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dennisyurcik's picture

Always heard you shouldn't burn wood with mould or fungus on it, but never heard it from anyone I would consider and expert. Is it true that i shouln't burn would with fungus or mould growing in or on the outside of the wood. I don't really see the harm if it's going into a wood stove. Where the air is not coming back into the house. Ok it's not a true woodworking question but reading Sara Robinson's spalting blog made me wonder. Thanks for your help.

Dr_Spalting's picture

There's no reason to not burn (post #145376, reply #1 of 15)

There's no reason to not burn moldy wood. The heat kills the spores, and any that might be released are not in high enough quantities to hurt you. You should be much more wary of burning treated lumber by far, than anything with fungus on it.

I can find you scientific literature to back this up if you need.

Sara - aka Dr. Spalting

dennisyurcik's picture

Hey Doc, I thought you'd be (post #145376, reply #5 of 15)

Hey Doc,

I thought you'd be the right person to answer that question. It's amazing how much "common knowledge" out there is incorrect. Although I don't necessarily "need" the scientific literature back up I would like to read it if it's not too much trouble for you to locate. I love being able to back up my claims when challenged.

Thanks for answering my question. Hopefully I didn't wait too long to reply and you see this before 2011. ;-)


PS- thanks for the great blog too.

Dr_Spalting's picture

I should add - it would be (post #145376, reply #2 of 15)

I should add - it would be nearly impossible to find wood that did NOT have any mold or fungus on it. The only way to insure mold-free wood would be to steam sterilize or autoclave, both of which are out of the question for most people. Spores are in the air, therefore they are on your wood.

forestgirl's picture

Those spores are lurking in (post #145376, reply #3 of 15)

Those spores are lurking in the natural environment anyway, so if a few escape from your stove through the chimney, they're not changing the balance of the universe in any significant way.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

wotnow's picture

Oh dear! There's a fungus (post #145376, reply #4 of 15)

Oh dear!
There's a fungus among us.


I started out with nothing...and I still have most of it left!
sid works's picture

I can see that your the type (post #145376, reply #6 of 15)

I can see that your the type of person that doesn't give a crap about others or what they breath as long as it doesn't come back into your house; ""Where the air is not coming back into the house"". that is like poeple that burn garbage in their fireplace.

be responsible for what you burn



Lataxe's picture

Ron, Tut, you have issued a (post #145376, reply #7 of 15)


Tut, you have issued a rabid remark with no justification.  Have a chocolate or even two and be nice.  :-)

Of course, should you need to exercise them teef I will gladly don a muffle and provoke you to fury with a small verbal goad.  I have always enjoyed human-baiting, which is still legal within certain British counties.

Lataxe, fond of fungus and also woodsmoke.

sid works's picture

I know that the fungus (post #145376, reply #8 of 15)

I know that the fungus shouldn't cause any problems, it was his statement ."as long as it doesn't come back into the house it's fine". here is just to much bad crap that people burn these days and as long as it doesn't affect them, no problem

""Lataxe, fond of fungus and also woodsmoke.""; ever wonder why your forehead is almost now reaching your backside!  . sniffing all that  stuff.


PSeverin's picture

Don't suppose the warning (post #145376, reply #9 of 15)

Don't suppose the warning came from from half remembering  that old folk song about making moonshine

"...don't burn no green or rotten wood

or they'll catch you by the smoke,

I just lie there neath the junipers...

Just saying


Jammersix's picture

Must I? (post #145376, reply #11 of 15)

Do I have to issue a rabid remark before I can have a chocolate?

"A few of us went down to Gettysburg. Some of us didn't come back.

If you weren't there, you'll never understand."-- Unknown Infantryman

Lataxe's picture

Jammer, You may stuff (post #145376, reply #12 of 15)


You may stuff yersen with chocolates and also other ambrosia.  I never issue rabid remarks, as you know, yet have eaten so many chocolates I have freckles.  Of course, you must buy your own chocolates as I need all my dosh to buy mine.

However, should you care to issue a rabid remark I will, for free and gratis, engage you in cyber-biting, for the amusement of all and our own edification.  Can you not feel one or two such remarks bubbling in your psyche somewhere?  I yam getting bored!

There was that remark yo made to a fellow with a dust headache concerning going to doctors rather than taking advice from folk who themselves have derived solutions to their own dust headaches.  Ah ha!  I see you are a modern fellow who does not trust his neighbour (even cyber--neighbours) and their real lives but prefers the market-driven klaptraps of so-called "experts", who merely have a better trade union than the rest of us.  Amazing how you "free" fellows hand over your lives to Experts of every ilk and breed, including the self-appointed ones with ulterior motives and those who practice priestly secret mode (ie most of them).

Outside of Mordor there are docs who are interested in folk getting better, as Nanny pays them a fixed stipend so they tend not to regard their patients as merely an exploitable financial resource to be tossed on to a rot-heap when exhausted of cash.  One stands a chance of being cured rather than impoverished.

Of course, things may be changing in Modor since that bill was passed........

Lataxe, who is going to look for the chocolates the ladywife has hidden from him (oh yes she has).

joinerswork's picture

Lataxe, ye auld (post #145376, reply #13 of 15)

Lataxe, ye auld badger-baiter,

So, that's why it's getting harder and harder here to find a doc who will accept the pittance that our gov't is now paying for the treatment of elders-- they're all rushing to Blighty, to set up their practices to treat the loikes o' you.

Personally, my treatment of headaches, is to replace the run-of-the-mill pain with an ice-cream headache, by rapidly ingesting sufficient quantity of the tasty stuff to do the job.  Said cold-pain is easily relieved by the expedient of licking the backside of the spoon, and pressing the still- cold utensil against the pain-filled forehead.  Works a charm, and sitting in an ice cream parlor is more restful than waiting in queue for months on end.  Maintenence doses of chocolate is of course, part of the regimen for long term treatment.

Ray, buying Hershey shares, in anticipation of a gov't -mandated "right" for everyone to purchase foil covered kisses

Lataxe's picture

Ray, old sweetooth, You (post #145376, reply #14 of 15)

Ray, old sweetooth,

You mention chocoate and ice cream but in reality ye've not tasted the jenyouwine articles, as you mention "Hershey", which tastes of silage.  I know, as a chap where I once worked (spit) came back from the States with some of this "chocolate" for us office-bound wallahs.  After the first whiff it was put aside as a potential emetic; but attracted a large herd of cow-beasts, since they had insufficient cake that day from the parsimonious farmer.  "Moooo, silage"!

As to that stuff ye call ice cream!  Well, it is all ice and no cream, only polystyrene with the flavour taken out.  Happily I have access to the delicious stuff made by the ladywife in her Gaggia gelataria, into which she tosses not just cream but also various exotic booze of the liquer variety.  Have I mentioned that she is a little angel (crossed with fairy)?

On such a diet I am never ill, except as a subterfuge to obtain more ice cream and chocolate from solicitous relatives and friends.  Sometimes one must attend the quack to get a pugent for toe-rot or a freckle-burst.  Otherwise one keeps away, as there are too many diseases there that might be transmitted.  Did you know that a sneeze may project 8 metres; and leaves float-bugs that will stick to the neck of the smelling salts or even a ladee's lips?


Meanwhile it appears that there are too many unhealthy ole scroats littering up Blighty; their ever-increasing horde is draining the purse of Mr Thrustingyouth, a taxpayer.  Our Dear Leader has suggested we scroats must pay a penance so that nursey can look to our dribbles and leaks in later life.  Is there no end to the pecunary punishments inflicted on we defenceless pensioners!?  I will write to my MP demanding he return the thrift of his spendings!

Lataxe, a big kid in a sweetshop.

joinerswork's picture

My dear friend Lataxe, For (post #145376, reply #15 of 15)

My dear friend Lataxe,

For once, I fear we may be in near complete agreement (can we still be friends??) re: the run o' the mill Hersheys product.  Still, their Special Dark bars are right tolerable.

And yet, You  hasn't had a taste of the Pine Family French Vanilla ice cream receipt ( I use the obsolete spelling of "recipe" deliberately, to give some connotation of its venerable origins,) as produced by a hand-cranked freezer, laden wif cackle-berries, er eggs, fresh golden Guernsey cream, and the innards of the vanilla-bean... I'm slapping my self silly with my tongue, and needs be takin an extra Lipitor tablet, just thinking about it. 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, 'at's my motto, regarding swapping spit with a loverly ladee.  What might be the wages of one reckless sojourn down the alees of amour, is reckoned as a fraction of the rewards enjoyed at the end of the journey, am I right, or am I right?


Dr_Spalting's picture

Dennis - good thing I thought (post #145376, reply #10 of 15)

Dennis - good thing I thought to check back here (and before 2011 too!).  If you'd shoot me an e-mail, I'll respond and attach the literature.  You can find my e-mail on my FWW profile.


Dr. Spalting