When it comes to firewood, some people believe that all wood can be used as fuel. However, this is not true at all. Wood that has not been properly seasoned or that still has leaves on it can create a potential fire hazard. This is true even when you are burning it in a controlled area such as a fireplace. Many people make this mistake with Christmas trees. Although it may seem logical to get rid of your tree in the fireplace, this can be very dangerous if not done correctly. At The Chimney Guy, we want you to know that there is a wrong and a right way to get rid of your Christmas tree. We also want to tell you know why using your fireplace to dispose of your Christmas tree is never a good idea.
Have you ever tried to start a fire with newly cut wood? If you have, you may have noticed that it was hard to ignite. If it did eventually ignite, it did not burn well and produced a lot of smoke. This is because wood needs to go through a process called seasoning before it can be used as a fuel. Seasoning allows the firewood to properly dry. Unseasoned firewood creates a lot of smoke, therefore, this also creates more creosote in the process. If your burn your Christmas tree in your fireplace, it will likely create a lot of smoke in the home. If your chimney can’t handle it, you’ll end up with smoke and soot stains in your home and excess creosote buildup inside of your chimney.
Burning Branches and Leaves
Another issue associated with burning your Christmas tree in your fireplace is related to burning branches and pine needles. Christmas tree needles and branches tend to be drier than the trunk of the tree. Needles and branches also tend to have a relatively high surface area to mass ratio. The combination of these two things means that Christmas tree needles and branches burn incredibly hot and fast. If you put them in your fireplace, you run the risk of starting a home fire or chimney fire. This is especially true if you haven’t had your chimney swept in a while and creosote is present to catch fire.
Christmas Tree Disposal
The easiest way to get rid of a Christmas tree is to ask your local waste management authority. A lot of municipalities either pick up your tree or have a designated location to drop off your tree. If this is not an option, there are other ways to recycle your tree. You can strip the tree of branches and cut it into logs. Allow the logs to season for six months, and then you can use them as firewood. You can use the branches and needles as mulch or as kindling for campfires. Another option is to put your tree in a woodchipper and use it as mulch. Some people also throw their Christmas tree into their private pond to create fish habitat.
If you have any questions about what you can and cannot burn in your fireplace, or if you’re in need of a chimney sweeping, please feel free to call us at 920-830-1920, or go online to schedule an appointment with us today.