Because it contains no irritating compounds, wood from a rosebush (Rosa spp.) can be burned safely. Whether you plan to add it to a burn pile or use it in your fireplace, it will burn best if it's given a chance to dry out. Learn which branches to cut, how to store and dry them and how to use them to build a fire.
You can safely burn wood from a rosebush.
Pruning Rose Wood
When pruning roses, wear long gardening gloves to protect yourself from thorns. Use sharp, clean pruning shears to minimize the spread of disease and injury to the plant. Make all cuts at a 45-degree angle about a quarter of an inch above an outward-facing bud.
Video of the Day
Start by removing dead branches. Keep these separate from the rest; you may be able to burn them sooner. Then, remove unwanted suckers from the bottom of the main stem and any branches that cross or rub other branches. To encourage more lateral branches, remove the top third of each branch.
When you're done pruning off unwanted branches, take some time to cut the longer pieces into foot-long sections. This makes them a fireplace-friendly size. Avoid cutting them too small or they won't burn as long.
Curing and Drying Rose Wood
Freshly pruned rose wood is too wet or "green" to burn effectively. If it does manage to catch fire, it will soon snuff out. It needs to dry out before it will burn well. However, any dead branches pruned from the rosebush may burn sufficiently without any extra drying time.
The smaller the diameter of the wood, the faster it will dry. Generally, wood needs about one year of drying time for every inch of diameter. That means the wood you pruned off a rosebush may not be ready until next year.
Store the wood outside at least 30 feet from your home, shed or any other wooden structures to avoid problems with pests. Stack it on a pallet or a firewood frame to keep the wood off the wet ground and to promote good air circulation around each piece. Cover it with a tarp if rain is in the forecast.
Burning Rose Wood
When rose wood has spent enough time outside to properly dry, it can be used to build a fire. Most pieces will qualify as kindling; these are the medium-sized pieces that "catch" the fire from the tinder and burn just long enough to ignite the larger fuel logs. Ideally, kindling will be about the width of your thumb and length of your arm. Pieces the size of your arm will work as fuel logs.
When building a fire, start by bundling short, thin twigs into a pyramid or teepee shape. Crumpled newspaper also works well as tinder. Some people prefer to place a loose layer of kindling around the outside of the tinder before lighting it, but others like to light the tinder first. Regardless of your preference for the order of operations, reserve some kindling so that you can continue to feed the fire until it's suitably hot.
Use a fireplace poker to stoke the fire if the kindling starts to collapse on itself and burn out. This will improve air circulation around the wood. Finally, add one or two pieces of fuel logs to the fire. Place them at an angle to avoid smothering the current fire.