Elicia Gower

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Don’t Get Burned By Firewood

January 18, 2012

Some interesting information shared with me by my friend, Jeanette Petten, owner of Texas Tree Tamers.  For those of you lucky enough to have a wood burning fireplace in Steiner:

Winter is here, and if you own a wood-burning fireplace, chances are you’re looking forward to spending some relaxing nights at home in front of the warm glow of an evening fire. Although most Texas homeowners use less than ¼ of a cord of wood a year due to our mild winters, there are still plenty of days when it’s cold enough to use a wood-burning fireplace. But before you stock up on firewood, here are some key considerations.

Wood selection
All seasoned wood will burn, but naturally some wood is more suitable than others. Australian pine is a good selection because it’s clean burning, splits well and doesn’t have the sap like other pines. Laurel oak and turkey oak are also good burning woods and each is readily available in Texas.There are some woods you should avoid. Although many people choose live oak, this wood needs to be seasoned for about two years and even then the density of the wood makes it tough to burn. Cherry laurel, which is plentiful in Texas, is an even worse choice because it can emit toxic fumes when burned.

Storing wood
How you store your firewood is vitally important, not only because unseasoned wood needs to dry out before it can be used, but also because improper wood storage can create other problems. Storing wood too close to your house can draw termites, and storing it too close to living trees can be dangerous as well. A recent removal of three large pine trees showed that it had become infested with wood boring insects. The source of these insects was a cord of free firewood that the homeowner unfortunately chose to store near live, healthy pine trees. The “free” firewood ended up costing him thousands of dollars to have the trees removed and replaced by a professional tree service.

Jeannette Peten is the owner of Texas Tree Tamers in Austin, Texas. Texas Tree Tamers has been awarded the prestigious 2011 Angie’s List Super Service Award, Texas Tree Tamers was highly rated on Angie’s List, an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the businesses.  Download a free information guide www.texastreetamers.com  “How to Choose The Best Tree Care Company”

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