All About Firewood

Basic Firewood Terminology – What is a cord of wood?

Cords are the basic unit for firewood. A cord measures four feet high by four feet wide by eight feet long (4 ft. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet. The amount of solid wood in a cord varies depending on the size of the pieces, but for most firewood it averages about 85 cubic feet. Typically a cord would be stacked as 3 rows of 4’x8’x16″ (where 16 inches is the log length)

This is what 1/3 of a firewood cord looks like what-a-cord-looks-like

What is a face cord?

A face cord is equal to a single stack of wood four feet high and 8 feet long and as deep as the length of the firewood being sold. Usually 4’x8’x16″ (where 16 inches is the Log length)

How best to stack and season your firewood

a) Pile in a single row exposed to the sun and wind.

  • The wood should be piled in a place where the sun can warm it and the wind can blow through it.
  • Pile the wood in a single row about four feet high.
  • If you don’t have enough space to dry your wood in a single row, stack a few rows together, but be sure to give some space between rows for the sun and wind to penetrate the stacks

b) Let the wood dry at least six months… although the fall is where the most drying occurs

  • Wood split and stacked in well-spaced rows usually dries in about six months.
  • Thus, if you have your wood stacked in early spring it should be ready to put away for winter’s use by October.
  • If you burn hardwoods about one year is more appropriate. Thus, it is wise to process in the fall for use the following fall. That way you’ll be sure of having properly seasoned wood.


c) Into the Woodshed or Under Cover

  • After your wood has seasoned put it into a woodshed or cover your stacks to keep moisture out.
  • You may have to delay filling your woodshed if your dry wood gets rained on. In this case, just wait a day or two after a rain to continue stocking your shed.