Leaves burning

  • #1
290
17

Main Question or Discussion Point

do leaves burn? what kind of leaves burn? I tried burning a leaf but it won't burn.. but in forest fires.. is it the wood that burns or the leaves?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,831
5,477
do leaves burn? what kind of leaves burn? I tried burning a leaf but it won't burn.. but in forest fires.. is it the wood that burns or the leaves?
Depends on the temperature and how dry the leaves are. All leaves will burn in a hot enough fire.
 
  • #3
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
20,717
4,423
do leaves burn? what kind of leaves burn? I tried burning a leaf but it won't burn..
Green leaves wont' burn because of how much water they have in them. Try a dry leaf instead.

but in forest fires.. is it the wood that burns or the leaves?
Both. The heat from a massive forest fire can easily boil away the water in leaves and other organic material and then set the leaves on fire.
 
  • #4
3,379
942
Dry leaves will burn, wet leaves won't, the same is true of wet wood and dry wood.
In the case of a forest fire the first thing that happens is heat from stuff which already is burning drives out the moisture from nearby trees,
Once the water is gone these nearby trees will also start to burn.
The dry leaves go first because they are very exposed to atmospheric oxygen, which is why there is a fire in the first place.
It does't take long though for the wood to be dry enough to start burning as well.
 
  • #5
256bits
Gold Member
3,000
1,027
http://wildfiretoday.com/2014/03/03/eucalyptus-and-fire/

Trees produce volatile compounds, some more than others, and burn better "green" rather than dry. The heat releases the compounds enhancing the burning process. Dry leaves will burn not so well. One should take notice of the caution when ornamenting a Xmas pine tree so that any part of the tree does not get hot enough to set forth a blaze, especially the pin leaves.
Forest fires are not really just the burning of dead old wood.
 

Related Threads for: Leaves burning

Replies
21
Views
22K
  • Last Post
Replies
19
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
7
Views
566
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
1K
Top