Is orchard wood safe?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by potatoc, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. potatoc

    potatoc Meat Mopper

    I am just finishing the construction of my wood fired smoker. Here in norhtern Michigan all the farmers are trimming up their apple and cherry trees. I would have an unlimited supply of this wood to use in my smoker this season. However, I am not a farmer and don't know much because I am very new to all this stuff, so my question is, is the limbs/cutoffs of these trees safe for smoking???? The reason I ask is because I know farmers spray for bugs and disease, so I was wondering if that would affect this wood?? Thanks for any help as always!!!
     
  2. ds7662

    ds7662 Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Sure its safe. Just let it season before using it.
    There are chemicals all around us and in the air we breathe everyday.
    Let the wood season outside an it will be fine.
     
  3. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use wood that comes out of my orchard, and I don't use chemicals; so I do nothing special. However, if I was to get wood from an orchard that I knew used chemicals, I would remove the bark and season the wood for about 6 months. At that point I would think you would be fine.
     
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Lucky dog, start stacking that wood. [​IMG]
     
  5. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    detritus from fruit and nut trees ROCK
     
  6. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You eat the apples that have the same chemical's on them, why not smoke with the wood???
    Load up as much as you can, that's where i get mine also....
    Any cherry trees in them orchard's??? [​IMG]
     
  7. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Anything they use is gone in a couple months by design, if not sooner. ya eat the apples, right? DDT type stuff is LOOONG gone. Season it and smoke it!
     
  8. kookie

    kookie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I was thinking the samething bubba and richtee. If you can eat the fruit it bears then you should be safe burning the wood.

    Kookie
     
  9. white cloud

    white cloud Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There is such a thing as dormant oil spray which is only sprayed on the wood. Some do add pesticides to the oil. The oil alone is not toxic, at least the one I make. It smothers pests that overwinter in the bark. Another concern would be if they used an uptake pesticide, which is poured on the ground and the root system takes it up ( uptake) and it works it way from core to bark.
     
  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hmmm...but I wonder if any of these survive the temps, or if they break down after wood is dead and seasoned. maybe I'll post a note to MSU's ag extension.
     
  11. brianj517

    brianj517 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Orchards in my area are my primary source of apple and pear wood that I've been using for years. Of course I make certain that it is well seasoned before using it...And have no problems or side effects...

    Of course, there is the issue about having "eyes in the back of my head," which is an ever present source of consternation for my kids, but I never really considered this to be a bad thing...and probably wasn't caused by the wood anyway...

    Cheers,
    Brian
     
  12. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hehe...it's caused by fatherhood. I got 'em too :{):
     
  13. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sent this to Michigan State's Ag Dep't:
    _________
    A question on woods for smoking meats Esp. orchard trimmings: Are there any worries about residual pesticides in commercial orchard trimmings? Will the seasoning of the wood reduce any if it is a concern? Or the burning of it?

    Thank you for your time...
    ________
     
  14. shellbellc

    shellbellc Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Don't use that wood, it will be no good. Take all that you have collected and send to me quickly. I will properly dispose of it...especially the cherry!![​IMG]
     
  15. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Your alway's thinking safety!![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  16. charles1056

    charles1056 Meat Mopper

    I get my pecan straight off the tree, so I would think the others would be just as safe as long as they are seasoned.
     
  17. packplantpath

    packplantpath Smoking Fanatic

    I wouldn't worry about it at all. Where do you think the wood we buy comes from? It sure ain't the forest unless you really pay out the nose for some organic smoking wood (is there such a thing?). I've worked with pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides for years. By design, they all are not persistent in soil or tissue because the EPA wouldn't approve them. Ask the growers what they sprayed and how long prior to the cutting it was. If it was at least 60 days, I wouldn't worry at all. If it had been 30 days or less, it would depend on the chemical used for me.

    FYI: dose for dose, caffeine is far more toxic than roundup, so as long as you are not sucking it out of the jug you are fine. Of course this would not apply to some of the nematacides, a tsp can kill a 150lb man, but we don't have to worry about that in orchards i think.
     
  18. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    since i have started visiting this site, and REALLY learned how to smoke meat, as i am sure with aLOT of folks here.......haven''t seen 150 lbs IN YEARS.........LOLOL
     
  19. packplantpath

    packplantpath Smoking Fanatic

    Too true. I guess it might take 1.5 tbs for most of us I'm afraid. I've always been fine with my weight, until recenltyI reasilzed I had broken that 210 mark. For a guy under 5 ft 10 in, I was depressed. So, I'm eating pretty much the same, just working out a bit the past few months. I'm on the smoking weight loss plan. You know, low and slow.
     
  20. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    LMAO.............LOLOLOL...........gosh packin......you killing me here
     

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