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#186877 - 10/30/09 01:10 AM Wood you can (and can't) burn
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2268
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Another thread had passing references to wood you can burn, and wood you should never burn.

This is worth a thread in itself. It's useful information for scrounging/recycling fuel, in normal times or emergency.

My understanding is:

1) Never burn pressure-treated lumber. Anything that kills fungus will likely do you harm. If it sits on or near grade, it's probably treated.

Most of the new residential stuff uses copper-based compounds. Older stuff, and certain industrial-grade structural wood products, uses arsenic. Avoid.

2) Other real wood products, such as 2x4 studs, are okay for heat. But I'm leery of cooking food directly on the flames. I hear rumours (high-quality hearsay) that kiln-dried lumber is sprayed with fungicide before it is shipped. There are no warning labels, but it doesn't break down nearly as fast as natural wood. Hmm.

3) Laminated-type products like plywood or oriented-strand board (OSB board) are a question mark. I wouldn't cook food directly over them. But I have thrown small pieces in the wood stove; they burn like the dickens, hot enough to overheat the stove if you use too much. But I don't know ... better off in a landfill?

Thoughts?

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#186879 - 10/30/09 01:37 AM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: dougwalkabout]
Redbeard Offline
Stranger

Registered: 08/25/08
Posts: 22
Loc: CA state of confusion
never burn poison oak/ivy...
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#187000 - 10/30/09 07:39 PM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: Redbeard]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
I have wood I burn inside and wood I burn only for camping.

Anything with a lot of sap I burn for camping.
Anything dry I burn inside.

I also never burn what you mention no matter the location.

Camping I burn pine cones, etc too, and never inside.



Make sure you say WHERE you burn it wink
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Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#187036 - 10/31/09 02:39 AM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: Todd W]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
In my burn barrel I burn about anything that's scrap from my dads shop in his garage. I don't cook on it, just for me fire pit. Haven't noticed any headaches or issues but not cooking on it.
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#187222 - 11/02/09 07:46 PM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: comms]
Montanero Offline
Addict

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 688
Loc: North Carolina
I seem to remember being told when I was a kid to never burn holly.

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#187224 - 11/02/09 08:17 PM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: Montanero]
GauchoViejo Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 03/06/08
Posts: 94
Loc: Argentina
I understand that you can't burn zumac. The smoke is poisonous and apparently, food cooked over zumac will poison you.

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#187225 - 11/02/09 08:20 PM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: Montanero]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Holly is okay to burn (the berries are poisonous), but doing so is considered sacrilegious by some people.

Never burn any part of oleander shrubs, even the smoke is toxic.

Sue

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#187373 - 11/04/09 12:41 AM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: Susan]
Comanche7 Offline
Addict

Registered: 07/04/02
Posts: 416
Loc: Florida
From a camping trip too many years ago...

A group of us were camping, each night we'd drive somewhere else and everyone rotated duties...one night, the campfire wood collector was amazingly quick returning with the load of wood for the night. The other 11 of us were too busy setting up tents etc. trying to beat the imminent rainstorm. We all ended up rain soaked and ate cold dinner in our tents.

In the near darkness, we all failed to notice that he had brought back pieces of creosote coated railroad ties that had been discarded when an old railway was dismantled somewhere in the local area. At some point, the wood collector went back out after the rain stopped and lit a fire which stayed lit (barely) the rest of the night. Next morning, we all woke up with amazingly bad headaches from the fumes that resulted. At least we all woke up. Had we been in a less breezy area it could have been different.

Here are a few other things that you don't want to burn or cook over:
Brazilian Pepper trees, also known as Florida Holly.
Austrailian Pine trees.
Melalluca trees.
Poisen Oak, Ivy or Sumac.
Any tree or vegetation with white sap.
Building materials, i.e. plywood, tar paper, shingles, painted wood and the like.
There are many others.

Regards,
Comanche7

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#187417 - 11/04/09 06:14 AM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: Comanche7]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Originally Posted By: Comanche7
From a camping trip too many years ago...

A group of us were camping, each night we'd drive somewhere else and everyone rotated duties...one night, the campfire wood collector was amazingly quick returning with the load of wood for the night. The other 11 of us were too busy setting up tents etc. trying to beat the imminent rainstorm. We all ended up rain soaked and ate cold dinner in our tents.

In the near darkness, we all failed to notice that he had brought back pieces of creosote coated railroad ties that had been discarded when an old railway was dismantled somewhere in the local area. At some point, the wood collector went back out after the rain stopped and lit a fire which stayed lit (barely) the rest of the night. Next morning, we all woke up with amazingly bad headaches from the fumes that resulted. At least we all woke up. Had we been in a less breezy area it could have been different.

Here are a few other things that you don't want to burn or cook over:
Brazilian Pepper trees, also known as Florida Holly.
Austrailian Pine trees.
Melalluca trees.
Poisen Oak, Ivy or Sumac.
Any tree or vegetation with white sap.
Building materials, i.e. plywood, tar paper, shingles, painted wood and the like.
There are many others.

Regards,
Comanche7


I`ll burn painted wood outside.
I don't think all painted wood is actually bad to breath... but I make it a point to not be in the smoke when I do burn it.
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#187426 - 11/04/09 01:11 PM Re: Wood you can (and can't) burn [Re: GauchoViejo]
Lon Offline
Member

Registered: 11/14/08
Posts: 115
Loc: middle Tennessee
Originally Posted By: GauchoViejo
I understand that you can't burn zumac. The smoke is poisonous and apparently, food cooked over zumac will poison you.


I noticed that your location is Argentina; I see that spelled Sumac here, but I assume we're talking about the same thing.

It's quite a coincidence, because I was just researching Sumac yesterday. I found this web site (poison-sumac.org) devoted entirely to Poison Sumac!
Apparently, Poison Sumac is even more toxic than Poison Ivy or Posion Oak.
The good news is that Posion Sumac is very rare, occuring only in Wetlands ... and, apparently, "very wet" Wetlands at that.

That's good news for me, because I needed to cut some Staghorn Sumac (not poisonous) out of a fence row.
If I even "look at Poison Ivy or Posion Oak the wrong way", I get a rash eek... so, I know I don't ever want to tangle with Poison Sumac.

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