Tree that grows quickly for wood burning stove?

Discussion in 'Homes and gardens' started by selfbuild99, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. selfbuild99

    selfbuild99 Registered User

    Posts:
    42
    Building a new house at the moment and with the price of oil going up, thinking of getting a wood burning stove for the living area. Have a few acres that we can plant. Anybody know the best type of trees and the quickest to grow. Also if anyone has had good experiences with their stove(want back boiler and heat rads), can they pass on the name of it? Thanks
     
  2. sydthebeat

    sydthebeat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,603
  3. PGD1

    PGD1 Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    466
    willow
     
  4. sydthebeat

    sydthebeat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,603
  5. usual

    usual Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    63
    Am in similar situation,Ready to build,good supply of wood,but now my architect thinks this heating would not be viable,as water tank not near enough to stove.I am hoping he is mistaken.Its a small house (1700sq ft)and even at this stage i would make necessary changes.Has op had any advice on this?Would also like reccomendations on suitable stoves.Thank you.
     
  6. Ravima

    Ravima Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,886
    Eucalyptus is very quick growing, but I do not know how it burns. Ash is best, but slow growing. if you live in a rural area, you may be able to buy a tree from a farmer for a reasonable sum, and cut it yourself.
     
  7. Caveat

    Caveat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    4,018
    Not so sure how reliant you can be on growing trees specifically for fuel - the OP has a few acres but any tree, no matter how fast growing, will take time to get established. There will then be a considerable fuel 'bounty' which will be short term and you're back to square one again.

    I'm not saying that I think it's a bad idea, but there will be considerable time and effort required for this.

    Just to give you an idea, we had the wood from about 20 x 8-10m trees cut into logs last February which we used on our open fire.

    Our supply is now completely used up - we burnt the last log last night.

    BTW, we only used the logs as a 'supplement' to our coal - it was by no means our main source of fuel.
     
  8. badabing

    badabing Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    163
     
  9. badabing

    badabing Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    163
    You burned your logs in an open fire, what a waste!

    If you used a stove, or better again a high efficiency log boiler, your logs would have gone 6 times as far, never mind the ash hassle. An average house will burn 10 tons p/a with a log boiler for all heating and hot water. I know a guy recently who got a drop of 24 tons of logs for €800
     
  10. Caveat

    Caveat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    4,018
    Maybe, but we have neither and the logs were free, so the waste issue doesn't really come into it for us.

    Maybe the stove or boiler would use one sixth of the logs, but you have to consider that presumably these would be lit and continually fuelled 24/7 for 6 or 7 months of the year.

    Our fire is only lit 5 times a week, from 7PM and is allowed to die out overnight, with coal as the main fuel, so the usage may actually balance out in comparison with our experience.

    24 tons of logs for €800 sounds fine - but that's my point, how worthwhile then is growing your own fuel going to be?
     
  11. ubiquitous

    ubiquitous Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    3,772
    Sorry, I don't see the point in growing a few trees specifically for fuel use, given that an ash tree for example will take 15 years to grow to any appreciable size and at that stage its timber value for commercial sale will greatly exceed its value as fuel.
     
  12. Phil_space

    Phil_space Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    50
    Has anyone tried getting 'waste' wood from a local joinery/timber yard?

    Badabing from where did you friend get the 24 tons of logs? Was it from a commercial supplier or a farmer/contact?
     
  13. z103

    z103 Guest

    What about the whole environment issue etc?

    We use our stove about the same as you, but with a fraction of the fuel. We get fantastic heat from it, because it's quite a large stove. It heats most of the ground floor.
    We had an open fire in our last house but never used it. It never seemed to heat up the room and was almost more decorative.
     
  14. inigomontoya

    inigomontoya Registered User

    Posts:
    46
    You might want to contact your local Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, who will be able to give you details of where you can get firewood from thinnings from the Farm Forestry sector:

    http://www.client.teagasc.ie/forestry/contacts/fdo_contacts.asp

    If you want to plant trees, they'll be able to give you some tips there too.
     
  15. Caveat

    Caveat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    4,018
    In what sense, specifically?




    OK, fair enough - but do you then not use an alternative heat source the other two days of the week and before 7PM? I'm assuming (maybe wrongly) that the OP intends to rely fully on their stove.

    Anyway, I'm not really arguing about the running costs/efficiency of stoves/boilers. The point here is whether or not it is cost effective/worthwhile to grow your own fuel - as the OP seems to be suggesting. Based on my own usage comparison - admittedly not entirely appropriate - the time and effort required, and on the log costs from Babading, I think not.
     
  16. sydthebeat

    sydthebeat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    1,603
    I think thats the key question but it should be split.

    Whereas it may not be 'cost effective' it may definitely be worthwhile.
    You will not be increasing carbon output by getting fuel delivered.
    If you plant tress, immediately you are reducing your carbon footprint.
    This might be very very important if carbon taxes are introduced.
    You also have the added advantage of the self gratifying feeling of being more self sufficient.
    The addition of the tress will create a biodiversity for flora and fauna. For this I would advise planting different species of trees rather than one.
    Plus you can create a wonderful playing area for children.

    Whether its cost effective definitely comes down to a few factors.
    1. the area and amount to be planted
    2. their growth rate and seasoning rate
    3. their specific thermal capacity
    4. your energy needs (obviously the less energy you need, the less lumber you need)
    5. your willingness to attend to your harvest.

    personally i would absolutely love to be in your situation.
     
  17. usual

    usual Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    63
    Im in the lucky position to have mature firewood onsite,and in the past 2 weeks 2 large trees have fallen.Though im sad to lose them,at least i have the consolation of knowing that they will keep me warm next winter.This is why im very anxious to get the best system possible in my new house to take advantage of this.And I agree with syd,this is great,There is something very theraputic in a bit of self suffiency."the good life"I will of course be replanting as i lose the older stock.
     
  18. jmrc

    jmrc Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    103
    Im presently burning waste pallets, free for the taking from most retailers, glad to get rid of them. I burn them in a stove. Nails are a bit of a pain but can live with that. At present I'm keeping 4 houses, all converted from open fires to stoves, warm. And you know what the Indian says about a man cutting his own firewood; He warms himself more than once...!
     
  19. z103

    z103 Guest

    Just the inefficient use of fuel and associated emissions. You say that you have used '20 x 8-10m trees' since Feb in an open fire. Maybe you should consider a stove?

    Maybe if the fuel is burned efficiently, then it would become viable to grow your own trees.

    Yes, we use oil.
     
  20. Caveat

    Caveat Frequent Poster

    Posts:
    4,018
    Since Feb 07 BTW - in case it wasn't clear.

    Yes, it was probably inefficient but the logs were just a by product of clearing and processing our own potentially hazardous trees - in general we're happy enough with our oil/back boiler combo.