The only legal unit measurement of firewood is the CORD.
A CORD is defined as:
” a loosely stacked pile of split firewood
measuring 4 ft. wide x 4 ft. high x 8 ft. long.”
There is no legal standard for the “Face Cord”
but it should be @ 45 cubic feet = 1/3 cord.
Beware of sellers offering “Face Cord” or (4 x 8) quantities !!
“Face Cords” should be multiplied (x3) to determine true full cord pricing !!
A cord of wood weighs over 4,000 lbs. and does not fit in a pickup truck–
An average seasoned cord of hardwood weighs more than 2 tons!! Unstacked it will take up to 200 cubic feet in space. An 8 ft. pick up truck would have to pile the wood uniformly at 5 feet tall to fit an ustacked cord. The average pick up truck can only haul 1/2 a cord of firewood at a time.
Seasoned firewood should have less than 30% moisture content –
When wood is fresh cut it contains a lot of water. By properly splitting, stacking and storing wood the will become seasoned once the water is evaporated by the sun and wind. When the wood reaches a moisture content (MC) of less than 30% it will burn properly and release the optimum stored BTU’s (heat). Wood with more than a 30% MC should not be burned indoors!! It is very inefficient and produces dangerous acid water vapor (Creosote) in your chimney.
Now back to the trailer issue…
What does a cord of wood weigh, both dry wood as well as fresh cut green wood?
Check out the below Wood Heating and Weight Values chart to find out what various types of wood weigh when gathered as a cord.
|Wood Heating and Weight Values|
|Species||Cord Weight(pounds) **DRY||Cord Weight(pounds) **GREEN|
|Alder, Red||2000 – 2600||3200 – 4100|
|Ash||2680 – 3450||4630 – 5460|
|Aspen||1860 – 2400||3020 – 3880|
|Beech||3100 – 4000||4890 – 6290|
|Birch||2840 – 3650||4630 – 5960|
|Cedar, Incense||1800 – 2350||3020 – 3880|
|Cedar, Port Orford||2100 – 2700||3400 – 4370|
|Cherry||2450 – 3150||4100 – 5275|
|Chinquapin||2580 – 3450||3670 – 4720|
|Cottonwood||1730 – 2225||2700 – 3475|
|Dogwood||3130 – 4025||5070 – 6520|
|Douglas-Fir||2400 – 3075||3930 – 5050|
|Elm||2450 – 3150||4070 – 5170|
|Eucalyptus||3550 – 4560||6470 – 7320|
|Fir, Grand||1800 – 2330||3020 – 3880|
|Fir, Red||1860 – 2400||3140 – 4040|
|Fir, White||1900 – 2450||3190 – 4100|
|Hemlock, Western||2200 – 2830||4460 – 5730|
|Juniper, Western||2400 – 3050||4225 – 5410|
|Laurel, California||2690 – 3450||4460 – 5730|
|Locust, Black||3230 – 4150||6030 – 7750|
|Madrone||3180 – 4086||5070 – 6520|
|Magnolia||2440 – 3140||4020 – 5170|
|Maple, Big Leaf||2350 – 3000||3840 – 4940|
|Oak, Black||2821 – 3625||4450 – 5725|
|Oak, Live||3766 – 4840||6120 – 7870|
|Oak, White||2880 – 3710||4890 – 6290|
|Pine, Jeffery||1960 – 2520||3320 – 4270|
|Pine, Lodgepole||2000 – 2580||3320 – 4270|
|Pine, Ponderosa||1960 – 2520||3370 – 4270|
|Pine, Sugar||1960 – 2270||2970 – 3820|
|Redwood, Coast||1810 – 2330||3140 – 4040|
|Spruce, Sitka||1960 – 2520||3190 – 4100|
|Sweetgum (Liquidambar)||2255 – 2900||4545 – 5840|
|Sycamore||2390 – 3080||4020 – 5170|
|Tanoak||2845 – 3650||4770 – 6070|
|Walnut, Black||2680 – 3450||4450 – 5725|
|Western Red Cedar||1570 – 2000||2700 – 3475|
|Willow, Black||1910 – 2450||3140 – 4040|
All moisture contents based on “wet” wood basis.
Factors That Can Affect The Weight Of The Cord
The weight of the cord can vary depending on what tree is used and whether or not the wood is green or dried. A cord of green wood actually weighs two times more than one that is made up of dried wood because green wood have a very high moisture content.
A cord that is made up of round logs also weighs less than a cord that is made up of split pieces. When it comes to the species of wood used, you need to know that hardwood trees are much heavier than other trees. For the commonly used oak tree, you need to know that red oak can be heavier than white oak.
This is because hardwood trees has more density than softwood trees such as pine. You should also know that the longer the wood has been kept outside, the lighter they will be. Letting the wood air dry on a raised platform is called seasoning the wood and it can help make them lighter and burn better.
How Much Does A Cord Of Wood Weigh?
For a full cord made up of bur oak, freshly cut ones will weigh as much as 4960 lbs. and 3768 lbs. when dried. For a full cord of red or pink oak, freshly cut ones will weigh as much as 4888 lbs. and 3528 lbs. when dried. White oak on the other hand weighs 5573 lbs. when wet and 4200 lbs. when dried.
If your firewood cord is made up of other trees, then you should know that a cord of freshly cut apple wood weighs 4850 pounds, green ash can weigh as much as 4184 pounds, yellow birch can weigh 4312 pounds and willow can weigh as much as 4320 pounds. These are all green weights.
So you can easily get an estimate of how much a face cord would weigh, you will have to divide the weight of a full cord of a specific type of wood by three. So you will know how much the weight of a specific type of dried wood will weigh, you need to deduct around 70% of its green weight.
You can look online for more information about the cord weight of different kinds of trees. There are prepared tables that will help you gather data, and you can also use online calculators that will help you determine how much several cords of a specific type of wood weighs in a matter of seconds.
How Do You Measure Firewood?
This is something that if you plan on using firewood, you should learn. The correct terms for how you measure firewood is in cords, so one or two cords of wood, but there is also a face cord which is measured differently. With a normal cord of wood it is 4 feet high, 8 feet wide, and 4 feet deep which will be 128 cubic feet. Usually this is stacked in what is called a rick of wood, which is 4 x 4 x 8 feet. So if you hear people referring to a rick of wood, that is what it means.
Then you have the other measurement which is called a face cord. A fact cord of wood is a single stack that is 4 feet high and 8 feet wide, and roughly between 12 to 18 inches deep. So as you can tell it is stacked very differently compared to the normal cord of wood, making it generally weigh a lot less. So these are the two units of measurement that you need to keep in mind, when measuring wood.
How Much Does A Cord Of Wood Weigh?
This is one of the more difficult questions to answer since there is never an exact weight with many factors, that need to be added in. For example something like a Basswood (linden) will roughly be about 1990 lbs when dry in a cord, but if it is still green it can weigh up to 4410 lbs. So while you can’t get an exact number, you can get a bit of an idea which will help in your decision making. This is definitely frustrating since I can’t just tell you a number, so if you’re planning to move a cord of wood in your pick up. I would highly recommend doing it in multiple trips.
While I can’t give you an exact number I do have estimations which are as close to an average on some of the more popular firewood in the USA. Which I hope will be able to help you in your search, but if I haven’t listed one that you use. Feel free to leave a comment and I might be able to help or point you in the direction of someone who does.
How Much Does A Cord Of Oak Wood Weigh?
Oak is one of the most common types of wood in the world, and not just the USA. This is for good reason, it is a very versatile wood that burns well and not to difficult to split. It also has quite a nice smell when it burns, if that is important to you. There are four types that most people will use which are Bur, Red, Pin, and White oak.
The Estimations For Oak Wood
- Bur Oak – When it is still green it roughly weighs around 4970 lbs, which will definitely mean several trips in your pick up. When it is dry it roughly weighs around 3770 lbs, which again means several trips which you will notice is a common theme with this.
- Red And Pin Oak – If you’re wondering why this are together, it is because they belong in the same group. They’re actually the lightest out of the oaks on this list coming in at 4890lbs when green. Then when it has been dried out properly, it roughly weighs about 3530lbs. So yet again the poor pick up will be making more trips.
- White Oak – White oak is easily the heaviest of the oaks, weighing roughly 500lbs more then the Bur oak. It weighs roughly about 5580lbs when it is green, which will make short work out of what you’re trying to carry it with. Even when it is dry it still will weigh over 4000lbs, being roughly around 4210lbs.
My Thoughts On Oak
While I really like oak in generally, and is a wood I commonly use in my own home. It can be a pain when it comes to transporting a lot of it, especially when my pick up will only allow me to carry roughly 2000lbs which is on the higher side then most peoples. But apart from the weight, oak is a great type of wood to use and highly recommend.
How Much Does A Cord Of Pine Wood Weigh?
While I personally not a big fan of using Pine wood to burn, since it is a softwood which doesn’t burn as well as a hardwood like the Oaks above. It is still a common type of wood that is used for burning in the USA, so I had to include it on this list to help as many people as possible. There are three types of pine that I have been asked about the most, and they are. Eastern White, Jack, and Ponderosa which all weigh about the same when dry which surprised me.
The Estimations For Pine Wood
- Eastern White Pine – The Eastern White Pine is the baby of the group, if you can call over 2000lbs a baby! When it is green it roughly weighs around 2790lbs which is the lightest on this entire list. When it’s dry it sheds roughly 500lbs, weighing around 2255lbs overall. Thankfully this will cut how many trips you will have to do!
- Jack Pine – We are back over the 3000lbs mark with this wood, with it being around 3205lbs from my estimations. It does shed a fair bit of weight when it has been dried out fully, coming close to the 2493lb mark.
- Ponderosa Pine – The thing with Ponderosa Pine is that it holds more water then most Pine wood. So it weighs more then the others when wet, but when dry it is slightly lighter then the Jack. Being roughly around 3610 lbs when green, and 2340lbs when dry. This is a big surprise to me, but does make life a little easier when it comes to transporting dry.
My Thoughts On Pine
As I stated Pine isn’t for me, but I understand why people use it. It is a very common wood, that is lighter then other woods. Which also makes it easier to split, but it doesn’t burn as well. It can be cheaper as well because of it being a softwood, so if you’re on a budget and can’t cut it yourself. I can get why people need to use pine.
How Much Do The More Common Woods Weigh In A Cord?
While I could list quiet a few more types of wood, I feel focusing on the more common will allow me to help more people, without being completely overwhelming. This may sound strange to some, but I have met many beginner who have said to much info is overwhelming. I like to try and keep as many people in mind as possible.
So on this list I will go over the more common types such as Maple, Cherry, Birch, Elm, Hickory, and Douglas Fir. While the first few are a bit more understandable, the Douglas Fir will catch your eye if you know a thing of too about wood. It’s a lot like pine as in it’s a softwood so it doesn’t burn as well as the others. But it still is quite a popular wood to use, so i wanted to include it on the list.
The Estimations For The More Common Types Of Wood
- Silver Maple – Silver Maple is a very good wood especially when it comes to burning, it has a low amount of smoke, but decent heat. But in terms of weight it isn’t to bad really, roughly weighing about 3910 lbs when green. It also holds a lot of water when it’s green and drops quite a bit when dried, coming in close to 2760lbs.
- Other Maple – I made Silver separately since it is a bit different to other maples, while the others are quite similar so they’re together. When they are green they weigh an impressive 4690lbs, and when dried out it is closer to 3685lbs.
- Black Cherry – Blach Cherry trees are great for there coals when burning making them quite popular as well. When it comes to it’s unseasoned weight, it roughly comes in at 3700lbs. After you dry it, it loses roughly 700lbs coming in at 2930lbs.
- Paper Birch – Paper Birch is the more popular type of Birch tree for people to burn, because it has some decent heat, and smells quite nice. But in terms of weight it’s pretty heavy, weighing 4315lbs when green. Then after it has been seasoned properly it comes in around the 3000lbs mark.
- Red Elm – While people burn American, and Siberian Elm. I believe the Red is more common and the better wood to burn if you are choosing an Elm. It’s pretty heavy wood when green, which is about 4805lbs. Then drops well over 1500lbs when you dry it out, coming in at 3120lbs.
- Bitternut Hickory – Hickory is a heavy hardwood, which makes it difficult to split, but makes it excellent to burn. With the Bitternut coming in at 5040lbs when green, and roughly 3840lbs when dry.
- Shagbark Hickory – The Shagbark Hickory is just slightly heavier then its Bitternut counterpart, coming in roughly at 5110lbs when green. After you have dried it out it comes down quite a bit as well, being closer to 3957lbs.
- Douglas Fir – As I said before Douglas Fir is a softwood, so it’s not the best for burning. Which you will notice it is similar to the Pines in weight. With a green cord of Douglas Fir being around 3324lbs, and after drying out being 2975lbs.
Additional Tips For Drying Firewood
Splitting the wood after you cut it will expose the interior of the wood to the wind and sun allowing it to dry faster. Generally, the smaller you split the wood the faster it will season.
However, splitting the wood too small will cause it to burn faster in your wood stove which makes achieving an overnight burn difficult with a bunch of small chunks of firewood.
I like to leave a few larger pieces of wood that are split once in half that I can use to put on the fire at night. These pieces burn slower, allowing plenty of coals in the firebox the next morning to easily start the fire.
Stack the wood on pallets, blocks or 2×4’s and avoid stacking your firewood directly on the ground. This allows air to circulate under the wood and prevents ground moisture and insects from penetrating your stack of firewood.
Choose a location that receives plenty of summer sun which will speed up the drying process. Avoid dark, shady areas close to your home which could promote mold growth on your firewood.
A covered firewood shed is a great place to store firewood but if you don’t have access to a shed, cover your firewood with a tarp to prevent rain and snow from penetrating the wood.
When using a tarp it’s important to only cover the top 1/3 of the firewood stack. This allows the tarp to protect the firewood from rain and snow, but also allows the wind to penetrate the wood to dry it out reducing the firewood weight.
Firewood Weight – Overall
Seasoned firewood lights easier, burns hotter and produces less creosote than wet or green firewood.
For best results, plan ahead. Cut your firewood early and let the sun and wind dry out the wood before you attempt to burn it. Trust me……burning seasoned firewood makes heating with wood a lot more enjoyable.