Wood Not to Burn

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by TechAdmin, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    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?
  2. Diamond_Ranch

    Diamond_Ranch Homesteading since 1971

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

  3. DuckA

    DuckA Member

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

    Homer_Simpson Well-Known Member

    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
  5. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Never ever burn Oleader's either! I know for sure those are toxic.
  6. RWB214

    RWB214 Member

    Anything that is pressure treated, painted, or stained, or the like, should not be burned.
  7. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

    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

  8. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    What about hackberry?
  9. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

    Good old forest service website
    Celtis occidentalis

  11. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    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.
  12. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  13. Jezcruzen

    Jezcruzen Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Dr. Prepared

    Dr. Prepared Guest


  15. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    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...

    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!
  16. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    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.
  17. Gordo

    Gordo Guest

    Can you use charcoal ashes from the grill as fertilizer?
  18. Big B

    Big B Well-Known Member

    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:
  19. mcbob

    mcbob Member

    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.
  20. Lowdown3

    Lowdown3 Active Member

    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.