Pine Firewood – A Softwood that’s cheaper as well as easier to burn than most hardwoods!
Pine is one of the most popular woods and the most popular tree in the world. They are beautiful tall trees and their leaves remain evergreen, no matter what season it is.
Pine wood is very commonly used as firewood. But, unlike other popular firewood we’ve talked about earlier on our website, Pine isn’t just as great as Black locust, Oak, or Ash firewood are. That’s because, firstly, it’s a softwood which means it burns faster and gives a lot of smoke. Secondly, it is more suitable for outdoors than indoors!
This is the reason that people, who opt for burning pine for firewood, usually use it for outdoor fires.
And most importantly, it has a heat output of 22 million BTUs per cord, which is low heat production. And so, it doesn’t perform really well if you need firewood for extremely cold days when you’d need a fire that would burn long and slow.
Although Pine isn’t the worst of firewood types for burning, when looking for firewood with a high heat output, Pine won’t be the right choice. However, pine does work wonders if you want a cozy and warm environment outdoors, for a few hours. Therefore, you can use Pine for outdoor firewood but not for indoors.
Our article contains all the necessary details about the Pine firewood that you need to know before you burn it! Continue reading to know more.
Is It Safe to Burn Pine in a Fireplace?
Not really. Pine isn’t very safe to burn in fireplaces. In fact, according to most of its users, it is the worst firewood to burn indoors where you need a long-lasting and non-Smokey fire.
Pine produces a lot of smoke which is irritating to the throat and eyes which is the reason you wouldn’t want to burn it inside your home.
5 Amazing Uses of Pine Firewood
Now that you’ve come to know that pine isn’t great firewood to burn indoors, you must be wondering what is it used for then. Well, there are plenty of other uses that Pine works amazingly for.
1. Wonderful Fire Starter
Pine is known to be a wonderful fire starter because it’s sappy and this makes it a good igniter. Many people use it to start up the fire, even when they don’t use it entirely as firewood because it helps you start up the fire pretty much quickly and easily.
2. Commercial Plantations
Pine wood is very common in commercial plantations as well as in construction industries for various purposes. Its wood pulp, turpentine, timber, and resin are used by the paper industries and Pinewood also produces raw materials for cosmetic and paint industries.
3. For Furniture and Floorings
Just like many other kinds of wood, Pine wood is also used for the making of furniture as well as floorings and roofing of houses.
4. Farming Industry
Farming industries also use pine wood. A pine tree usually requires around 25 years for its plantation. Farming industries, during this time, observe the growing trees and make sure that maximum resources such as minerals and sunlight reach the pine trees to help them grow healthier.
Healthier trees grow with healthier woods and so, these woods are then used by farming industries.
This seems unreal to hear that pine woods are also used as ornaments. But yes, they are used this way too. Many types of art and craft projects are carried out using pine wood as well as their needle-like unique leaves, especially when Christmas is around.
Their needles are also used for making trays, baskets, and such related stuff, mostly for decoration or showcase purposes.
Highlights of Burning Pine Firewood
Pine firewood, despite being a very popularly known firewood, doesn’t burn as good as other popular firewood do.
Its popularity might be because of its tall, evergreen trees with the most unique leaves and because of the fact that it’s used as a Christmas tree as well. But they’re not popular for burning firewood.
If you’re planning on burning pine as firewood this winter, you need to first read about the burning behaviors of pine. And here you go for that.
- Burning pine wood produces a very low heat output, that is, around 22 million BTUs per cord only. Whereas average burning firewood should produce around 24 million BTUs per cord. This makes it a poor producer of heat, which is obviously the most important factor to be considered when burning firewood.
- A LOT of smoke is produced when you burn pine firewood. The heavy production of smoke makes it a bad choice for burning fire indoors. The smoke is not only irritating to the eyes and throat but may also give you a bad headache.
- For the smell or odor, Pine firewood is a winner. It produces a very pleasant smell which results in a nice environment while you’re camping.
- Pinewood produces very few sparks when burning. The firewood that produces lots of sparks may be unsafe and hazardous. However, Pine doesn’t disappoint here as well. It does not produce a lot of sparks and hence, is totally safe to burn.
- The coal production – Pine is pretty much poor in the production of coals, which is the reason it burns for a short time and the fire isn’t long-lasting. Firewood that produces good quality coals burns up throughout the night. However, Pine is worst in its coal production.
- Another very important factor that contributes here is the creosote buildup of Pine firewood. Good firewood should produce very little or no creosote. However, Pine being super sappy and containing a lot of resin content causes a lot of creosote production during combustion. This is an addition to the reasons why Pine is bad firewood.
Types of Pine Firewood
If we talk about the total species of Pine that exist, there are around 115 of them. But, only eight of them are widely used as firewood. These are:
- Southern Yellow Pine
- Eastern White Pine
- Western White Pine
- Sugar Pine
- Ponderosa Pine
- Jack Pine
- Norway Pine
- Pitch Pine
Although these species of Pine can be used as firewood, they’re rarely in use. Because, as we’ve mentioned earlier, Pine is considered to be the worst firewood as compared to other popular firewood.
Hence, despite being easily available, their use is very limited.
Is Pine Hardwood or Softwood?
Pine is softwood. It contains a lot of sap and resin content in its wood. Although softwoods are easier to split and burn hardwoods are more resilient.
Being a softwood and super sappy, most of its users believe that it’s just not worth the effort to be used as firewood. Even after getting it properly seasoned, it still produces the least amount of heat which is least effective compared to any other firewood.
What Does Pine Firewood Look Like?
The wood of the pine tree is sticky and sappy. You can easily identify pine firewood by just holding and looking at a block of its wood. So, if you have firewood in front of you that’s sticky with sap and resin, it is definitely pine firewood.
Moreover, if you’re looking at the tree rather than the wood, Pine trees are very unique. Instead of proper leaves, they have needles while almost all other trees whose woods are used as firewood have proper leaves.
How Does Pine Tree Wood Burn?
Pine tree wood burns easily and quickly. But it must be properly seasoned. Upon lighting up the seasoned pine firewood, it quickly starts up the fire and doesn’t require a lot of effort.
However, pine firewood doesn’t burn for long. It could be a good choice if you need a little heat for a few hours and that too, outdoors. But for indoors where you need a cozy environment throughout the night, Pine isn’t the right choice.
This is because upon burning, pine releases a lot of smoke which is obviously unhealthy. Furthermore, it is a poor producer of coals, or you may say it’s the ‘worst’ firewood when it comes to the production of coals. It does very less coaling which is the reason that fire isn’t long-lasting.
Lastly, it builds up a lot of creosote as the pine wood is sappy. This could be very dangerous as well because it greatly reduces the ventilation of your chimneys.
The only good thing about burning pine firewood is that it produces the least amount of sparks, and the fragrance is very pleasant.
How Long to Season Pine Firewood?
Being a softwood, Pine firewood requires only six to twelve months of seasoning. It is important to ensure that after seasoning, the moisture content must only be 20% or less. If it’s more than that, you’ll need to season the wood for a few more months.
Radiata Pine Vs Southern Yellow Pine
Radiata Pine is also known as Insignis Pine and Monterey Pine. Radiata Pine trees grow 80 to 100 ft. tall with 2 to 3 ft. thick trunks. When dried, the wood of these trees weighs 32 lbs. per cubic ft.
The sapwood of a Radiata Pine is pale yellowish white in color while the heartwood is light brown. Both could be easily distinguished. Furthermore, their wood is knot free and has wide growth rings.
If you observe their end grains, you’ll notice that most of the resin canals are solitary and evenly distributed, and they have medium to large sizes. The tracheid diameter is also medium to large and the contrast between colors is moderate to low.
Southern Yellow Pine is commonly known as Longleaf Pine. These trees grow 100 to 115 ft. tall with 2 to 3 ft. wide trunks. When dried, the average weight of their wood is 41 lbs. per cubic ft.
The sapwood of Southern Yellow Pine gives a yellowish white appearance while the heartwood is reddish brown. Their growth rings are close together.
If you observe the end grains of Southern Yellow Pine, you’ll notice that there are a lot of large resin canals that are evenly distributed yet solitary. The tracheid diameter, same as that of Radiata Pine, is medium to large and color contrast is high.
Pine Firewood – FAQs
In a nutshell, Pine firewood can be used as firewood, but it isn’t very suitable for that. From our experiments, we’ve learned that you can use pine firewood as a fire starter for which it works great. But it isn’t worthy firewood to burn entirely as you burn other firewood.
It has a low heat output, releases a lot of smoke, and builds up too much creosote as well.