hardness and strength, white to yellowish in
color and rather elastic [25,30]; its specific gravity is 0.49 [25].
This wood makes excellent fuel, almost equaling hickory, and is used
also in the manufacture of cheap furniture. The technical qualities of
hackberry wood resemble those of elm (Ulmus spp.) and white ash
(Fraxinus americana), and it is sometimes used as a substitute for these
species. Hackberry is not a commercially important tree (except as
firewood)
with its low timber value, but when peeled and properly
seasoned hackberry poles serve many useful purposes. However, the wood
is not durable when in contact with the soil [29,30].
http://extension.missouri.edu/explorepdf/agguides/forestry/G05450.pdf

What about hackberry?
 

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Most of my firewood comes from downed trees in my neighborhood. Last year was Hackberry. This year will be Pecan. Pecan smells nice when it burns. I need to plant some Pecan trees, now that I think of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We have a ton of pecan trees and most are the skinny real sweet breed. Had a lady thought it was ok last year to just wonder in our yard to get a bag full. She said the type was really desired but not that common.
 

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Don't burn and "treated" wood. Other than that, any natural wood it O.K. Some burn fast and hot. Others burn slow and last longer. Regardless, if you turn the dampers down and decrease the oxygen level, ANY wood will work to produce creosote in your chimney. Smaller flu sizes increase creosote build-up. For instance, I have a 12" flu that almost never needs cleaning due to it's size.
 

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I was fairly interested in this thread...

We burn everything!
Evergreens will coat the inside of the chimney with particles that will burn again, causing chimney fires, but other wise, evergreens (Cedars in particular) are very good tender wood and they smell good when they burn!

What we call 'Sap Woods', cedars, pines and stuff like soft maple will ooze saps and resins that cause the chimney problems,
And woods like Creosote bush are a bad idea to burn unless you have bug problems!

I don't know of any trees you can't burn, some will do better keeping things like chimney 'creosote' coatings down, and others will do better at keeping biting insects away, but I really can't think of any that will kill or poison you right off...
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As for processed wood,
'Chip Core' or 'Fiber Processed' wood all has glue holding it together, so breathing that smoke is a BAD IDEA!
That includes plywood.

Pressure treated wood should NEVER be burned where you will get in the smoke!
The pressure 'Treatment' is a cocktail of toxins, most of which can be ingested through the smoke!

Don't use the ashes of a fire for garden fertilizer!
Most of the pressure treated wood toxins are heavy metal based, so they survive the fire!
Normally, potash is a very good fertilizer, but if it was pressure treated wood, VERY BAD IDEA!
 

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We have a ton of pecan trees and most are the skinny real sweet breed. Had a lady thought it was ok last year to just wonder in our yard to get a bag full. She said the type was really desired but not that common.
Our county extension agent turned us on to several kinds of 'bearing' trees, FOR FREE!

Some of them he even arranged for 'Inmate' labor to plant the trees! (some local prison camp has a 'Work Release' or 'Work Farm' program, and they did a really good job!)

Walnut, Black Walnut, Three different kinds of Hickory, Two different kinds of Ash, Pecan, Two kinds of Oak, Even some Poplar trees!
Several different kinds of pines also...

He even got me a tax credit for planting the trees!
All I have to do is guarantee I'm not going to cut them for 10 years...
At the end of the 10 year program, I can sign any or all acreage up for another 10 years... Pretty good deal for me since I'm not interested in cutting any of them down!
(can't grow decent timber in 10 years anyway, and nut trees are worth much more to me as nut bearing trees!)

You might want to check in with your county agent and see if they have any of the tree programs in your area.
 

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Burning wood in a fire place is much like running a carburator on an auto engine, if the carb is not adjusted properly (example; too rich) then you get black carbon build up in the tail pipe. Adjust the air fuel mixture, and it burns clean.
I gathered, split and cut my own wood for over ten years and heated my own home with it as the primary heat source.
As I became proficient, I could adjust the burn and have a real clean chimney at all times with little or no build up of creosote.
Remember, creosote is a residue, even if you have a dirty burn and it builds up, you can adjust the burn and clean it out of your chimney.
It will still burn off, in the chimney as you learn the proper burn adjustment.
Point; if you do not, have the proper air to fuel mix, then the creosote will build up and it will eventually catch on fire and start a chimney fire.
This is why we clean our chimneys.
Second point; after a few years of figuring out the proper air fuel mixture, i never had to clean my chimney, it burned out the creosote, naturally.
Final point; slow burn all night fires (which are necessary) are the creosote makers, every morning when I awoke, I stoked the fire added more wood and opened the air flow and dampners and let it rip for a half hour, this would clean out the nights deposit of creosote.
Wood heat is the best.:rolleyes:
 

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The two types on this property I'd be least inclined to burn are poplar and paulownia. As others have said, you can burn anything, but by all means be discerning when you can afford so.

Poplar, because it seems to like to smolder, burns up quick, and doesn't give off much heat in the doing. Paulownia (aka kiri or princess tree) may or may not be something you've heard of. The wood is incredibly light, almost like balsa, and the trees grow up quick... however, it burns about as quick and low-heat as poplar and has the added benefit of popping and throwing sparks everywhere: a real winner for open fireplace situations.
 

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As for the Creosote build up, it doesn't matter what woods you burn, ALL woods have a chance of depositing creosote in the chimney. The biggest thing with Creosote build up is the amount of air let up the chimney and the heat and activity of the fire. Granted softer woods will deposit creosote faster if you are not careful, but all woods can still deposit the creosote so don't go around believing that you are safe just because you burn a hardwood.

I burn Pine and cedar woods all the time and we have a specific way to deal with the build up.
Besides doing our own chimney sweeping, we also have a burn indicator that attaches to the outside of our wood stove and shows us the correct operating temp for the woods stove to help prevent creosote build up.

here are some links that explain creosote build up.

What causes creosote build up?

Chimney Safety - Fire Safety At Home - Safety & Prevention - Fire Department - Services & Public Safety - City of Vancouver, Washington, USA

Just remember that EVERY time you burn you are taking a risk of creosote build up.
Thank you Dunappy, saved me some typing. :)

More so than the type of wood, what's most important is that it's cured properly.

We burn quite a bit of pine and have for 9 years now, never had a problem with it. We season all our wood at least a year (usually 2 as we keep a 3 year supply), so this has never been a problem for us.

Lowdown3
 
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