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Is horse chestnut wood ok to burn in a wood burner?

(18 Posts)
SunnyUpNorth Wed 10-Oct-12 21:06:52

I am not sure if this is the best place to post this, but given the recent thread on wood burning stoves thought there may be some knowledgable people about.

I have found quite a good deal on a truckload of wood for my wood burner. It is horse chestnut, which is a hardwood but I have read some conflicting things online about how good it is as firewood.

Has anyone used it, did it burn ok?

BigWitchLegsInWailyTights Wed 10-Oct-12 22:40:59

It's spitty...not considered to be a "good quality wood". The main thing with using any type of wood in a burner is to check it's been properly seasoned. If it is cheap, it may well be because it's still "green"...which means it has not been cured for a year and wont be dry enough. Green wood is bad for your flues.

SunnyUpNorth Thu 11-Oct-12 12:26:26

Thanks bigwitch, yes it is seasoned and ready to burn.

I had read it could spit but that might be more of a problem for an open ire than a wood burner. Then read elsewhere that it doesn't give out much heat so was just wondering what other people thought of it.

throckenholt Thu 11-Oct-12 13:20:50


Sounds like it would be best mixed with other wood.

There is also this old poem :

Beech-wood fires burn bright and clear
If the logs are kept a year;
Store your beech for Christmastide
With new-cut holly laid beside;
Chestnut's only good, they say,
If for years 'tis stored away;
Birch and fir-wood burn too fast
Blaze too bright and do not last;
Flames from larch will shoot up high,
Dangerously the sparks will fly;
But ash-wood green and ash-wood brown
Are fit for a Queen with a golden crown.

Oaken logs, if dry and old,
Keep away the winter's cold;
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke;
Elm-wood burns like churchyard mould,
E'en the very flames are cold;
It is by the Irish said;
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread,
Apple-wood will scent the room,
Pear-wood smells like flowers in bloom;
But ash-wood wet and ash-wood dry
A King may warm his slippers by.

WowOoo Thu 11-Oct-12 13:36:27

That poem is fab, Throckenholt.Thanks for sharing it.

If only I could remember what it was that the forestry man gave me.
The pile has been there for well over a year, I'll just mix and hope for the best.

steppemum Thu 11-Oct-12 13:54:30

My mum is having a pine tree chopped down and had offered me the wood for our (not yet installed) wood burner. She phoned up this morning to say that she won't save it for me as apparently it is too full of tar and ruins your stove. I have space to store it for 2 years, but that doesn't do it apparently

Any advice?

steppemum Thu 11-Oct-12 14:00:24

sorry, hijacking thread [shame]

WowOoo Thu 11-Oct-12 14:16:50

We've burnt pine from a neighbours garden.
It had a lovely smell. True, there did seem to be tar - i thought it was a kind of sap. I think it was mostly from the bits we hadn't left for long enough.

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 14:20:32

not pine. Woo - don't use pine.

it's really really spitty and tarry and and sappy.

it makes an awful mess.

steppemum Thu 11-Oct-12 14:22:19

nickel, is that same in woodburner as on an open fire?

throckenholt Thu 11-Oct-12 14:25:40

pine spits on an open fire - but not a problem in a wood burner. Best to mix it with other slower burning wood, and make sure you clean your chimney regularly.

Pascha Thu 11-Oct-12 14:30:13

doesn't burn old pallets and furniture in hers, oh no

peeriebear Thu 11-Oct-12 14:30:40

There's an old Dartmoor poem much the same as that one throckenholt; my boss has a framed copy in the work loo. About pine it says
Logs of pine will sweetly smell
But the sparks will fly

It doesn't have specifically horse chestnut but says
Birch logs will burn too fast
Chestnut scarce at all

nickeldaisical Thu 11-Oct-12 14:46:10

i imagine it would be, steppe - because it will throw crap on te glass and also stuff up the flue.

in an open fire, you just end up with the carpet getting burned, or worse still, getting firey hot bits of sap on your skin or clothes.

throckenholt Thu 11-Oct-12 18:15:30

pascha me neither oh no indeedy.

If you happen to get hardwood indian ones (used to deliver heavy stuff like paving stones) you shouldn't burn those either grin

MaggotMummy Thu 11-Oct-12 18:20:42

We burn old chestnut all the time on ours, it is fantastic. We mostly have old hop poles for kindling, but also burn the big bits,
Our feeling that if it is enclosed the spitting isn't an issue and it gives of plenty of heat

poozlepants Thu 11-Oct-12 18:30:40

We are just about to buy a cheap moisture meter for our log pile as we have had a few trees down over this last 2 years - sycamore, cedar, pine, larch. Was talking to the woodburner guy who said a moisture meter was the way to go to get the most out of the woodburner as some woods season quicker than others. He said properly seasoned logs in makes a huge difference to how well the woodburner functions and even 5% extra moisture can make a difference. So £20 well spent I hope.

SunnyUpNorth Thu 11-Oct-12 21:24:25

Ooh lots more interesting responses, thanks all. Hasn't really helped me make my mind up though! I might just try it but a smaller load than I was planning on buying.

That poem is great!

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