anyone know what 'pine knots' are? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I was reading one of the Foxfire books the other day and it said that this lady used pine knots in her wood cook stove to get a good hot 'quick' fire. Our only source of heat is our wood cook stove. I am using seasoned oak wood but I just don't seem to be able to get the stove good and hot consistently. Anyone know what pine knots are? I need to be able to get the oven good and hot so I can cook things like biscuits. I've tried everything with the stove as far as adjusting the draft, different sizes of split wood, differing the amount of wood I put in etc.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 06, 2000


Pine knots are the wood that forms in the trunk of the tree where a branch exits it. The base of the branch that is 'stuck' in the trunk wood forms a structure that sometimes breaks free from the wood when you split it. White pine does this the most readily that I have found, and splits out the easiest. They burn slowly

-- Julie Froelich (, December 06, 2000.

Check the archives category for wood burners. Also, in the Miscellaneous category, about 150 from the bottom, there is a thread on kindling/"fatwood".

One could spend literally day reading the archives and this is still a young forum.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, December 06, 2000.

This old Missouri boy sez' Use Hedge or Osage orange. It is the hottest, will burn green or dry.

-- JR (, December 06, 2000.

Pine knots are the diseased cankers on branches of various species of pines ,and are also used as firestarters bc they have alot of resin in them.I'll find them laying on the ground under my hard pines,where the branches fell off.For a hot fire,use the "soft woods" Things like soft pines(white pine,sugar pine) aspen and other poplars,and tulip poplar,depending on what you have available in you part of the country.Hard pines good too bc pines have alot or resin.That's why they go up like a torch in a forest fire.Where you are in Missouri you most likely have pines and tulip poplar,I expect? Oak,hickory are good for keeping that fire going and give off alot of heat once in the coal stage, but for a quick hot fire use well seasoned soft woods.

We use them every AM in the woodstove,during the heating season, to get the fire back up and provide a good hot fire every day to keep the creosote level down

-- sharon wt (, December 06, 2000.

I guess I was operating under a misconception. I thought burning pine would contribute to creosote build up. Not sure why I had that in my head....and here I've been cursing all the pine trees I've got!!! Guess I need to get my chainsaw going this next week and get busy cutting some pine.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 07, 2000.

If your pine is seasoned and if you use it to burn a hot fire every morning,it helps to keep cresote problems under control.

I use oak,maple,hickory for the heat the rest of the day,with maybe an occassional pine tossed in bc it's there.And on a warmer day,where you need less heat,I'll use pine or tulip poplar bc they are lower in overall heat output.

No chimney fires in 20+ years of burning,course we also clean the chimney before the heating season and sometimes once during,if needed.That's most important.

-- sharon wt (, December 07, 2000.

Didn't think I explained creosote & pines well.If you burn pines all day with the damper closed down,then they will contribute to a creosote problem bc of the extra resin.If you use them every AM to get a hot fire going. They then hepl burn out what little creosote formed the provious day,helping you keep it under control.

But make sure your pine, and all wood, is seasoned,for a year in my opinion and even two for some of the slower drying species.If you put the wood in and it sizzles, it's too wet.

Standing dead wood is a good source, if you need to get straight from the tree.Only leave hollow ones for the critters.They have little wood in them to burn anyway.

If you do acidently cut a hollow tree. Cut it into firewwod lenght,put a roof and floor on it, drill a hole 2 1/4" , and you have a rustic bluebird house.I have them distributed abt the property and the birds use them.Putting them 100 yards apart at least, is the recommendation.

-- sharon wt (, December 07, 2000.

Obviously, it depends on what part of the country you're from as to what are called pine knots. What Sharon refers to are called cankers around here. I'd wondered why someone told you that the pine knots I know would burn all that hot! I've also heard (not substantiated) that if you burn a few aluminum cans in your stove it will cut down on the creosote build-up. NO idea if it works.

-- Julie Froelich (, December 08, 2000.

Greetings All, After being raised in the Piney Woods of East Texas, I have found that pine knots are formed by fallen yellow pine trees in our area. What happens is the turpetine in the sap collects in the joints of the trees and in the stump and creates what most people call "fat wood". As the logs start drying out the sap becomes more concentrated and burns very well, but it also produces a lot of soot which causes creosote build up in the flues of wood stoves. This can lead to a flue fire that is virtually impossible to put out. Many homes have been lost to fire in our area because people use the readily available pine instead of hard woods in their stoves. Using "lighter pine" as we call it in small quantities to start a fire is acceptable. The yellow pine in our area has more sap than most of the other pines. Hope this information is helpful to you. Rory & Sandra in S.E.Texas

-- Rory in S.E. TX. (, December 31, 2000.

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