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Ash content in spalted wood, bark?

 
Erica Wisner
gardener
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Location: Okanogan Highlands, Washington
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We're getting higher ash buildup in our stove lately.  There are at least 6 plausible explanations, more likely than this one, but it got me wondering...

Has anyone noticed a difference in ash buildup if burning spalted (fungal-stained) wood
Or bark?

We're into a section of the woodpile with an old spalted pine tree in it.  While we normally burn pine and bark, along with other fuels like larch and fir, it seems like we're getting more ash with this one pine tree and its knobbly limb-sections.

Just curious.

-Erica
 
Travis Johnson
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It is possible, the spalting (as you most likely know) stems from mineral streaks in the wood, so what you have is some decomposition by fungi and loss of wood, but still have the minerals deposited throughout the wood that remains.

The knotty sections may be due to resins in the woods. "Knots" in boards typically weep sap, and for years later too. So that could account for the extra ash possibly. Another thought is that the wood is denser in a knot.

As a woodworker though, it almost seems sad you are burning spalted wood. What great projects can be made from them, assuming they are not past prime. But I understand the need to stay warm too.

As a side note, did you hear why the piece of spalted pine firewood was dating the hot, bombshell blonde? Well its obvious, he was a Fungi (fun guy)!!
 
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