If you don’t know the size and weight of a cord of wood, you could end up overpaying for too much wood that won’t fit in your storage space or struggle to find more wood mid-winter because you didn’t buy enough.
Such miscalculations can be both frustrating and expensive! To help you make an accurate estimate, I’ll explain exactly how much a cord of wood weighs.
How Much Wood is in a Cord?
A cord typically consists of around 700 split wood pieces, though the number may differ depending on factors such as the type of wood and moisture levels.
Knowing the estimated wood count in a cord is as important as understanding its weight when purchasing. The cord’s size, including its dimensions, is crucial information to determine the accurate cost of a full cord.
If the wood is in non-split, round log form, the number of pieces in a cord will likely be lower because of the bigger log size. It’s worth noting that even with split wood, the exact count of pieces depends on how the wood was split.
A Cord of Wood’s Weight: Factors to Consider
Wood Type & Size
Wood weight can vary based on the tree species, and the primary factor that affects weight is wood density. Hardwoods that are dense, like oak, walnut, cherry, and silver maple, tend to be heavier than softwoods like cedar, spruce, pine, and fir.
By keeping this, you can make an informed decision when purchasing wood, with seasoned hardwood cords typically weighing around 4000 to 5000 pounds, while seasoned softwood cords weigh around 2000 to 3000 pounds.
Knowing which wood types are heavier will help you to understand the expected average cord weight accurately. Additionally, to determine wood density, you’ll need to take specific measurements depending on the wood type.
When purchasing wood, it’s crucial to consider the moisture content, as it can make up a significant portion of the complete weight, sometimes up to 1000 pounds.
You should know the wood structure whether you’re buying green or dried wood, as a cord of fresh or green wood can weigh double as the dried one. This is because fresh wood contains a high amount of moisture that reduces as the wood fully dries.
A bundle made up of split logs typically has a greater weight than one made from round logs. When wood is split into smaller pieces, the resulting cord will have less space between the pieces, resulting in a heavier cord than larger logs.
Logs that haven’t been split occupy more space, leading to a lower number of logs in a cord and, therefore, less actual weight. The precise count of logs in a cord will depend on how it is split. Moreover, wet wood is denser, making it harder to split
Properly stacking the wood helps to minimize the number of air pockets within the cord. To ensure that you get more pieces of wood, we advise buying wood uniformly stacked wood when purchasing wood in cords.
The spacing between logs in a stack of wood is determined by how the wood is arranged. When wood is stacked carelessly or loosely, it occupies more space, resulting in gaps between individual timbers.
Therefore, a string composed of this type of timber will possess a significant amount of empty space. Because a cord is a unit of volume, a cord of wood that is loosely stacked is expected to have a lower weight compared to one that contains tightly packed wood pieces.
Furthermore, purchasing firewood from sellers who cut corners by vending loosely stacked cords may result in getting a smaller amount of wood than an actual cord, so you better understand how much a cord of wood weighs.
Weight of a Cord of Wood
A full cord of wood is 128 cu ft (4 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft) and typically weighs between 2,000 and 5,000 pounds, depending on the type of wood and whether it is green, seasoned or kiln dried firewood.
Face of Cord
A face cord, also known as a rick, is one-third the volume of a full cord, or 42.7 cubic feet. The exact weight of a face cord will depend on the density of the wood, but a face cord typically weighs between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds.
Seasoned firewood refers to wood that has been adequately dried before it’s used for burning. This wood undergoes a process where it’s cut, split, and then left to dry for an extended period. Typically, the drying duration ranges between 6 to 12 months, though it can vary based on the wood type and prevailing climate conditions.
A green cord of wood is wood that has not been dried or seasoned and still contains moisture. The sets of a green cord of oak wood weigh between 4,000 and 5,000 pounds.
Oak Wood Cord Weight
Oak is a favored choice in timber due to its adaptability and widespread appeal. It’s versatile, catering to numerous needs, especially those calling for hardwood. When burned, oak releases a unique aroma, further enhancing its desirability as firewood.
In the next sections, I’ll delve into the approximate cord weights of the top four oak types: white oak, bur oak, red oak, and pin oak.
Compared to other oak varieties, this particular type is the heaviest. A cord of firewood, when it is green from this oak, can weigh around 5,580 pounds, but it will reduce to just over 4,000 pounds when dried.
When it comes to Bur oak firewood, the weight of a cord can be approximately 4,970 pounds when it’s still green. However, once the log has been correctly seasoned, the weight of a cord can decrease to around 3,770 pounds.
Red & Pin Oak
Pin and red oak are known to have the lightest cord weight, with a green cord of wood weighing approximately 4,890 pounds and a properly dried cord weighing around 3,530 pounds.
Pine Wood Cord Weight
Pine is a wood species of evergreen conifer that is widely used and very versatile wood in the world of softwood species.
Although it is not an ideal choice for firewood due to its poor burning wood characteristics, it remains popular and widely utilized in various applications worldwide.
With that in mind, these are the most commonly recognized subcategories of pine timber with their corresponding weights.
Cords of ponderosa pine wood weigh over 3,600 pounds because of its high moisture content. However, once this cord of wood has been kiln-dried or seasoned, the weight of a cord of wood can decrease to approximately 2,300 pounds.
Splitting the wood can speed up the drying process quickly.
If you purchase a cord of wood made of Jack Pine, the cord of wood can weigh more than 3,300 pounds when green but will weigh around 2,500 pounds once it has been seasoned.
Eastern White Pine
Amongst the various types of pine trees, this particular species is recognized as the smallest. A cord of this pine species weighs roughly 2,800 pounds when fresh but reduces to approximately 2,300 pounds once properly dried.
Weight of Common Types Of Wood: Do All Wood Burn the Same?
|Wood type||Lbs. per cord- wet||Lbs. per cord- dry||Heat per cord|
|Willow tree ||4320||2540||88|
Silver Maple is hardwood firewood that burns well, producing minimal smoke and decent heat. Despite having high water content when green, the wood silver maple does not weigh excessively, tipping the scales at around 3910 lbs.
Once it is dried, its weight drops significantly to approximately 2760 lbs.
Other types of maple wood weigh the same, so they are grouped together. When freshly cut, the combined weight of the green maples is an impressive 4690 pounds, but this weight reduces to around 3685 pounds after the wood has dried out.
Black Cherry trees are a popular choice for burning due to the quality of their coals. In its green state, the log of this tree weighs approximately 3,700 pounds. However, once properly dried, it can weigh around 2,930 pounds, reducing to about 700 pounds.
Paper Birch is the preferred good wood species of Birch tree for burning as it produces decent heat and has a pleasant scent.
However, it is a relatively heavy wood, weighing around 4315 pounds when freshly cut. Once it has been seasoned properly, the wood weight decreases to around 3000 pounds.
The unseasoned Red Elm is quite heavy, weighing approximately 4805 lbs. However, upon drying, the weight reduces significantly by over 1500 lbs, weighing around 3120 lbs.
Hickory is a dense hardwood that can be challenging to split, but its weight makes it ideal for burning. The Bitternut variety of Hickory is particularly heavy, weighing around 5040 pounds when freshly cut and approximately 3840 pounds when it has been properly seasoned.
Shagbark Hickory weighs around 5110 lbs when it’s green. However, the weight of the cord decreases significantly to approximately 3957 lbs after proper drying.
A green Douglas Fir weighs approximately 3324 pounds, and its weight reduces to around 2975 pounds after it has been properly dried out.
How to Measure Firewood Cord?
A cord refers to a standard unit of measurement for firewood, and it is one of the ways of measuring wood. It is also defined as a stack of wood that measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long, which equals 128 cu ft.
To properly measure the standard cord of wood, it should be stacked in a line, not haphazardly piled, and with pieces of log of uniform length.
How to Convert Volume to Weight
Converting volume to weight for firewood can be done with a simple formula. First, calculate the volume of the wood in cubic feet by multiplying its length, width, and height measurements.
Then, multiply the volume by the wood’s density to get its weight. The density of wood varies depending on the type of wood and its moisture content, so it’s important to use accurate density values for the specific wood being measured.
For example, a cord of wood measures 128 cubic feet, and the wood has a density of 40 pounds per cubic foot, the weight of the wood would be 5,120 pounds (128 x 40). The half cord of wood weight will then be 2,560 pounds.
Weight of a Cord of Wood: Why Does it Matter?
Value for Money
To ensure you are receiving your money’s worth, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the estimated weight of a cord. This knowledge can help you assess its value and make informed purchasing decisions.
Pickup Cargo Capacity
To truly get the best value for your money, it’s vital to be well-informed about the approximate weight of a cord. This way, you can evaluate the worth of the firewood on offer and make guided buying choices.
By knowing the weight of the cord, you can plan your transportation accordingly and determine how many trips you need to make with your truck to transport the wood.
It is important to note that exceeding the cargo capacity of a pickup truck can lead to safety hazards such as instability, decreased handling, and potential damage to the vehicle.
If your truck can’t manage to carry a full cord, I recommend you can ask for a face or a half cord of wood instead.
Help Save Gas (With the Weight in Mind)
As a part of your transportation planning, the weight of the cord of wood matters. You may consider using a bigger vehicle that can accommodate the entire cord in a single trip. This approach could be beneficial in terms of saving fuel costs.
Additionally, considering the significant impact of moisture content on the weight of a cord, it might be wise to transport only dry wood. This can reduce the number of trips required by half compared to transporting greenwood.
Choosing the Right Wood
Hardwood vs. Softwood
Wood vendors usually offer freshly cut wood at a lower price, regardless of whether it’s hardwood or softwood. If you decide to season your own wood, purchasing green wood is not an issue.
Keep in mind that hardwoods take longer to the season compared to softwoods. Softwoods typically take six months to a year to dry fully, while hardwoods take much longer.
You can tell that wood is completely dried when it feels dry to the touch, has loose bark, and shows more cracks, indicating dryness. If seasoned wood is unavailable, you can use softwood temporarily, but it doesn’t produce flames and heat as intense as seasoned hardwoods.
In addition, the cord of hardwood weight depends on the species of wood, as well as its moisture content. However, as a general rule of thumb, a cord of hardwood that has been well-seasoned (dried) will weigh approximately 4,000 pounds (1,814 kilograms).
What’s a “rick” of wood? How much does a rick of wood weigh overall?
A “rick” of wood is a term used to describe a stack of wood typically used for firewood or other wood-burning purposes.
An estimated weight rick of well-seasoned wood can weigh between 2,000 and 3,000 pounds. However, it depends on how tightly it is packed and how much air space is between the pieces.
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Understanding how much does a cord of wood weigh is crucial for anyone who uses firewood for heating or cooking.
With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions when buying, transporting, and using firewood, ensuring that you get the most value out of your investment!