How Much Is A Cord Of Wood? Firewood Prices And Volume

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We recently received this question from a reader:

My family and I have just installed a new wood-burning stove in our home in Vermont and will be buying firewood for the first time.

How much is a cord of wood? How much will I get and what will it cost? Why do different types of wood vary so much in price?

A cord of wood, a standard unit for measuring firewood, is a stack of wood that measures 8 feet long, 4 feet high, and 4 feet deep, totaling approximately 128 cubic feet of wood when correctly stacked.

The cost of a cord can significantly vary, with an average price being around US$300 for seasoned hardwood, though the exact cost depends on factors like your location, the type of wood, its seasoning status, and whether it’s delivered or picked up.

What Is A Cord Of Wood?

the price and size of a cord of wood

Different types of wood vary in price due to their varying qualities.

Hardwood, such as oak or hickory, is denser, burns longer and hotter, and is generally more expensive. On the other hand, a softwood like pine burns faster, produces less heat, and tends to be cheaper.

This price discrepancy also factors in the longer time it takes for hardwood trees to mature, making them a more valued resource.

A cord is a standard unit used to measure a stacked pile of dry wood.

A cord of firewood legally has to fit standard measurements known to all who buy and sell firewood. There are also other terms used when referring to different quantities of firewood:

  • Standard/full cord – 8-foot x 4-foot x 4-foot
  • Bush cord – the same as a standard cord (8-foot x 4-foot x 4-foot)
  • Rick cord – a third of a standard cord (8-foot x 4-foot x 16-inches)
  • Face cord – usually the same as a rick of wood (8 foot x 4 foot x 16 inches)
  • Running cord – not as common or standardized as terms like a full cord, face cord, or rick cord. Definitions can vary, but typically a running cord or run cord refers to a stack of wood 4 feet high and 8 feet long, with the length of the firewood varying from 16 – 24 inches.

Some of these terms are likely to confuse a new buyer, and some sellers don’t follow the exact measurements when selling wood.

We recommend talking with your supplier about how they measure and price their wood. As long as you’re on the same page you can budget the right amount of space and money for your firewood needs. 

The Volume Of A Cord of Wood

1/4 cord and 1/2 cord firewood
Source: @wallingfordfarm – 1/4 cord and 1/2 cord of firewood

A cord of stacked firewood is:

  • 8-foot x 4-foot x 4-foot – this works out to 128 cubic feet
  • 2.44 m x 1.22 m x 1.22 m – this works out to 3.63 cubic meters

The actual volume of wood always works out to be less than this because of air pockets between the wood. If it were possible to have zero air pockets, a cord of wood would be closer to 90 cubic feet in volume.

Most often, when buying wood, you will buy it by the full cord. However, some businesses will sell their wood in fractions of a cord as well. It’s not uncommon to hear of buying a ‘half cord’ or even a ‘third of a cord of wood’.

Avoid buying wood in these units without being clear on what you’re getting:

These are terms sometimes by sellers, but they are not as accurate as official standards of measurement. Some dishonest sellers may use these words to confuse potential buyers. Always use the term full cord when considering prices or ordering your firewood. This makes it easier and safer to compare one supplier with another.

Here are two examples from Instagram of how much a cord of wood is delivered and stacked (follow/view these accounts for more).

what a truck cord of wood looks like
Source: @crdorient – a cord of wood delivered 

A full cord of wood cannot fit onto a regular pickup truck. Some sellers customize their pickup with high sides and can then potentially carry a cord.

Otherwise, if you’ve ordered a cord or two of firewood, expect it to arrive in a proper truck.

1/4 cord firewood
Source: @wallingfordfarm – a quarter cord of firewood 

This 1/4 cord of firewood costs $199 in Maine.

It’s pricey, but this business is very clear on how much a cord of wood is by stacking it up in their business. You know what you’re getting.

The Cost Of A Cord Of Wood

price for a cord of wood
Source: @wallingfordfarm – cord of firewood prices

Based in Kennebunk, Maine, Wallingford Farm sells firewood in 1/4 cord ($199), 1/2 cord ($299), or full cord volumes. This is a mixture of oak, maple, and beech that has been “semi-seasoned for 3 – 6 months).

These are quite high prices compared to some parts of the USA and Canada (not to mention other parts of the world), but prices will vary significantly from state to state and town to town.

Generally speaking, you can expect to pay around $300 for a cord of seasoned hardwood delivered.

The price will vary depending on:

  • Location – state/city/town
  • Type of wood – hardwood or softwood
  • Seasoned, semi-seasoned, or unseasoned
  • Time of year – summer or winter
  • Pick up or delivery
  • Stacked or dumped (prices for stacking firewood run around $100 per hour)

Here is another cordwood pricing example.

price for a cord of wood
Source: @paverandpatios – firewood prices in Plattsburgh, New York

At $300 for a full cord of hardwood in New York, this is a lot cheaper than the previous example, and more in line with the national price average for firewood.

Hardwood Or Softwood

There are two types of wood: hardwood and softwood.

Softwood burns fast and is much cheaper than hardwood. Softwood gives off less heat, but it is easier to start a fire. Pine is one example of softwood.

Hardwoods have a denser structure compared to softwoods. The trees take a longer time to mature, making them harder over time. They are more challenging to split, but they put out a lot more heat. Oak is one example of a hardwood.

I like to start my fire with softwood and then switch to hardwood once the fire is well-established. This helps the fire to get well established and then burn hotter once there’s a good base.

Seasoned Vs Green Wood

If the firewood is seasoned, it will cost more.

It takes about seven months to season firewood – depending on where you live and how you store it. Well-seasoned wood means that it has low moisture content ranging between 15% to 20%, and you can use a moisture meter for firewood to test it.

Green firewood can be a bit cheaper to buy. This is fresh-cut wood that is not ready to burn, and it has a higher moisture content of about 50%. Green firewood produces more smoke when burnt and will require you to clean your chimney more frequently, unlike seasoned wood.

When burning wood, you will sometimes hear popping sounds. This means your wood has a lot of moisture in it. Unseasoned wood doesn’t put out as much heat either, so it’s always best to wait until it’s ready.

You can also buy semi-seasoned firewood, which will take less time to dry.

Delivery Vs Pick Up

We’ve heard from people who live in areas where there are very few suitable trees for firewood, and they have to pay an astronomical amount of money to get it in.

On the flip side, our neighbor processes and sells a lot of wood. Because we’re so close (literally next door), he gives us a considerable discount because he doesn’t have far to go for delivery.

If you only have a tiny wood stove, such as the Cubic Grizzly (for tiny homes), you can probably pick up sufficient wood at a decent price from the likes of Home Depot or your local big box store. It doesn’t take much to keep these burners running.

Location

Where you live plays a big part in how much a cord of wood costs.

Factors that can lead to firewood price fluctuation in different areas include:

  • Climate and the resulting demand for wood
  • Fuel prices and delivery fees
  • Taxes and regulatory costs
  • Supply of available wood

Prices can vary wildly.

Average Price Per Cord By State

U.S. States Softwood Hardwood
Alabama $200 $250
Alaska $250 $300
Arizona $250 $350
Arkansas $225 $350
California $500 $380
Colorado $280 $600
Connecticut $270 $320
Delaware $220 $270
Florida $280 $400
Georgia $220 $290
Hawaii $350 $500
Idaho $250 $350
Illinois $300 $350
Indiana $320 $400
Iowa $240 $300
Kansas $200 $250
Kentucky $230 $280
Louisiana $250 $310
Maine $300 $400
Maryland $300 $450
Massachusetts $280 $390
Michigan $320 $400
Minnesota $300 $370
Mississippi $240 $310
Missouri $230 $300
Montana $250 $340
Nebraska $310 $400
Nevada $400 $500
New Hampshire $270 $330
New Jersey $300 $400
New Mexico $270 $310
New York $220 $300
North Carolina $260 $300
North Dakota $280 $350
Ohio $230 $290
Oklahoma $290 $370
Oregon $230 $300
Pennsylvania $300 $380
Rhode Island $320 $350
South Carolina $240 $310
South Dakota $280 $380
Tennessee $290 $370
Texas $220 $290
Utah $250 $340
Vermont $240 $310
Virginia $280 $370
Washington $300 $400
West Virginia $220 $300
Wisconsin $250 $330
Wyoming $300 $400

Average prices in 2024. Determined by finding 5 suppliers in each state, taking the average, and rounding up to the nearest $10.

This should only be used as a general guide, not as a rule. If you find that these figures do not reflect the prices in your area, leave a comment down below.

Firewood Delivery Near Me

volume of a cord of wood

If you’re new to buying firewood or have just moved to a new area, it’s best to ask neighbors for recommendations on where to buy firewood.

I often see people asking ‘where is the best place to buy firewood’ in my local Facebook groups. There are always one or two suppliers that get mentioned again and again because they’re the best.

Don’t be afraid to ask for complete measurement and price details from the business you are buying from – if they can’t answer your questions honestly, then move on and try someone else.

To get the cheapest firewood for your wood burner, try to buy it green a year or so in advance of when you need it. Season it yourself, and you’ll save a lot of money over time.

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1 thought on “How Much Is A Cord Of Wood? Firewood Prices And Volume”

  1. We usually burn 4 to 5 cords of wood a year. We buy green and season for a year. Can you tell me how much you would charge. We live in Barrington NH

    Reply

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