Can I burn Christmas tree wood on my stove?

Christmas tree wood

It’s a question I get asked a few times… particularly just after Christmas when people are getting their living rooms back to normal. The answer is that it is not advised, and there’s a very good reason for it

Firstly, wood from Christmas trees is extremely ‘sappy’. So putting it straight onto a fire is a big no-no. At worst, it could cause a chimney fire. Don’t take that chance, it’s not worth it.

And even when left for a while, it still retains a high moisture content, so the same risks still apply.

Chopped up wooden base from a Christmas treeIf, however, your tree came with a wooden base, this can usually be chopped for for fuel. Again, don’t throw it on the fire straight away – leave it for at least 18 months and before using it, double check it with a moisture meter.

Disappointed? It’s understandable but trust me, it’s not worth the risk. Not only does Christmas tree wood provide very little heat (try burning it outside), it creates tar and creosote in your chimney, which can cause a chimney fire.

Recycle your Christmas treeInstead, why not wait a few months until spring and see if your neighbours are cutting any of their trees down? Oak, ash and birch are all great for stoves and open fires – again, once they have been seasoned. It’s worth asking around and keeping an eye out on social media for anyone looking to get rid of their untreated, natural wood.

Steer clear of any treated woods, or those with paints or lacquers on them. Pallet wood is also not recommended as it has usually been treated in some way, and these chemicals are released into the chimney when combustion takes place. Save it for the bonfire.

And as for the Christmas tree, the best place for it is in your green recycling bin or the local council tip.

Mr Soot Chimney Sweep offers a professional and friendly chimney sweep service in Wigan, Stockport, Southport, Ormskirk, Chorley and surrounding areas. Book Mr Soot online or call 0800 0541154.

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