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Cedar - Burn Piles #8798504 02/09/23 04:39 PM
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In your experience, how long should I let grubbed cedar burn piles set before burning? I have read 30 days and up to 1 year - which seems excessive to me.

Thanks for any input and advice!

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798508 02/09/23 04:49 PM
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Granted, I don't have any experience with burning grubbed brush piles, but IME, you can cut a cedar down and light it on fire immediately, and it'll burn like hades. I wouldn't think it would matter.

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798541 02/09/23 05:24 PM
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If you burn fresh you will have a significantly greater risk of spreading to due to explosive sparks that come from the oil in the wood. For small piles in an appropriate setting this might be ok. We let our piles age a year but they tend to be very large piles

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798602 02/09/23 06:56 PM
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6 months to a year for me. trunks burn down better. foliage will burn anytime.

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798636 02/09/23 07:51 PM
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I let mine set for a year. They make good cover for rabbits, etc. And if you are trying to get a wildlife exemption, they count as habitat.
I always plow around them so that there is barren ground around the pile. The stumps will take 24 hours to burn, some big ones 48.
All the other limbs will be gone in an hour. Do it early morning
when no wind and if possible when a light mist or rain. That's just to be on the safe side. If you have several, don't burn them
all at the same time. That's just me again being overly safe. I'll light one, let it burn for a couple of hours before I start another one.
Just don't lite it and head home as I have seen some "city ranchers," do.
Photo below was about one minute into the burn. They go up fast and hot.
[Linked Image]


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798639 02/09/23 07:56 PM
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I usually let mine sit for anywhere from a week to a few months. All depends on when I need to burn and if I can due to burn bans and what not. Cedar will burn no matter what. toss a quart of diesel , toss a match and its becomes hell on earth for about 10 min then flames nearly disappear and it just smolders. Dried cedar goes up in flames like its nobodies bidness. This pile was cut on Saturday and burned a week later. Not a big one but big enough.
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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: mclipp] #8798674 02/09/23 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by mclipp
6 months to a year for me. trunks burn down better. foliage will burn anytime.

This has been my experience.

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798719 02/09/23 10:46 PM
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I have burned hundreds of cedar piles and it scares the crap out of me every time - always worried that when I light it there is no wind but then the wind comes up while it is burning - 6 months from the cut time to burn time always worked for me


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798742 02/09/23 11:14 PM
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Burned 2 big ones behind the house in December. I had been adding to them since July.
Wait a day or 2 after a good rain and no wind you'll be OK. They'll burn hot and fast.

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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798772 02/09/23 11:51 PM
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Cedar will burn the day it is cut down. Keep shoving the pile tighter with your front end loader.

I'd rather burn it sooner than later. Slightly green is less drama.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8798786 02/10/23 12:05 AM
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Make sure you’re not under a burn ban.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8799910 02/12/23 12:14 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the input...I am going to do my best to wait until next Jan/Feb - NOT very good at waiting though!

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8799926 02/12/23 12:33 AM
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It's going to rain 2 good days next week. After the rain touch it off.

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8799949 02/12/23 01:01 AM
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I’m with JG, in that burning it before it’s totally dry makes for a less violent blaze. I’ll burn mine right after the next rain.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8800767 02/13/23 12:12 PM
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We use to wait for a drizzly day or one heavy with humidity. If it's been there for awhile be careful of the varmints that bust out of it, wouldn't hurt to have a shotgun or 22 handy.

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8800790 02/13/23 12:56 PM
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Cedar will burn the moment it’s cut, the dryer it gets the more dangerous it becomes.

Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Ol Thumper] #8800819 02/13/23 02:00 PM
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Some years ago, when we were cleaning our place up prior to building on it, I had a huge pile of cedar limbs. By the time I got around to burning it, it was bone dry. When I lit it off, it didn’t just burn, but more like exploded. Never again.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: tlk] #8800826 02/13/23 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tlk
I have burned hundreds of cedar piles and it scares the crap out of me every time - always worried that when I light it there is no wind but then the wind comes up while it is burning - 6 months from the cut time to burn time always worked for me


I had some land cleared last week, mostly already sprayed and dead mesquite. Ended up with 6 or 7 piles, and don't like to have too much going on at one time, so torched one on Saturday and then started a 2nd one Sunday...no wind in the morning and forecast of 8 mph wind out of south starting around 11. Uh, no, about the time the pile really got going, the wind picked up and was gusting out of south at about 15. The good news, these are in the middle of the pastures that are now bare ground, but still required I stick close by until it had burned down. Took until after 1:00 before I felt comfortable. I was never really concerned about it spreading, but still remained vigilant.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8800828 02/13/23 02:18 PM
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The piles don't bother me. They bug the crap outa my wife. Some would say that's a win-win, but she takes really good care of me. I like the idiot-proof ice storms to burn, but can rarely catch them right. I have plenty of piles and will probably have more this spring.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8801083 02/13/23 08:20 PM
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Quite a few years ago I had a burn get out of hand. It got interesting quick.


Without a sense of urgency, nothing ever happens.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley, Rancher Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP
Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8809592 02/28/23 12:16 AM
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I am amazed at how much energy is stored in dry cedar. I bet your local volunteer FD would like to come out, prep the area around the burn, and help keep fire quarantined. A donation to the VFD would probably be in order if you choose this route.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8809597 02/28/23 12:24 AM
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Torched mine yesterday. A pyromaniac’s dream. I had a broom and tamped out a few runners. No problems


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8809816 02/28/23 02:06 PM
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I lit one off last Saturday without issue. Plenty of cleared ground around the pile, no wind and tractor standing by just in case.

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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8809835 02/28/23 02:30 PM
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The sooner you can burn them after making the pile, the better. Reason being that animals end up in the tangle of limbs to get out of the weather and to hide and if they do not escape before the burn starts, they can come out of the burn at full speed on fire and spread the flames. I always carry a rife with me to put down any fire-spreading raccoon or rabbit, etc. Had a coon once try to burn down the entire pasture is how I learned this lesson.


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Re: Cedar - Burn Piles [Re: Klinker] #8809845 02/28/23 02:39 PM
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I don’t like to burn green cedar. Wait until the leaves turn brown and light it on the opposite side from the wind. Keep a pump sprayer with water handy as well as a rake.

If possible, make a fire break around the piles using a box blade or angle blade on the back end of a tractor.


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