The Origin of Fatwood

Fatwood was originally found in the remnants of longleaf pine stumps scattered across the Southeastern US. The longleaf pine was once the dominant conifer, growing across vast savannahs in sandy soil from Virginia to Texas.

Most of these trees were harvested in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  In fact, the word ‘fatwood’ became a descriptor meaning the wood in these stumps was ‘fat’ with flammable resin, therefore, perfect for a fire starter.

Other Names for Fatwood

Fatwood is known by a variety of names in English including fatlighter, lighter wood, pine knot, heart pine and occasionally ocote (a loan word from Spanish). In the United States, it is most commonly referred to as Fatwood while in Mexico and Central America as ocote.

Why Fatwood Works

The secret of Fatwood is the higher concentration of resin found in our trees. It is this organic resin that gives our Fatwood Firestarter its sustained flame and easy lighting ability.

With these higher concentrations of resin, we don’t need to add propellants or chemicals like the other guys because we don’t need them. How many other fire starters can claim that?

In the United States

longleaf pine in the united states for fatwood

As the longleaf forests were harvested and their stumps utilized, true North American fatwood has all but turned to smoke.  Other woods have been tried but nothing has the same spark of our pine fatwood. Realizing the unmatched efficiency and effectiveness of these ancient pines, we turned to the stumps of our Central American tree farms, which now provide all of our Fatwood.

In Central America

Most Fatwood today comes from the stumps of a pine related to the longleaf but native to Central America and grown on tree farms. 

These pines are quick-growing, do not occupy rain forest areas, and are a non-endangered species, yielding a product that is sustainable, economically viable and environmentally responsible. By making use of the stumps, we are reducing overall waste while creating a sustainable and safe byproduct.

Fatwood Pictures Gallery