Firewood BTU Ratings Charts for Common Tree Species
The firewood BTU rating charts below give a comparison between different firewood types. This can help you decide what the best firewood type is for your needs. You can click on the different types of firewood in the chart to learn more about them. Please leave your comments or questions on those pages if you have experience or questions about those types of firewood.
A cord is 128 cubic feet of stacked wood. Because of the air space between the pieces of wood, the amount of solid wood in a cord may be only 70-90 cubic feet, even though the volume of the stack is 128 cubic feet.
Western Softwoods Figures from California Energy Commission But Rating Based on 90 cubic feet of solid wood per 128 cubic foot cord
Eastern Hardwoods Compiled from various sources Consistency between charts will vary due to different variables between different data sources.
Compiled from various sources. Consistency between charts will vary due to different variables between different data sources
These charts will give you the amount of energy per cord of wood for some of the most common firewood species. The data for these charts was compiled from various sources with different firewood types. There is some conflicting data between different sources due to different calculating variables. As with most BTU charts I have seen available some of the numbers may be a little off but are in the general ballpark. I have put together the best data I could find but consider the figures to be approximate.
Much of the inconsistencies are from different variables such as how much actual solid wood is assumed to be in a cord. A cord is 128 cubic feet but in any stack of wood there will be air space between the pieces. As a result a cord of wood may only have 70-90 cubic feet of actual solid wood. This varies with the size and shape of the wood and how tightly it is stacked.
BTU’s or British Thermal Units are a measure of the amount of heat energy available in any given substance.
Opinions of firewood can vary with personal preferences and individual burning needs. You are welcome to discuss this topic and share your experience and your best firewood tree species below and in our forum.
All firewood has about the same BTU per pound. Non resinous wood has around 8000 to 8500 BTU per pound and resinous wood has around 8600 to 9700 BTU per pound. Less dense softwoods have less BTU per cord than more dense hardwood but they also weigh less per cord. Resinous wood has more BTU per pound because the resins have more BTU per pound than wood fiber has