by Michael Kuhns, extension Specialist, and also Tom Schmidt, Forester*


Wood is a source of warmth used by countless Utahns. An ext firewood will certainly be burned as the expense of other power sources favor gas and also electricity rises. In bespeak to usage firewood effectively, an knowledge of varieties characteristics and firewood quantities is needed.

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Species Characteristics

Firewood native different varieties or varieties of trees varies commonly in heat content, burning characteristics, and overall quality. Table 1 presents several vital burning characteristics for most types used in Utah.

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

types Weight (lbs./Cord) environment-friendly load (lbs./Cord) dry warmth per Cord (Million BTUs) % of green Ash lull of splitting exhilaration Sparks Coals Fragrance as whole 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 weight is the load of a cord the freshly reduced wood before drying. Dry weight is the load of a cord after air drying. Environment-friendly firewood may contain 50% or an ext water by weight. Green wood produces much less heat because heat must be provided to boil off water prior to combustion can occur. Environment-friendly wood also produces more smoke and creosote (material that deposits on inside walls of chimneys and also may cause chimney fires) than dry wood. Firewood have to therefore constantly be purchased dried or enabled to dry prior to burning. Dry wood may cost much more than green wood due to the fact that it produces much more heat and also is easier to handle.

A wood"s dry weight per volume, or density, is important due to the fact that denser or heavier hardwood contains more heat per volume. Osage-orange is a very dense firewood with restricted availability in Utah. It"s had here to show what a very dense hardwood is like. That contains nearly twice the heat by volume the cottonwood, one of our lightest woods. In basic it is finest to to buy or gather dense woods such as oak, difficult maple, or ash. Hardwoods, or woods from broadleaved trees, often tend to it is in denser 보다 softwoods or woods indigenous conifers. Part firewood dealers market "mixed hardwood" firewood. This might or may not it is in desirable, relying on the proportion of low- thickness hardwoods such together cottonwood that are included.

The amount of warmth per cord the dry lumber is presented in Table 1. Warmth content is presented as a percent of dry green ash, a fairly common, thick firewood. Values over 100 signify a greater heat content than green ash and also below 100 a lower warm content.

Table 1 also contains details on other attributes that recognize firewood quality. Lull of dividing is important due to the fact that larger piece of wood should lennythewonderdog.netally be separation for good drying and burning. Fragrance and propensity to smoke and spark are most important when wood is burned in a fireplace. Woods the spark or pop can throw embers out of an open fireplace and cause a fire danger. Conifers have tendency to do this more because of their high resin content. Woods that kind coals are good to use in wood stoves since they enable a fire come be brought overnight effectively.

Firewood Volume

Though firewood dry load is crucial for determining heat content, firewood is normally bought and sold by volume. The most typical unit the firewood volume is the cord, likewise known as a standard or full cord. A cord is one evenly-stacked heap containing 128 cubic feet the wood and air space. Though a cord deserve to be piled in any kind of shape, a conventional cord is lennythewonderdog.netally thought of together a ridge of timber 4 feet tall, 8 feet long, and also 4 feet deep (Figure 1). To number the variety of cords in another size or form pile, identify the pile"s cubic foot volume and divide by 128. A randomly-piled stack of lumber will normally contain more air and less timber than one neatly piled.

Some dealers sell wood by the face cord or brief cord (Figure 2). A face cord is a stack of lumber 4 feet high, 8 feet long, and as deep together the pieces are long. Pieces are commonly 12 come 18 inch long, for this reason a challenge cord might contain 32 to 48 cubic feet the wood and air.

Another typical firewood measure up is the pickup fill (Figure 3). This is a very imprecise however common measure. A full-size pickup through a traditional bed have the right to hold about 1/2 the a complete cord or 64 cubic feet as soon as loaded even with the top of the bed. Little pickups host much less. Random loading will certainly decrease this quantity further.

A randomly-piled stack or pickup load of hardwood will contain more air and less hardwood than one nicely stacked. Crooked, tiny diameter, and also knotty or branchy pieces also reduce the lot of wood in a pile.


Figure 1. Traditional Cord

Total Volume = 128 cubic feet


Figure 2. Challenge Cord

Total Volume = 32 come 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 splitting should be considered when to buy firewood. The information here and in various other publications should provide you the an easy information girlfriend will need to be an notified buyer. However, understanding your dealer is the best method to ensure the you are getting what you space paying for.

For much more Information

A number of an excellent publications are obtainable to help you learn an ext about using firewood for heating.

Burning Wood and also Coal through Susan Mackay, L. Dale Baker, man W. Bartok, Jr., and also James P. Lassoie. 1985. Northeast local 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 for the Nebraska forest Service. This web page is based partially on a college of Nebraska truth sheet title "Heating v Wood: varieties Characteristics and also Volumes".