through Michael Kuhns, extension Specialist, and Tom Schmidt, Forester*


Wood is a resource of heat used by many Utahns. More firewood will be melted as the price of other power sources prefer gas and electricity rises. In order to usage firewood effectively, an knowledge of varieties characteristics and firewood volumes is needed.

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Species Characteristics

Firewood native different types or types of tree varies widely in warmth content, burning characteristics, and overall quality. Table 1 gift several necessary burning attributes for most species used in Utah.

TABLE 1. Firewood Facts (Sorry for any gaps in the data)

types Weight (lbs./Cord) eco-friendly load (lbs./Cord) dried warmth per Cord (Million BTUs) % of eco-friendly Ash ease of dividing exhilaration Sparks Coals Fragrance overall Quality
Alder 2540 17.5 Easy Moderate Good Slight  
Apple 4850 3888 27.0 135 Medium Low Few Good Excellent Excellent
Ash, Green 4184 2880 20.0 100 Easy Low Few Good Slight Excellent
Ash, White 3952 3472 24.2 121 Medium Low Few Good Slight Excellent
Aspen, Quaking   2160 18.2   Easy   Few Good Slight  
Basswood (Linden) 4404 1984 13.8 69 Easy Medium Few Poor Good Fair
Beech   3760 27.5   Difficult   Few Excellent Good  
Birch 4312 2992 20.8 104 Medium Medium Few Good Slight Fair
Boxelder 3589 2632 18.3 92 Difficult Medium Few Poor Slight Fair
Buckeye, Horsechestnut 4210 1984 13.8 69 Medium Low Few Poor Slight Fair
Catalpa 4560 2360 16.4 82 Difficult Medium Few Good Bad Fair
Cherry 3696 2928 20.4 102 Easy Low Few Excellent Excellent Good
Chestnut     18.0           Good Good
Coffeetree, Kentucky 3872 3112 21.6 108 Medium Low Few Good Good Good
Cottonwood 4640 2272 15.8 79 Easy Medium Few Good Slight Fair
Dogwood   4230 High   Difficult   Few Fair    
Douglas-fir 3319 2970 20.7 103 Easy High Few Fair Slight Good
Elm, American 4456 2872 20.0 100 Difficult Medium Few Excellent Good Fair
Elm, Siberian 3800 3020 20.9 105 Difficult Medium Few Good Fair Fair
Fir, White 3585 2104 14.6 73 Easy Medium Few Poor Slight Fair
Hackberry 3984 3048 21.2 106 Easy Low Few Good Slight Good
Hemlock   2700 19.3   Easy   Many Poor Good  
Honeylocust 4640 3832 26.7 133 Easy Low Few Excellent Slight Excellent
Juniper, Rocky Mountain 3535 3150 21.8 109 Medium Medium Many Poor Excellent Fair
Larch (Tamarack)   3330 21.8   Easy-med   Many fair Slight Fair
Locust, Black 4616 4016 27.9 140 Difficult Low Few Excellent Slight Excellent
Maple, Other 4685 3680 25.5 128 Easy Low Few Excellent Good Excellent
Maple, Silver 3904 2752 19.0 95 Medium Low Few Excellent Good Fair
Mulberry 4712 3712 25.8 129 Easy Medium Many Excellent Good Excellent
Oak, Bur 4960 3768 26.2 131 Easy Low Few Excellent Good Excellent
Oak, Gambel     30.7            
Oak, Red 4888 3528 24.6 123 Medium Low Few Excellent Good Excellent
Oak, White 5573 4200 29.1 146 Medium Low Few Excellent Good Excellent
Osage-orange 5120 4728 32.9 165 Easy Low Many Excellent Excellent Excellent
Pine, Lodgepole 2610 21.1 Easy Many Fair Good Fair
Pine, Ponderosa 3600 2336 16.2 81 Easy Medium Many Fair Good Fair
Pine, White   2250


  Easy   Moderate poor Good  
Pinyon   3000 27.1   Easy   Many      
Poplar   2080 Low   Easy   Many Fair Bitter  
Redcedar, Eastern   2060 13.0   Easy Low Many Poor Slight Fair
Redcedar, Western 2950 2632 18.2 91 Medium Medium Many Poor Excellent Fair
Spruce 2800 2240 15.5 78 Easy Medium Many Poor Slight Fair
Spruce, Engelmann   2070 15.0 78 Easy   Few Poor Slight  
Sycamore 5096 2808 19.5 98 Difficult Medium Few Good Slight Good
Walnut, Black 4584 3192 22.2 111 Easy Low Few Good Good Excellent
Willow 4320 2540 17.6 88 Easy Low Few Poor Slight Poor

Green load is the load of a cord of freshly reduced wood prior to drying. Dry weight is the load of a cord after wait drying. Eco-friendly firewood might contain 50% or much more water through weight. Green wood produces much less heat because heat have to be used to boil off water before combustion deserve to occur. Eco-friendly wood also produces much more smoke and also creosote (material the deposits top top inside walls of chimneys and may cause chimney fires) than dry wood. Firewood need to therefore constantly be purchased dry or permitted to dry before burning. Dry wood may cost more than environment-friendly wood since it produces much more heat and is much easier to handle.

A wood"s dry weight per volume, or density, is important due to the fact that denser or heavier lumber contains much more heat per volume. Osage-orange is a really dense firewood with restricted availability in Utah. It"s had here to display what a very dense wood is like. The contains practically twice the warm by volume of cottonwood, among our lightest woods. In basic it is finest to buy or gather thick woods such as oak, hard maple, or ash. Hardwoods, or woods native broadleaved trees, tend to it is in denser than softwoods or woods indigenous conifers. Part firewood dealers offer "mixed hardwood" firewood. This might or may not it is in desirable, depending on the relationship of low- thickness hardwoods such together cottonwood that room included.

The quantity of warmth per cord the dry hardwood is presented in Table 1. Warm content is presented as a percent that dry green ash, a fairly common, thick firewood. Values above 100 denote a greater heat contents than green ash and below 100 a lower heat content.

Table 1 also contains details on other features that determine firewood quality. Ease of separating is important since larger piece of wood need to historicsweetsballroom.comally be separation for good drying and also burning. Fragrance and propensity to smoke and also spark are most important when timber is melted in a fireplace. Woods the spark or pop have the right to throw embers the end of an open up fireplace and also cause a fire danger. Conifers often tend to do this an ext because of their high resin content. Woods that form coals are good to usage in timber stoves since they permit a fire come be carried overnight effectively.

Firewood Volume

Though firewood dry weight is important for determining warmth content, firewood is normally bought and sold by volume. The most typical unit the firewood volume is the cord, additionally known together a typical or complete cord. A cord is one evenly-stacked pile containing 128 cubic feet of wood and air space. Despite a cord have the right to be piled in any kind of shape, a conventional cord is normally thought of as a stack of timber 4 feet tall, 8 feet long, and also 4 feet deep (Figure 1). To figure the variety of cords in one more size or form pile, recognize the pile"s cubic foot volume and divide through 128. A randomly-piled ridge of lumber will historicsweetsballroom.comally contain an ext air and also less hardwood than one nicely piled.

Some dealers market wood by the confront cord or short cord (Figure 2). A confront cord is a stack of timber 4 feet high, 8 feet long, and also as deep together the pieces are long. Pieces are typically 12 to 18 customs long, therefore a face cord may contain 32 come 48 cubic feet that wood and also air.

Another common firewood measure up is the pickup pack (Figure 3). This is a an extremely imprecise however common measure. A full-size pickup through a conventional bed deserve to hold about 1/2 that a full cord or 64 cubic feet when loaded also with the top of the bed. Small pickups organize much less. Random loading will decrease this amount further.

A randomly-piled stack or pickup load of timber will contain an ext air and also less timber than one nicely stacked. Crooked, tiny diameter, and also knotty or branchy pieces additionally reduce the amount of timber in a pile.


Figure 1. Traditional Cord

Total Volume = 128 cubic feet


Figure 2. Face Cord

Total Volume = 32 to 48 cubic feet (depending on piece length)


Figure 3. Pickup Load

Approximate full Volume = 64 cu. Ft.

Buying Firewood

Species, volume, dryness, and also need for dividing should be considered when to buy firewood. The information here and also in various other publications should offer you the basic information girlfriend will should be an educated buyer. However, knowing your dealer is the best method to ensure that you are acquiring what you space paying for.

For an ext Information

A number of great publications are easily accessible to help you learn an ext about utilizing firewood for heating.

Burning Wood and Coal by Susan Mackay, L. Dale Baker, john W. Bartok, Jr., and James P. Lassoie. 1985. Northeast regional Agricultural engineering Service, Riley Robb Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. (607)256-7654. 90 pp.

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* Tom Schmidt is a former Forester because that the Nebraska woodland Service. This web page is based partially on a college of Nebraska reality sheet title "Heating v Wood: varieties Characteristics and also Volumes".