Wood treated to withstand rot or insects such as treated pine can contain copper, chromium and arsenic, while plywood contains adhesives applied during manufacturing which will also release toxic fumes when burned. Never burn treated timber in fireplaces, barbecues, wood stoves or any wood fire.
Poisons. Watch out for any wood covered with vines. Burning poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, or pretty much anything else with “poison” in the name releases the irritant oil urushiol into the smoke.
In general, only wood or artificial logs should be burned in a fireplace, but not all woods are suitable. Some produce an abundance of creosote that can clog the flue and chimney, some produce sparks, and those that contain harmful chemicals can produce toxic emissions.
So long as the wood is not treated or painted, definitely. It will burn fast because of its size, and it’s generally not an economical source of firewood, however if you have off-cuts and such that you can’t use elsewhere, go for it!
Should You Use Cedar? Many cedars, including red cedar, are especially poor firewood choices. You should not use most cedar species in any stove or fireplace you value. Obviously, the wood will burn, but it should be used only in an open outside area where smoke and explosive heat are of less concern.
Burning Pine Firewood
Pine is an excellent choice for firewood, particularly if you plan to use it as kindling outdoors. It is a wonderful fire starter, particularly because it has so much resinous sap. This sap acts as a good ignitor, helping you to get a fire started quickly and easily.
The longest-burning firewood directly correlates to its density. Dense wood, known as hardwood, will burn longer than low-density wood, or softwood. It’s simple, really: it takes longer for the fire to consume hardwood because there is more fuel “packed” into each log.
Pinecones are great for getting a fire started. They’re pretty good on their own, but dipped in candle wax or paraffin, they catch the flame quickly and burn hot, even and steady for use in fireplaces, wood-burning stoves or bonfires.
Plywood, particle board, or chipboard. Manufactured wood products release toxic fumes and carcinogens when burned. Fire accelerants or fire starters. … The accelerants or fire starters can cause flare ups or heat your fire to extremely high temperatures that are unsafe for your fireplace and chimney.
No matter which way you cut it (or split it with your trusty log splitter), fresh wood just doesn’t burn right. Fresh-cut wood has a high moisture content, which makes it hard to get burning. It also gives off more smoke.
Hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash, birch, and most fruit trees are the best burning woods that will give you a hotter and longer burn time. These woods have the least pitch and sap and are generally cleaner to handle.
Burning the potato peels will not eliminate all soot or creosote buildup, but they will reduce it. A normal and regular chimney cleaning is still needed to keep the fireplace working properly and safely.
Cherry—Cherry wood is one of the most popular woods to burn in fireplaces due to its pleasant, non-smoky aroma. It is very east to split, tends to burn at a medium heat, and does not produce much smoke. However, it tends to spark a little more than the average hardwood and can cost a little more than the average wood.
Potential Problems. Because cedar has a relatively high moisture content in terms of both water and natural oils, it tends to spit and throw sparks when it burns more than many other species of wood, and the flying sparks can create a fire hazard.
Walnut firewood is excellent firewood with medium density and is relatively easy to burn. It’s good quality firewood that burns clean, is easy to start, and has a pleasant aroma. The BTU value is not as high as other hardwoods, such as oak, but is much better than softwood, such as pine or fir.
The abundance of resin in pine is often blamed for pine’s creosote production, but studies by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences found that burning wood at lower temperatures is what produces creosote.
Oak: When very well seasoned, oak burns slowly and steadily for a long time. Pine: This softwood burns well and smells festive. Try it for kindling or for outdoor fires. Sycamore: You’ll be rewarded with a good flame and moderate heat if you season this wood well.
Although it’s not as popular as oak firewood, almond firewood is an excellent choice. Almond is a hardwood that creates a hot, long lasting fire and produces only a small amount of ashes, much like oak. … However, almond seems to season or dry out a little faster than oak.
Ash logs offer a longer sustained burn and are more suitable for medium usage – 5-6 hours per night, for example. The only other real difference in burning characteristics other than heat output and burn time is that birch produces slightly more smoke than ash – nothing significant, but a fact none the less.
Softwood. Softwoods, such as spruce and red cedar wood, are less dense than hardwoods like elm, oak, and beech wood. Because of this lower density level, softwoods burn more quickly than hardwoods.
“We have an outdoor fire place and I throw all the acorns on the floor of the fireplace, under the grate. They hold the heat, glowing for a long time after the fire is out. … Acorns have some acid, but if it is mixed in with other ashes, it is probably the ultimate way to discard them.
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