It’s that time of year again, we are all packing our Christmas decorations away. The big question is – How are you going to get rid of that over-sized tree standing in your sitting room? If you have a wood burning appliance it may make sense to chop it up and burn it during a cold January.
Is it safe to burn your Christmas tree?…………no!
As a professional chimney sweep it is very common for us to see a few chopped branches of a Christmas tree sat next to the fire ready to be burnt but burning the tree can have very dangerous consequences.
Christmas trees were probably only felled a maximum of two months ago, added to which you may have been watering it to keep it alive, meaning it is not nearly dry enough to be burnt. The sap from fresh trees can sometimes create a fire hazard in your chimney and the flammable turpentine oils can cause flare-ups or even chimney fires.
The wood from firs, pines and spruces can produce a lot of creosote, causing a build-up on chimney walls. Creosote is a flammable and corrosive substance created from the gases that are produced when burning wet wood. The dried needles can burn in a flash, causing a fierce fire. The needles can produce sparks that can fly into your room or go up the chimney and cause any creosote deposits to ignite, resulting in a chimney fire.
Local authorities often arrange drop-off points or special collections of ‘real’ trees in early January and advertise the dates this will take place with any other changes to collections over the Christmas period. Check your local authority website for more information. Remember to remove all tinsel and decorations and any pots or stands.
Below is a video from YouTube that shows how dangerously fast a Christmas tree burns.