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How do you get pine limbs to burn????

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by sawzall82, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. sawzall82

    sawzall82 ArboristSite Lurker

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    I had 7 pine trees cut down 2 weeks ago. My friend hauled off all of the logs and I'm stuck with 7 trees worth of limbs and tops. I have tried to burn them and they won't stay going. Is there any way to get them to burn without letting them sit there till spring? I really hate pulling in my yard everyday to see it so cluttered up.
     
  2. Metals406

    Metals406 Granfodder Runningsaw

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    Green is always hard to burn, but doable. Most logging slash sits for a few months here before they put the weed burner to it.

    Your best bet would be to cover the pile with a tarp, and light it up in March or April.
     
  3. gwiley

    gwiley Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You can try adding it in small doses to a seasoned wood fueled fire, but i doubt that is worth the work - I agree that you might as well just let it sit until spring and then torch it.

    One thing to note - I save pine tops/branches/poles that are 2" or better because they are awesome for recovering a burned out fire. I keep about a seasoned full cord or more of them for a quick restart (my 2 boys tend the furnace when I am out of town and they like to let it burn down).
     
  4. Stihl here

    Stihl here ArboristSite Operative

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    You need to build a good bed of coals with dry dead stuff first and then throw on the limbs gradually. It will burn!!! The trick is just getting a good hot fire first.
     
  5. iowa

    iowa Addicted to ArboristSite

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    :dizzy::clap:Lots of diesel fuel and an old tire????
     
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  6. myzamboni

    myzamboni ArboristSite Operative

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    cut it and stack it for next year. great shoulder season wood and, as already stated, great for re-igniting from coals.
     
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  7. CUCV

    CUCV AboristSite Guru

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    Start the fire on the ground with some cardboard and dry wood, make sure the pile of brush is stacked/piled tight to minimize gaps. I often will squish the pile with the tractor before starting the fire. I usually start with a small pile then add to it.
     
  8. Del_

    Del_ Tree Freak

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    Get one small hot fire going and slowly add to it. Lay long branches across this hot spot until they burn in two and then do the same with both ends. Before long you will have an inferno!


    Or better yet do what was suggested earlier and cut a lot of it for home heating fuel. Pine is great stuff!
     
  9. unclemoustache

    unclemoustache My 'stache is bigger than yours.

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    As others have posted, I'd recommend you get a good fire of seasoned wood going first, then add the limbs. You might have to continue to add seasoned wood, but if you get that fire hot enough, you shouldn't have any trouble burning it all up in no time.
     
  10. Swamp Yankee

    Swamp Yankee Addicted to ArboristSite

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    +1
    Brush piles are the reason I save drain oil religiously.

    The other useful tool for keeping a fire going is a leaf blower. Acts just like a blacksmith's bellows. Will help you build a good bed of coals in a hurry, making the fire easier to sustain.

    If you can't get it going, there's always the option of renting a chipper for the day. Usually run around $175 but prices vary by area. Next question is do you have a use for the chips?

    Take Care
     
  11. Suz

    Suz AboristSite Guru

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    LIke others have said get a good hot fire going with either dry wood, or drain oil/fuel oil combination.
    Once you get the hot fire going the pine limbs will almost explode when you throw them on the fire.
    Many years ago we had a "big wind" come thorugh and I burned all the downed brush even after a 7 inch rain storm. You just have to get a hot enough fire going then add the fuel!
     
  12. AKKAMAAN

    AKKAMAAN AboristSite Guru

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    There is a reason why pine limbs rot's faster than other wood.....WATER, lots of water, heat them up, evaporate the water and they will burn. If you want to season them make sure they are stacked DRY, very dry...
     
  13. rtrsam

    rtrsam ArboristSite Operative

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    I started using a leaf blower to help burn piles along. As others have stated, I start a small fire (good practice for building camp fires, I guess). Once the small fire is burning readily, start adding more and more and larger and larger stuff to the fire. When you've got the small-ish fire (think big camp-fire sized) covered with smoldering limbs, fire up the leaf blower and direct it at the fire. You'll think it's blowing gasoline into the fire, it burns so hot.

    Repeat as necessary until one of the following criteria is met:
    1. Too hot to get close enough to throw more stuff on.
    2. Too tall to throw more stuff on it.
    3. Nothing left to throw on it.

    As the pile burns down, a little leaf blower action can bring it roaring back to life in moments.

    Standard fire safety precautions apply, of course (air quality, fire line around pile, fuel moisture conditions of surrounding environs, suppression equipment, etc.).
     
  14. Nosmo

    Nosmo Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Here's how I get rid of them no matter how green they are even if they were cut just minutes before.

    Get a 55 gallon steel drum and cut both ends out. I've got one I have been using for 20 years just for this.

    Lay about 4 bricks on the ground and stand the barrel up on the bricks. This will let air come in at the bottom. Start a fire with kindling and fast burning material. Then start tossing the pine limbs in standing up with the needles on the end of the branches towards the bottom.

    If you have a problem with the barrel trying to tip over just drive a pipe down just inside the barrel and take a brick away on the opposite side. Once that fire gets going good it will burn those 1 or 2 inch limbs almost as fast as they are put in the barrel.

    Nosmo
     
  15. max2cam

    max2cam AboristSite Guru

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    Use a good limb cutter and cut them into kindling size lengths. Why waste all those BTUs? What is left of small diameter twigs and needle stuff burns easy.
     
  16. avalancher

    avalancher Arboristsite Raconteur

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    Like a few posters above, I use diesel fuel and a leaf blower.After months of splitting i have tons of scraps, knotted up stuff, soaking wet mess to deal with.
    dump two gallons of diesel fuel,drop a match, and fire up the leaf blower.Within ten minutes you will have a fire you wont be able to get within 20 feet of.
     
  17. gwiley

    gwiley Addicted to ArboristSite

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    quick leg hair removal technique not recommended

    It occurs to me that you might be tempted to use something more volatile than diesel to get those branches lit. Let me tell you from experience that gasoline is NEVER a good choice for starting a fire....EVER.

    One summer I had a respectable pile of slash to dispose of and was tired after a long day of cutting. I thought that a generous dose of gasoline would be the best way to get rid of this stuff quickly so that I could get to the showers. I must have took longer than I thought to spread the gasoline over the pile, and I must have used more than I thought (I don't think that I was thinking). Then, I couldn't get the match to light - this all led to quite a few minutes from the time I started spreading gasoline to the time a flame appeared near the pile.

    Gasoline is very volatile, meaning that it vaproizes quickly, but the vapor tends to be heavier than air. in the time it took me to finally light the fire a large pool of gasoline vapor had collected around it - with me standing in a pair of shorts and workboots just about in the center. When the match lit I realize that I liked Dante's version of the 7th level of hell a lot better than what I was dealing with. I did a superman launch into the air and ran away yelling (I like to recall a deep manly growl befitting a 6'4" 250lb logger, but I think it more like a high pitched screech befitting an 8 year old girl).

    Anyway....it took a while for the hair on my legs to grow back.

    Stick to kerosene or diesel when lighting fires - never give in to the temptation to use gasoline.
     
  18. HD-tech-NH

    HD-tech-NH ArboristSite Operative

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    pallets, stack a few on your pile splash a couple gallons of waste oil, keep some pallets in reserve to kill all the brush. thats what I do. you can typically find free pallets on Craigslist. Good luck. oh yeah be sure to call your buddies and get some beer!
     
  19. gwiley

    gwiley Addicted to ArboristSite

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    southern states will usually give their broken pallets away for the asking. Last time I asked their answer was - how many can we give you? They charge for the good ones, but I tend to end up with a few good ones when they load the broken ones into my truck.
     
  20. briggstwiggs

    briggstwiggs ArboristSite Lurker

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    I do know if the pine isn't stacked very well and it is getting to much air around the limbs it wont burn I droped a 70 foot pine in a large fire once everything burned except the pine just turned it black. the next day I got in there and cut the limbs and stacked them on top of the logs every thing burnt. ya use diesel it burns slow and hot. good luck and have fun
     

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