Telephone Poles? 

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Posts: 31

Joined: 5/17/2019
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I was walking through the college campus today, and I noticed that the Grounds crew had taken down a telephone pole and bucked it into 16"-20" pieces. I carried a piece home and thought I'd have a tentative burn tonight, but I also thought I would ask if anyone had any experience burning (or not burning) telephone poles.

It's some sort of softwood, but beyond that I don't know much. Is it pumped full of chemicals? Is it dry wood? Is this a good idea?
  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 4:58:33 AM
Posts: 752

Joined: 10/8/2019
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don't even think of burning it! undoubtedly full of creosote or a similar preservative that will certainly burn nicely,but will probably axphyxiate you! at the very least,you will stink the hell out of the house. not worth the potential problems. might try a few chunks on the ol weber though. just kiddin.
  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 4:59:42 AM
Posts: 201

Joined: 5/16/2019
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Typically telephone poles are not a good idea to burn . . . many of the older ones were coated with preservatives and the newer ones are pressure treated. It's too bad they cut up the pole . . . it could have been a half decent stringer for a foot bridge, ATV bridge or snowmobile bridge.

  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5:00:03 AM
Posts: 173

Joined: 8/25/2019
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I took one down in my backyard. the previous homeowners (25yrs) said they don't know what it's for and use it as part of a clothesline. Looked to be cedar, as dryer than anything. was all split apart, and big big ants were living inside... hundreds. I bucked a piece and they covered the whole round, I had to change my underwear after that. Seeing them all swarm out of the round like that... Anyway, never made it to my stove. Will probably burn it outside.

  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5:00:25 AM
Posts: 97

Joined: 11/17/2019
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Don't burn them AT ALL - definitely treated and treatment chemistry varies - you don't want , and you don't want your neighbors (assuming you have some!), to breathe those fumes - just no good need to do so. Cheers!

  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5:01:23 AM
Posts: 235

Joined: 5/8/2019
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Burned a pile of telephone poles that had been heavily treated in creosote on a construction project. They too gave off black smoke, smelled funny, and had as much energy as a nuke blast. I didn't think about the chemicals in the air. Usually we give the old ones to farmers and they make fence posts with them. These were crooked and old that we burned.

Check this link right here found on shoppok.
  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5:03:02 AM
Posts: 39

Joined: 5/6/2019
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Back in May 2009 Qwest (now Century Link) replaced an 80+ yr old Western Red Cedar phone pole in my back yard.Asked them to leave it here as I had plans for it later. They had to cut off the top 10ft before they could pull it because it a huge 100+ yr Mulberry was overhanging it.I split part of that small end for stakes & small split rail rustic fence +kindling.The remaining piece I got 2 10 ft logs which were split into 10 ft fence rails & 6 ft posts.The butt end was in the ground 7 ft & 14†diameter & heavily creosoted.I milled a 4 1/2†thick beam from the center heart,that & the 2 outer slabs will be used in outdoor landscaping or something else eventually.

  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5:16:17 AM
Posts: 392

Joined: 12/28/2019
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Creosoted railraod ties and phone poles can be burn with the right equipment in an industrial boiler. A facility I was involved in was permitted to burn 50% RR ties. When they were burning them the nick name was "rocket fuel".

  Friday, February 7, 2020 at 5:17:50 AM
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Joined: 3/21/2021
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