Last Updated on June 15, 2023 by Grow with Bovees
Do you see some pine available and want to know whether or not it would make good firewood? Then, you’ve come to the right place.
Here’s our guide to using and burning pine firewood.
How well does pine firewood do?
One of the main reasons pinewood is so popular for fires at camp and other outdoor areas are because it provides the iconic distinctive smell of burning pine.
It turns out that burning pine is not a great idea, either in a wood stove or an indoor fireplace.
Three types of wood can be used for burning, but you may not want to use some of them.
Here’s a quick reference guide:
- Wood that’s not recommended for heating: This includes pine, birch, elm, maple, and sycamore.
- Different types of firewood are best for different purposes. For example, mulberry is good firewood because it produces the most heat.
Now, let’s look at how this potential firewood holds up in terms of heat, duration, smoke production, spark intensity, and safety. We’ll answer these through a series of questions.
Is pine firewood good for keeping you warm?
If you consider using firewood as a heat source, you’ll be looking for wood with the best heating properties. Pine, being a soft wood, is not the best wood for this and will give off minimal heat.
The numbers show that burning pinewood isn’t great for generating heat. BTUs, measured per cord, is the standard measure to determine how well a type of fuel will produce energy.
Even though it’s not great for warmth, on average, it has a higher level of efficiency when compared with other types of wood.
Pinewood is not the best type of firewood because it does not produce enough heat. Also, as discussed, pine isn’t the best for keeping warm in the winter.
Does pine firewood produce much smoke?
Pine is a prolific producer of smoke, which isn’t the best thing when it comes to cooking.
Smoking is not just annoying, but it can also be dangerous. For example, if you are camping outdoors and spend the evening by a fire.
If you use pine to start the fire, your eyes and throat can be irritated by all the smoke.
Wood dried properly will not produce as much smoke when it burns. To avoid this, make sure you season your firewood well before use.
Does burning pine smell like a pine tree?
The most attractive attribute of pine is its pleasant aroma. So many people have been drawn to a car or room with a pine fragrance, as it can make you feel clean and fresh.
When you clean your floor, the pine-scented cleaners might have been what motivated you to keep going. It’s a fresh smell that makes it fun because of how good it smells.
Pinewood is a solid pick for campfires. It adds that crisp smell of the forest and, by burning it outside, you also somewhat avoid being exposed to creosote.
Does pine spark and pop?
If you are getting any wood on the fire, make sure to research the type before doing so. There are many different types, and some produce sparks that can be dangerous if they get out.
Even if we are talking about the stove, which is supposed to be fireproof with its metal interior and special spark-catching areas like a fireplace, too much power can still make sparks that damage it.
Sparking and popping firewood has the potential to create a fire if you are burning wood outdoors. It’s the same for fireplaces that are open in your home.
Pine does not produce a lot of sparks. That said, never leave a burning fire. In fact, to be safe for everyone in the area, someone should always be present — no matter what type of wood they are burning.
Does pine firewood burn to ash or produce coal?
In addition to knowing the type of wood, it is also important to know how much coal will be produced. The amount of coal that results from burning the firewood will influence its longevity.
Woods that produces more coal can keep the fires burning longer. This type of wood is not so good for overnight heating and warming up a house.
Pine firewood is not the best type of wood to use for a fire lasting all night. It does not produce much coal and burns out too quickly. It, however, makes good kindling.
There are many pine species to be found, including southern yellow pine, ponderosa pine, eastern white pine, lodgepole pine, Norway pine, jack pine and eastern white pine, to name just a few.
You can use the resulting ash as an additive to benefit your compost. Not too much though, and it’s best to add it after the compost is finished.
What else should you know about pine firewood?
It is important to talk about pine wood’s creosote. All burning of wood will create some amount of creosote, and there has been a lot of controversy surrounding whether you should burn pine firewood in indoor settings (like a wood stove or fireplace).
Many people have misconceptions about the dangers that come with burning wood. They often assume that any type of wood is dangerous but fail to mention why pine burns more easily than other types.
When looking for firewood, it should be a mix of hardwoods and softwoods. Softwoods are good because they start the fire faster, but harder wood creates more heat and lasts longer.
Using pine for kindling is a fantastic idea because it burns quickly and has little bark to clog the fire.
But let’s take a closer look at the creosote build up that pine creates. Creosote is a compound found in some quantity when wood burns, for starters.
Creosote is created when different types of wood are used during a fire.
Creosote is a mixture of unburned particles from smoke. The smoke leaves the chimney and then coats it.
Pine makes for a hot fire. The hotter the fire, the less time there is for any water vapor to condense.
The drier the firewood, the less likely you will have creosote issues. Burning unseasoned wood creates more creosote.
What kind of build-up to expect (creosote) if you burn pine in a fireplace or wood stove
Before lighting fires in stoves or fireplaces, creosote is an important thing you should consider. Using less-resinous woods results in less creosote. Creosote is created from cool unburnt gases that then attach themselves to the insides of your chimney in the form of unburned particles contained within the smoke, known as soot.
When you burn wood, creosote has a habit of sticking to the inside of chimneys, and it is like black tar that can catch fire. Wood with a high sap content is the most likely to produce creosote, making pine one of the worst woods for building fires.
Seasoned pine is good when used as a fire starter, and it can help get them going.
Is this creosote build-up dangerous?
Creosote is toxic and can have a lot of negative impacts on your health. The substance has been known to cause:
- Issues in your eyes: Contact with creosote can cause your skin react, an also cause irritation of the eyes.
- Some breathing and respiratory issues: The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has reported that when someone inhales creosote particles, they are likely to develop breathing problems in time.
- Potentially serious complications: Since the substance is a known carcinogen, it can cause serious health problems — even cancer.
In addition to creosote’s environmental dangers, it also poses a threat to your home via a chimney fire. Creosote build-up in the chimney is one of the leading causes of house fires worldwide.
Creosote is highly flammable, so, to avoid the risk of a house fire, it’s essential to remove the creosote regularly from the chimney surface. The more you wait, the greater the creosote buildup inside your chimney, and the higher the chance of a potentially devastating chimney fire.
There is a misconception that chimneys are built to withstand the heat given off by fires. In reality, they aid in wood smoke extraction and can’t take high temperatures as people assume.
Chimney fires can cause a lot of damage to the chimney, so much that it needs replacement because repairing is no longer an option.
How are pine trees commonly utilized?
Pinewood is incredibly common. So much that you will come across many times depending on the area of the world you live in. It’s used in various ways and conditions; this guide gives you some insight into what it typically does and where it can be found.
Pine is one of the most-used woods globally, especially for contractors, furniture, and home-building (both in the house and out). Pine trees grow quickly, which is why they’re planted commercially.
Often, pine trees are farmed. They need to be thinned after about 25 years because some of the weaker ones use up resources that would otherwise go towards stronger pines.
When trees are harvested, they can be used for a multitude of things. Younger trees might not make it to the sawmill because of lack of quality or lower quantity, while older ones will likely end up there.
Pine trees are often planted in public parks, as decoration, and also planted in people’s yards and gardens.
Pine cones make a great resource for crafts, especially those that require pine needles. For example, pinecone pots and trays can be made with the help of these needle-based products.
Is pine wood good to burn? Final word
In short: Pine firewood is not a very good heating fuel (or indoor firewood) because it produces so much creosote and has a low heat output. It does make a great fire starter though
This wood is best for burning outdoors, a dead pine tree is great to burn in a campsite, a fire pit, or other outdoor fires.
Does pine make good firewood? Here you have all you need to help with your decision.