In this article, we shall discuss about firewood. Its importance and how essential wood is for millions of people all over the world. In fact, wood is one component for producing power. It has been used for thousands of years. Not only that, wood has seen to be a great source for numerous things and products. Hence, with this, a demand of information from numerous people who are looking for accurate answers regarding wood online. As How much is a cord of wood? could mean either size or cost we will do our best to answer both.
What is the volume of a cord of wood?
Cord of wood is a stack of wood that would fit within the following dimensions:
Imperial: Width = 8 ft. x Height = 4 ft. x Depth = 4 ft. (128 cubic feet)
Metric: Width = 122 cm x H =244 cm x D 122 (3.62 m3 )
The government of Canada has proposed of changing the cord of wood term into staked cubic metre which is a more accurate description than cord of wood. Face cord does not actually mean anything even though it is the most common term used just like rick cord, standing cord, stove cord and many more. These terms often confuse buyers which is why the government would need to set a universal standard that will protect consumers. Since we still do not have this in place, it is important for you to ask questions for you to ensure that you are paying for the right price for the right volume.
What is the cost of a cord of wood in the US?
Last year – 2020, the average cost of a cord of wood is $296
More Cord of Wood Facts
If your seller uses truck load, face cord, standing cord, trunkful or fencing cord, we suggest that you ask more in depth about these terms that they use as they could mean different things. They are not accurate terms and are open to different interpretations.
Full Cord of Wood means:
Height = 4 feet (122 cm)
Width= 8 feet (244 cm)
Depth= 4 feet (122 cm)
Volume = 128 cu.ft. (3.62m3)
1/3 Cord of Wood means:
Height = 4 feet (122 cm)
Width= 8 feet (244 cm)
Depth= 16 inches (41 cm)
Volume = 41.6 cu.ft.
Half cord of wood is the same as to a 1/3 cord with the difference of the length of wood. ½ cord wood has a length of 24 inches (2-feet) and volume for half cord is 64 cu.ft.
Hardwood vs Softwood
Hardwood come with a high density which means they have more heat per cord. It is more difficult to split and to start burning them. They could spark more and it burns hotter. They are more complex as they grow slower. Softwood on the other hand burns quicker but provides lower heat. It is also easy to start burning them and is much cheaper.
2021 Price of full cord of wood in the US.
Firewood are not created equally. Some are more expensive, example – hardwoods, while some are more affordable (soft wood). High end firewood in Texas would cost about $575 and the low-end would be priced $200 in Idaho and North Dakota. If you wish much affordable and cheaper wood, you could get firewood for as low as $150 in Delaware. To help you more in choosing the right and affordable firewood, we have listed prices you could use as a reference point so you would not to purchase anything that would rip you off.
Take note, prices of firewood could fluctuate and it could depend on the weather.
What is a fair Firewood delivery price? $2 per mile
Average price range for firewood delivery: $25 to $75
Fair Firewood Stacking Price per cord: $25 to $60 (depends on the distance from the delivery truck)
Delivery are often extra costs which are usually between $25 to $75. This price is sometimes included in their quote. Hence, we suggest to ask before ordering.
Prices for Cord of Wood per state:
Alabama: $250 – Hemstock Tree Care
Alaska: $185 (Poplar)/ $385 (Birch) – Valley Firewood
Arizona: $329 (Mixed)/ $494 (Pecan) – Valley Firewood
California: $350 (Eucalyptus)/ $550 (Red Oak) – Firewood Guys
Colorado: $300 – Patriot Tree Care
Connecticut: $290 (hardwood) – Maple Row Farm
Delaware: $150 (mixed)/$180 (Oak) – Mitsdarfer Bros.
Florida: $380 (Australian Pine)/$480 (Oak) – Big Oak Ranch
Georgia: $280 (Ultra-seasoned Oak) – Chipper Tree Service
Idaho: $210 (pine mix)/ $330 (hardwood mix) – A Tree Company
Illinois: $290 (mixed hardwood) – Rockford Firewood
Indiana: $250 (mixed hardwood)/$275 (Oak) – Culbreth’s Lawn & Tree
Iowa: $375 (hardwood) – Finco Tree and Wood Service
Kansas: $335 (Oak)/$295(mixed)/$435(Hickory) – KC Firewood
Kentucky: $245 – Professional Tree Service
Louisiana: $250 – All Pro Tree Service
Maine: $290 – Maryland Landscape Supply
Massachusetts: $295 – Smokey’s Firewood
Michigan: $375 (Oak)/$375 (Red/White Oak) – Ironwood Firewood
Minnesota: $375 (Oak)/ $375 (Red/White Oak) – Backwoods Firewood
Mississippi: $400 – Keith’s Seasoned Firewood
Missouri: $420 – Tomasi’s Cutting Edge
Montana: $300 – Karst Firewood
Nebraska: $300 – Walkup Wood Products
Nevada: $250 (Softwood)/ $380(Hardwood) – Firewood Department
New Hampshire: $355 (maple, white oak, ash) – North Atlantic Fuels
New Jersey: $175 – NY NJ Firewood
New Mexico: $175 (Elm) to $480 (Hickory)- Dave’s Firewood
New York: $325 – Vermont Good Wood https://www.vermontgoodwood.com/products.html
North Carolina: $260 – One Accord Firewood http://www.oneaccordfirewood.com/
North Dakota: $200 – K&A Log Furniture https://kalogfurniture.com/firewood/
Ohio: $299 (Mixed) – Wood Seitz https://www.woodseitz.com/store
Oregon: $250 (fir/pine)/$400 (cherry/oak)- Alder Creek Tree Service
Pennsylvania: $580 –> New Morning Farm
Rhode Island: $325 (Seasoned)/$395 (Kiln Dried) – Bill’s Sales
South Carolina: $275 – Oconee Firewood
Tennessee: $400 – Crider Landscaping
Texas: $575 (Oak) – Woodchuck Delivery
Utah: $200 (Mixed Hardwood)/ $400 (Klin Dried) – Triassic Tree Service
Vermont: $309 (Seasoned)/$400 (Klin Dried) – Vermont Woodshed
Virginia: $450 (Hickory) – Saunders Landscape Supplies
Washington: $300 (Alder)/ $475 (Madrona) – Kitsap Firewood
Wisconsin: $360 (mix), $400 (Premium mix), $425 (Black Locust) – Woodmark
Wyoming: $277 – Star Valley Lawn Care
In Southwest US, due to endangered owl species, tree cutting has been banned. Hence, if you are in this area, you might find it a little difficult to find firewood. In the east coast, on the other hand, there have been lanternflies that have been spotted which have been causing disruption in the flow of firewood. This could also disrupt the firewood stock in Pennsylvania to Virginia, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Consequences of moving firewood:
Firewood could bring with them invasive species and this could cause havoc to your local ecosystems.
Firewood Moisture Levels
Moisture is a huge deal when it comes to firewood as the heat that will produced by the firewood depends on it. If you hear some popping sounds from your wood when you are burning them, this means your wood has too much moisture.
How much moisture does a newly fallen tree has?
Average of 52 percent and it could take about a year or two to air dry it down to 20% (burn-ready). Any wood that has moisture under 20 percent is called seasoned firewood. As for Hardwood oak, they take longer to air dry than softwoods. This is due to higher density on softwoods.
For seasoned moisture content, it could take about 8 months and hardwoods could take about 12 months.
The drier the wood the more effective it is in terms of providing more heat.
This could take a minimum of 6 months to dry. It is less effective in terms of providing heat and it produces more creosote as it burns. This type of wood is not ideal for burning.
Split oak firewood in 14” to 18” L could be kiln-dried from 52% to 20% moisture in aywherewhere from 260 to 30 hours depending on the temperature.
Need to Stay Warm?
Most homeowners need firewood and to get firewood you could either get it and split it for yourself or buy it from a local supplier. Hence, in either process, you will have to know about firewood to avoid being ripped off.
Truth about Firewood
We all know that most homeowners all over the world would need to use firewood all year round. They use wood to provide heat to their homes. However, the price year to year changes and is not constant and this is due to numerous factors which affect the price of a cord of wood. Aside from that, the quality of wood differs from one place to another. There are different conditions and different types of wood. As an example, wood is like oil. The price changes on a daily basis. With that in mind, through this article, we shall provide you guidelines and information that will help and guide you in making a sound decision whenever you need to purchase wood.
The unit of measurement of firewood is known as cord. This term has originated in 1610 when wood has been tied in bundles to tie a cord. The size has been limited back then to the size of a person’s capacity to carry. Today, cord is much more than the cord back then.
How much is a Cord of Wood?
What is a cord of wood?
A full cord of wood is a stack of wood that comes with the following dimensions:
4 feet high by 4 feet wide by 8 feet long with a volume of 128 cubic feet. In other words, in square feet a cord of wood would be around 128 sq.ft.
How much wood is in a ½ cord? A ½ cord is 4’ x 4’ x 4’ = 64 cubic feet.
To better understand, here are some numbers that will provide you some perspective:
- A cord of wood could weigh about 2500 lbs for softwood, for hardwood on the other hand, would weigh about 5000 lbs.
- A piece of firewood could be 16 inches
- A pick-up truck could bring about ¼ cord of wood
- A long bed pick-up truck could carry about one cord of wood.
In the sense of legality, do not be fooled by terms such as rack, truckload, stove cord and face cord because these terms do not hold anything in the legality sense. In other words, they are meaningless. If you are purchasing wood, all you really need to know is an overall volume of wood. Width X Height X Length should be 128 cubic feet. Hence, if you are planning to purchase wood, ensure that you ask the overall cubic footage.
Online sellers would often use face cord which they refer to 1/3 of a cord. Hence if you want one full cord, you would need to purchase three times or better yet to be safe, ask what the seller means by face cord.
If you wish to learn more about what is the standard “cord” is, you could check the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
As for Canada, their government, has recommended to discontinue the term cord as a unit of measurement. The reason behind this is because it is often misunderstood and often misused by firewood sellers.
Firelogs such as Duraflame, the measurement is different. In fact, they sell Duraflame in pounds and they give more details on the package or Duraflame.
How much does a cord of wood cost?
You need to purchase for firewood for home, however, you are a bit skeptical as you do not want to be paying too much. The key to this is to be knowledgeable in how much should you really pay for a cord of wood?
Here are the factors that could affect the cost of a cord of wood:
- Type of wood. Take in mind that hardwood is much more expensive than softwood.
- Where you live. The colder the place is the more expensive it is because of supply and demand.
- Market conditions
- Time of the year
Aside from that, there could also be additional costs for purchasing a cord of wood. For one, you would need to pay the people who would bring the wood to your vehicle. If you do not have a vehicle, you would need to pay for delivery. Delivery fee depends on how far or close you live from the seller. Though most reputable, huge sellers would not charge those who live close. Another additional cost would be if you wish someone to stack your wood neatly. If you wish to save on this, you could do it yourself, but, be warned, this task could be time consuming. Another disadvantage if you decide to do it yourself is, you will not know if you have really received a cord of wood until you have stacked it. Hence, the seller would already be gone long before you notice if you got the right amount or not. With this we recommend to pay little additional amount rather than getting ripped off. However, if you know the seller and trust him/her, then, you could save money and stack them yourself.
Stumpage Price Reports
If you wish to have an idea of the price of wood where you live, you could check on Google the stumpage price report. Through Google, you will be able to get an idea of the cost of harvest which you could use as a basis for a reasonable price for your wood. Take in mind, however, as mentioned earlier the price changes constantly.
Firewood Projection Winter 2020/2021
Remember Firewood’s prices also depend on the weather. The warmer the winter, the lesser you would need firewood. For forecasting the weather check this link https://www.farmersalmanac.com
- It would be colder than normal temperatures in the Northeast
- Polar Coaster Winter
- Wilder winder
- Snow with mix of rain and sleet
Stock up your Firewood. It is better to be prepared than to be sorry. Try to stock up as early as you could. Firewood usually goes up as soon as demand rises. It would be a huge mistake for you to wait until it gets cold before you get firewood. You would risk of not finding stock when you really need it.
The prediction says that this coming winter would be worse and firewood would likely be in demand. Though this prediction could be wrong but would you rather freeze to death than have a stock ready to keep you warm?
Remember as the demand gets higher, the price gets higher as well. Hence, we recommend to start stocking up on your firewood.
Prices for a Cord of Wood
Since the price for cord of wood varies and changes often, we would like to show you the average fee in purchasing a cord of wood. Take in mind however the factors such as type/species of wood and market conditions that influences the price of it.
What are the reasonable service fees price ranges based on a cord of wood?
Delivery: $200 depends on how far away you live
Stacking: $20 to $80
As mentioned earlier, we recommend that you stack your wood. This way you will know how much wood was delivered and so you will be able to measure it.
Here are the some of the average prices – Hardwood: $300 to $500
Here are some examples of hardwood prices:
- Half Moon Bay, CA: Oak – $415
- Tucson, AZ: Mesquite – $300
- Philadelphia, PA: Mixed hardwoods (3 months seasoned) – $220
- Lyndeborough, NH: Mixed hardwoods – $385
- Arvada, CO: Hickory: $800
- Arvada, CO: Oak: $600
Here are some examples of softwood prices:
- Milwaukee, WI: Pine – $267
- Bend, OR: Red fir/Douglas fir mix – $225
- Bend, OR: Juniper – $$225
- Arvada, CO: Pinon Pine – $400
- Half Moon Bay: Pine – $240
Hardwood vs Softwood for Firewood
Though Hardwood is more expensive than Softwood, they are more of quality and are more effective in terms of providing heat. Aside from that they burn longer, does not have a lot of smoke and it burns hotter. Here are a few examples of hardwood:
- Black/white ash
- Red/white oak
- Soft maple cherry
Softwood on the other hand is perfect for those who would want to fire up fast, but, take note, it also burns out faster. As for heat, it only produces medium heat and it gives off more smoke and sparks. Aside from that, you will have to feed your fire more often than with hardwood.
Here are some examples of good softwood:
- Red cedar
- Southern yellow pine
Unique properties of softwood trees:
- They have needles instead of leaves
- They do not lose needles
- They grow faster
- Used as building material
- Comes from gymnosperms trees – conifers
- They grow tall and straight which makes it ideal for manufacturing
If you wish to learn more about properties and qualities of different varieties of firewood check this link from Utah State University.
Wikipedia also has a list of specific tree species based on density.
How much firewood do you need for Winter?
We have created a list of guidelines which could help you forecast the amount of wood you would need to order for winter. Of course, you would still also need to account few other variables such as the size of your home, type of wood stove you have, quality of insulation and average climate.
- Order about 5 cords of wood if the only heat source of your home is firewood.
- Order at least 8 cords of wood if you are living in a cold area
- If you would like to balance your home heating, order at least about 2.5 cords of wood and 4 cords if you live in cold climate.
- Order ½ cord only if you only use firewood occasionally, let’s say just for weekends only.
Legally Chopping your own firewood
If you wish to cut or chop your own firewood, to make it legal, you have to get a woodcutting permit in the area where you live. This means, there are only a few areas where you will be allowed to cut. Take in mind that you will have to pay a small fee if. This is handy especially to those who would like to save money and at the enjoy the outdoor experience.
In Astoria, Oregon, you will have to shell out about $20 for you to be able to cut 2 cords of wood. This is a great deal but be ready to work a lot if you need that huge amount of firewood.
For more information and details about the rules in cutting your own firewood, you could check out US Forest Service. Just select the state and specific forest where you would be doing your firewood cutting and gathering and you will be directed to the homepage of that particular forest. Click on Passes and Permits found on the left side and click on Forests Products Permits. Again, take in mind that each forest has their own different permit requirements.
Where to Buy Firewood?
One way to find quality firewood seller is through friends and family. Surfing the internet could be tricky, hence, we do not encourage this much. However, if your family and friends cannot provide you with recommendations, Google is another source you could go to. Type firewood and you will get a list of sellers. Another great option is Better Business Bureau , type firewood on the area and you will be good to go. Lastly, you could use Craigslist. This option, however, could be very risky as you do not know who you are really buying from. Check out Search Tempest which would ensure you could search at a wider region range in Craigslist listing.
- Buy from a reputable seller. You could check the status of the business at Better Business Bureau site .
- Buy hardwood
- Have your wood stacked. This way you would know if you got the right amount of wood
- Ask for the overall volume of the wood
- Natural seasoned is better than kiln dried
- Do not burn wood that has 15% below moisture content.
- Use moisture meter when you are purchasing wood
- Buy firewood which are consistently cut.
Firewood and Invasive Pests
There are guidelines that were created by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for moving firewood. Before purchasing and transporting wood, you will have to take in mind these guidelines.
For more information, check the USDA’s website. Again, we recommend that you do some research before transporting your purchased wood.
Tips on Firewood Storage
- Purchase quality firewood rack
- Wood dries quicker when stacked in crisscrossed
- Ensure that your wood has been split before you stack it
- The longer you store your wood the drier it would be the better it will burn
- Air flow is important especially for seasoning wood
- Put a cover on your firewood
- Ensure that your firewood is off the ground 6”
Firewood storage options:
- ShelterLogic Backyard Storage – covered firewood storage rack
- The Woodhaven – 8 foot firewood log rack
- Landmann 82433 – 8 foot firewood log rack (stores almost one cord of wood)
- Panacea 15209 – 40” Tubular Steel Log Hoop
Features of Shelterlogic 12 ft. rack:
- 15.5” width x 142.7” depth x 46.6” height
- could handle up to ¾ cord of wood
- two-way adjustable polyester
- eliminates bugs, molds and wood rot
- its cover could be adjusted to fit split wood up to 24” length
Tips for Firewood Delivery
Ensure that when your firewood is delivered to you, check the itemized receipt and look for the following details:
- legal seller name
- name, address and phone number of seller
- price you paid for the amount of wood you got
If the seller refuses to provide you these details, we recommend for you not to do any business with them. We also recommend that you ask for these details through an invoice.
Using a wood moisture meter
As mentioned earlier, we recommend that you purchase seasoned wood. This way, it has already been dried for a minimum of six months up to a year. This means that the moisture content would be at least 20%.
If you purchased wood that has not been dried and has too much moisture, you might experience the following:
- increased smoke
- lower heat
- 30% to 50% wasted energy
- shorter burn times
- increased creosote which will stick to your chimney
Dr. Meter MD – 812
- digital large size LCD display
- testing range 5% to 40%
- accuracy: +/-1%
- powered by one 9V battery
- low-power indicator
- data held in memory
This is a great tool to determine the moisture of your wood. This is a great investment especially if you want a good heating for your home. It is also affordable. However, if you want a more sophisticated tool, you could use MM70D . This could be a little overkill but if you are a professional, this tool is perfect.
The Lignomat Moisture Meter is also an amazing option which provides reliable results. Its price is neither cheap nor expensive.
Clean your Fireplace
It is important that before you start burning your firewood, to ensure that your chimney is clean. You will have to burn a creosote remover. This could be done by yourself through a mechanical tool, Gardus SootEater or if you wish you could also hire a professional.
What is Creosote?
A creosote is flammable sticky substance which is caused by unburned gases. This could cause death and loss of property if not cleaned from your chimney.
A Firewood cart is another option which could provide you more convenience depending on the amount of firewood you would need to move.
Tools for Splitting and Cutting your own Firewood
The list below are some recommended tools for splitting and cutting your own firewood:
- Electric log splitters
- Electric chainsaws
- Husqvarna 450 vs 450 Rancher
Electric Log Splitters/Firewood
If you love having the outdoor experience through splitting your own logs, we suggest that you consider electric log splitter . Through this tool, you will no longer have to use an axe and split the log with huge amount of effort. Investing in this tool is wise, not only it provides efficiency, it is also safe to use.
Common Firewood Terms
Seasoned: this means that the wood has below 20% moisture content. This could be done through naturally or kiln dried. This type of wood is ready to use.
Green: this means the wood has just been recently dried. This also means that the wood has high moisture content.
Kiln-Dried: this means that the drying process has been sped up through direct and in-direct heat.
Debarked: The wood has a bark that has been removed
Compressed Firelog: This is a manufactured log which was created from sawdust. Additives such as paraffin was also added to it.
Firewood Heat Value
The measurement of heat from firewood is called British Thermal Units or BTUs. Wood that is dense is the best firewood as it provides more BTUs per volume of wood. Eastern hardwoods – oak, hickory are as good as coal in terms of heat value.
As you could have guessed, each and every tree/wood specie has their own heat value which is based on their density. The denser the wood is the hotter it would be and the longer the wood would burn.
Softwood burns fast because it is less dense than hardwood. This only shows that in terms of heat value, firewood is not equal.
Here are some examples of information/data of wood heat values:
- Hickory: 27.7 BTU
- White Oak: 25.7
- Apple: 26.5
- Tamarack: 20.8
- Sugar Maple: 24
- Elm: 19.5
- Douglas Fir (Red Fir) 20.6
- Hemlock: 15.9
- Spruce: 15
How Much is a Cord of Wood?
Through this article, we hope that we were able to provide you with enough knowledge and information to be able to answer this question. Along with this basic question, we also hope that by providing a broader picture, you will be able to purchase firewood without any worries.
Firewood General Tips
The process of proper seasoning of firewood is important in choosing firewood. The higher the heat value of the firewood, the better. It would be easier to fire up and maintain. Green wood will have to dried for about a year for you to be able to use them.