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Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Posted by loger (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 13, 10 at 22:35

Is it best not to ever burn green wood "Period"? At times, I would put in some 3-4" dia green oak (from recent tree trimmings) with fast burning dry oak vs seasoned to get a bed of coals. At times, I would put in larger 8-12" not fully seasoned logs in late in a bed of coals to burn until the next morning. From cleaning my chimney yearly it has been a mess some years and hardly need cleaning some (maybe due to my yearly sources).

In my opinion, "it has always been just soot vs creosote that would easily brush off". How can I test the soot to know its not creosote? OR! Does all soot include creosote? In my opinion, "creosote is a glaze that will not easily brush off". Its coming to me, that not consistently burning dry or seasoned oak vs green oak might be the excessive cleaning problem. The worst is at the top or cap of the 2, 30" sections (5 of stainless 14" ID pipe and cap). I burn what I can find vs purchasing wood. Natural Gas Central Heat is our primary source of heat. My wife has begged that the gas is cheaper, less work and cleaning "But Not Feeling"!. Thanks for your info. loger


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Loger: Never burn Green unseasoned wood Dude! Not only does it Produce poor Heat (Btu) Content due to it moisture content , but is the creation of creosote. This mixture in combination with the carbon particles of combustion are what when mixed with the condensation from a cool surface (flue) "Dew Point" is what in the future will cause you major grief Bro ! The last few sections of your Chimney are normally your coldest and thus the creation of creosote is more apparent. When you Season Hardwoods give Split Oak and Maple at least 2-3 yrs of seasoning prior to burning. On the other hand Hardwood begins to deteriorate after 5 yrs so ensure to use your wood within that time frame for the best heating for your $ . If you wish burning softwood Fir & Pine have less moisture content on average than Hardwoods , I often mix in some Softwoods with Poplar or Yellow and White Birch even Cedar for Spring and Early Fall Heating . Clean your Flue at least every second yr (Dependant on Wood Burning Usage) , Ideally annual inspection and cleaning is the Best. Some People believe in Chemical addition or Potato Peals for creosote accumulation reduction , I have never seen any evidence of this addition reducing the build up only using seasoned wood and maintaining proper flue temps will do this in my mind.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 14, 10 at 6:02

There is no value to burning wet wood, for all the reasons stated above.

You do state that you have a stainless liner. This does help to keep the chimney a more uniform temperature and the creosote production is usually much less. An insulated liner is even better for creosote reduction.

I've heated with wood exclusively since 1977 using a wood stove and venting into a chimney, lined with terra cotta and about 8 x 11". Since I use dry pallet wood mostly, I've never had any problem with creosote and the chimney has never been cleaned. Stack temps varied from 800 to 300 degrees. There is nothing to clean.

A few years ago, I added a wood boiler at the other end of the house to utilize my baseboard and domestic water coil. This was an altogether different story. The creosote would grow out of the top of the chimney because the flue temps were under 300 degrees. An insulated stainless liner has eliminated this problem and I might get a couple quarts of dry creosote from this tall chimney per year. Remember that this unit is used every single day of the year.

So, in summary: Wet wood causes creosote and isn't a good idea. An insulated liner makes a difference. Also, your liner may be oversized for your application, which also allows too much cooling of the flue.

In PA, there are multiplied tens of thousands of people who heat with anthracite coal. It is probably the cheapest form of heat and available by rail throughout most of the US. Figure an average cost of $800 to heat an average house in PA. And that doesn't mean you have to wear a sweater in the house either.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Thanks for the info on not burning green firewood "Period". From yearly inspections and cleanings in over 30 years it took 2-3 seasons to let me know I had started a bad trend (burning the small green trimmings in a hot fire). I always knew to season larger green firewood a year at least before burning. Recently burning 2-4" green tree trimming came with our recent storm cleanup damages. Ill have to re-think growing up in East TX (Cherokee County) and hearing "put in a green Back Stick for the night".

With only 5 of stainless insulated chimney 16" OD and 14" ID this has saved me some messes to clean. The pipe size and height was a concern during the add-on Inserts being economical. The chimney is a foot above all 3:12 roofs ridges before the cap is added, which gives it 6" and total of 18" of draw (before exhausting). The pipe size is due to the fireplace design of being open to two sides but it works best with the flew basically closed. I later added a plate steel back with a 6" dia 3/8" thick steel back log close to the fireplaces floor, 2 stainless pipe intersecting the steel back log as a grate just above the floor at the log, 7 stainless 2" pipes above the fire with sheet-steel laying on the 7 pipes making the fire burn up into and around the pipes. This is my version of an added insert (over 20 years old) which allows me to continue to get heat after the doors are closed (on open fire side) for the night or etc.. It works well, with all the stainless pipe glowing or producing good heat with a good fire. The fireplace will keep the central off while set about 68 deg until we drop below about 50 deg.. I look at it as exercise while enjoying the heat. Direct related links: Loger

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/Fireplace.jpg?t=1284488698

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/fireplace2insert.jpg?t=1284488698

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/fireplacesinsertbacksidesignsofredhotheat.jpg?t=1284488698

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/2010FireplaceChimneyCleaningInspectionNeeded17.jpg?t=1284488698

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/2010FireplaceChimneyCleaningInspectionCleaned16.jpg?t=1284488698

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/MaintenanceChimneyInspection--Cleaning-10-16-07-a-mess--back-to-original-pipe.jpg?t=1284488698


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 14, 10 at 19:48

The flue didn't look bad at all. I wouldn't even bother to clean the flue.

I wouldn't sweat about burning small amounts of green wood. But can't you throw it somewhere and let it dry for a year or so, like the rest of your wood?


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Loger: As Bay has said throwing in a few sticks of less than 2 yr old (seasoned) maple is not going to start a chimney or flue fire over night. The continual use of Green Maple Probably will . You have stated your intent was to lengthen or perhaps moderate the burning rate of your wood-stove. Perhaps try what we utilized for this purpose , once you have a good bed of coals (especially) for last fill at night , use the gnarly (twisted and knot ridden ) larger unsplit log with reduced draft . I use to separate these (Night Wood) pieces , just for this purpose , and very seldom had to get up during the night to restoke the fire box. Give it a try .


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

The small trimmings that are dry are used as starter with pallet material. Over a foot layer of 2-4" trimmings was placed on the major two 22' rows this summer. They should be ready by winter to mix into hot fires. The small green trimming that has caused the problem were trimmed and burned during the burning season vs storing (due to my small 120' X 70' lot and appearance vs City or neighbors complaining). Too much wood for my small backyard this past winter led me to building 3 extra firewood racks for sale. I used one to store a cord in my daughter's back yard that I'll burn first (all of the oak is seasoned good, over a year and small pecan since last winter).

I know the value of dense wood, I burned a trimmed post oak stump over night every night the winter of about 1984. I found over a cord of stumps that needed little to no trimming with an ax due to dirt. New developments were a good source of wood then. The bull-dozer cut stumps about 18" below ground and we cut the sticks down to the dirty stumps. They were "My All-nighters"! ). Related attachments: Loger


http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/FirewoodGrass7-24-10.jpg?t=1284566262

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/SplittingStacking3HrsBasicallyFilledRacksTodayR.jpg?t=1284566262

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/OakPecanFirewoodRackedAtErinns2.jpg?t=1284566262

http://i1019.photobucket.com/albums/af312/JOW_06/FirewoodRackBreaksDownEtc5.jpg?t=1284566262


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Loger: Yeah I know how Neighbours can get , that's why I purchased over 8 acres for my Property Purchase in a Rural Setting , never have regretted it lol . Well you have a great time with the Wood Burning Bro ...nothing quite like it , gets you back to Nature Full Bore lol . :)


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

What Happened! To the thread after the upgrade? I know it's not just chopped off on my connection??

Ewalk: Thanks for the tip on "the Chainsaw Collector's Corner online", I'll check it out.

Very interesting info in the note:
1. My father told me the wood would split easier after it freezes.

2. This will be the 3rd season to use the nice splitter given to me. I thought they were too slow initially but almost a must now. LOL

3. "Iron Wood" is what I have heard Mesquite wood called. We have plenty of it in this general area and West and South of us. It's a choice wood for BBQing/Grilling for flavor vs heat (I mix pecan and mesquite for flavor). I was warned not to burn it straight in a fireplace because it burns too hot and will cause damages. I was guaranteed it would not hurt my fireplace. Burning one load of mesquite proved them wrong and they had to replace the two 30" sections of chimney pipe. When I have excess mesquite I'll put one log in with oak or pecan w/o a problem. We could be talking about a different wood because mesquite is plentiful in the Dry Plain Areas vs around moisture here. Plus, they are basically small trees or brush with dangerous thorns on them.

4. Willow trees are our trees that grow close to water. They are soft and not good to burn but will after they dry-out. Cedar does not grow to any size here. I have not heard of it being burned here due to rosin as pine but not due to size. Bodoc (?) wood was one I learned the hard way on not to burn in an open fireplace due to excessive popping and sparks going across the room. Elm is a plentiful fair burning wood here. I have seen some suppliers mix it with oak for sale when the oak supply is low. Related attachment: loger

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesquite

Additional info on Ironwood:

http://www.woodmagazine.com/materials-guide/lumber/wood-species-2/ironwood/

Around the World, It's Tough as Nails

In Ontario, New England, and the northern Great Lake states, there's a firewood so tough that it stalls hydraulic log splitters. Yet, it's worth the herculean effort necessary to build up a pile because it burns well through a cold winter's night. Ironwood, as it's called, has such complete combustion it leaves little ash.

Ironwood grows in Texas, too -- and in Australia, Brazil, Ceylon, England, India, and other parts of the world as well. Wherever the wood appears, it attains legendary stature, taking claim to the titles of hardest and heaviest.

Despite the wood's reknown, however, ironwood isn't a specific species. Rather, it's the colloquial term for a state or region's toughest wood. All told, there are 80 distinct species around the world known as ironwood.
In Texas, for instance, it's honey mesquite. The ironwood found in the northern U.S., Canada, and Europe is actually hophornbeam. Florida has horsetail casuarina as its ironwood. In Australia, it's Queensland red ironwood; in Ceylon, gangsaw. Brazil touts pau ferro and quebracho. So, wherever you live, you'll never be wrong equating the toughest wood you know with iron, you just won't be technically correct.

By the way, whatever the exact scientific term for the different species, trees for the different species, trees designated as ironwood frequently become homemade tool handles, mallets, fence posts, levers, and definitely warming fuel.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Ewalk, I guess I blew it! By replying to the wrong thread vs any missing thread info?? Hard to believe! LOL There is additional info "off the net" on Ironwood (at the bottom) in this post above. loger


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

My wife is convinced of the same thing, a gas fired wall mounted condensing boiler through radiant heat is cheaper and easier than wood, I'll give her that, however still have a three cord/season habit using a Dovre 500 wood stove. If you've never seen one, it's similar to Federal's large convection, side loader, 6" combustor. I have found that green wood is better left for the next season, it's full of water, clogs your vent pipe and cat, usually by smoke condensing about three feet below the pipes summit in the form of creosote as it hits the cool pipe. If you are are a serious wood burner, a moisture meter is a stock item to own.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Seasoning split large logs 16” dia plus one year or 12-14” un-split has been my trend vs a moisture meter (as I used with furniture grade wood). I knew green wood was not the best for the fireplace but I felt the tree trimmings in a hot fire were not that bad until the recent cleanings. For about 6-8 years and another 6-8 years most of my oak came from dead oaks trees on ranches. They spoiled my need to separate wood needed to be seasoned. If and when I got some green oak, it went on the back row for the next season. Green oak is usually not free in this area unless we have the recent storms that create a surplus. We have access to plenty free green oak in East TX (120 + miles) but I promised my truck/trailer and myself that I would not cut wood over 25-50 miles away. Loger


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 18, 10 at 6:02

I don't think burning small amounts of green wood will hurt anything, but it probably produces a negative heat when all is said and done.

In PA, we have access to lots of free wood, but I still prefer pallet wood. It's dry, easy to saw, stacks tightly and provides free exercise. Of course, it doesn't hold overnight and that has never been a problem. If I had to, I would put coal on the bed overnight, but the house is usually 80 anyway, so no need for coal.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Bay: The Current Pricing of Cut & Split locally here is $75-80 a cord delivered . Fortunately I have sufficient Maple , Birch and Cedar on my property to sustain my needs. I have on occasion travelled to our Hunting Camp area to select a few Ironwood trees for harvesting just for the fun of splitting a cord as Loger has advised within his "Ironwood" traits thread lol .


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 18, 10 at 21:31

That's really cheap for wood. Our wood would include a goodly amount of oak, cherry, ash, or walnut. No pine or cedar and probably no maple or birch.

I used to burn the Canadian Maple pallets during the '90s.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Bay: That's Cheap ? I guess growing up on a 320 Acre Farm with plenty of Hardwoods I have a cheap outlook on Wood Pricing lol . I suppose in comparison our pricing is not Bad . I'am with you on the Pallet burning , I use to burn Construction Grade Maple and Oak Pallets back in the 80's. Mostly Spruce Construction now with all the Hardwood Pallets being recycled back to the Manufacturer for Credit , so little free Seasoned Harwood there. I have unlimited supply of yellow birch (pallets) 4' x 8' 4 rail sections . I cut them up into 4"x 12" which I use for fire starters as kindling or Spring and Fall burning usage. I like the smell of cedar so once in awhile I'll throw in a few piece's . Hate to waste such great wood so I use it sparingly . I have burnt cherry and apple along with mesquite in my Smoker , but never have burnt any Ash ! I wood think with it's dense construction and use for Baseball Bats and Pool Cues Shafts it must burn rather hot also ? As for Walnut have never heard of it as heating wood but have raided the Neighbour's trees for the fruit (nuts) as a Child lol .


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Oak and mesquite is going for over 200.00 a cord here in North Texas. Firewood is not in demand or a surplus supply due to natural gas and electricity being the major sources of heat. I doubt you have anyone in the North Texas Metro-Plex burning wood as a major source of heat. I have a few friends with wood stoves/heaters that might burn 2 cords as I will burn 2-3 (depending on the quality of the wood). The few that have fireplaces might use them on special occasions or with gas logs.

In East Texas mainly in the rural areas wood is still a major source of heat but not the only in most cases. I would think it would be in the 100.00 range due to the surplus. It would kill me to see them burning the hardwood during highway construction due to the surplus. One fellow here gave me over 2-3 cords of mesquite cut and split due to his BBQing customer going out of business. That was to make room to store more cords of oak that is the major selling wood here. Very few trucks will come and setup with wood for sale for the holiday season and winter. Plus, most wood-yards have been gone for years. I'm one of a few that still value burning firewood. More wood is used for BBQing than home heat in this area. loger


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 19, 10 at 21:22

My uncle just paid $260 for a full cord of mostly oak, split and delivered. He help stack it too. Not bad for an 89 year old.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

$260 Wow guess I'll quit complaining ! 89 Yrs Young Bay that's Great Bro , he's got almost 30 yrs on me , hope I'am still able to pitch in with Wood Harvesting in some manner at that age lol :)


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

After about 15 + years of computing away from my fireplace area, I'll hope to move back with a wireless Laptop NoteBook or etc.. My fireplace is on the opposite end of the house, which means I service it and stay chilly back here. Initially I purchased an electric space heater for the computer area that I never actually used. I'm Tuff! The fireplace and thermostat cancels the central gas heat in the living area, which includes the other rooms. With the wireless router, I'll plan to get closer to my fire, Again! loger

PS. If I create a message in word or etc. and past it, the "'" symbols are o's or etc. Have you noticed that?


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

I have about eight cords of split, stacked, and seasoned firewood. It is mostly locust and oak, with some cedar and sycamore. I burn about three cords each winter.

Because of recent storm damage, I have been offered about eight to ten cords of freshly cut (6'-8' lengths) oak and sycamore of various diameter, up to 24", for free.

My question - Is it better to leave this new "as-is" unsplit until it's closer to the time I'll actually need it? I don't want to have a bunch of rotted wood later by splitting it too many years in advance.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Good Point. While taking one of our Train Trips, I noticed farms (between St Louis and KC MO.) that had wood stored as tree length logs. I had read that was a way to purchase Bulk Firewood and saw it once in a Firewood Yard in this North, TX area. IMO the wood will hold longer left whole and covered over the top against rain. I was told protected against rain, it will last indefinitely. I have to believe that since I have two oak logs (as utility-work blocks) on my patio 10 - 15 yrs old that are solid with good weight.

That sounds like a lot of wood. Since the mid 70s my free quality wood has fluctuated from 1-10 cords (supplying my parents at one point). The hard storms will bring it on as 2010. All I had to do was show up with truck and trailer and the tree trimmers would load me and ask me to come back. Just a few people burn wood in this area “Now”, reducing a market of selling firewood. Leaving the solid wood cut to length on the curb and chipping/hauling the brush is the trend for reasonable tree trimming or removal. The reasonable size wood is usually collected before the monthly City’s Bulk Pick-up


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Anvilhead - I think it is best to split ASAP, BUT tarp it, or cover with corrugated roofing.

I keep up to 6 cords stacked. For tarps, I just take worn ones, cut them into strips maybe 3' X 12' or whatever the length of the tarp is. Either put grommets in the sides to hold it down, or put rocks or a few pieces of firewood on the top to keep the wind from blowing it off.

I only stack firewood outside where it will get some direct afternoon sun, Otherwise, it stays too damp, too many bugs in it.

I have a large walk-in basement. I move 6 cords inside in September. Burns great during the winter.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

Six Cords Inside! That must be nice in your area related to the weather. I’m finding some good Pecan mainly, Live Oak, Red Oak and Elm on the curbs related to Spring Cleaning (due to over gowned small lots). I should be ashamed to say, my loads are spotted during my exercise walks and neighborhood drives. The bad part is I w/n move a stick on major stacks on the curb w/o getting permission which might take 1-3 trips to get permission.

Our 3 cord stock is basically restocked as we burn approx 2 cords during our last 3-4 seasons (due to drought and winter storm damage). The small truck loads have been good exercise and heat when the wood is plentiful. I’ll consider a tarp on the top of the older wood (1-2 seasons old) for the first time since some wood is held over a season. The bugs restricted us from keeping any extra wood inside vs a weeks load a door away on the patio (in a number of years).

I have learned a lot on maintaining wood recently after working and burning since the mid 70s. A big difference was seeing wood cut and seasoned in East, TX for one season (where wood was plentiful) vs free wood stored over a year here in North, TX and less quality. Plus, I feel varieties are different in different regions, as I w/n bring Maple and Sycamore home due to noticing no burning qualities alone.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

loger, along with 6 cords of wood, I have 4 tons of coal in the basement.

Bought a Harmon 2500 4 years ago. 120K BTU. Smokin'

Years ago I like the cold winter. But that was years ago.


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RE: Is it best not to ever burn green wood 'Period'?

loger, along with 6 cords of wood, I have 4 tons of coal in the basement.

Bought a Harmon 2500 4 years ago. 120K BTU. Smokin'

Years ago I liked the cold winter. But that was years ago.


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