Renewable and Alternative Energy
How much wood is in a cord?
Which woods have the best heating quality in a wood-burning stove?
Wood accounts for 28 percent of the total of renewable energy resources in the United States. Woods that have high heat value, meaning that one cord equals 200 to 250 gallons (757 to 946 liters) of fuel oil or 250 to 300 cubic feet (7 to 8.5 cubic meters) of natural gas, are hickory, beech, oak, yellow birch, ash, hornbeam, sugar maple, and apple.
Woods that have medium heat value, meaning that one cord equals 150 to 200 gallons (567 to 757 liters) of fuel oil or 200 to 250 cubic feet (5.5 to 7 cubic meters) of natural gas, are white birch, douglas fir, red maple, eastern larch, big leaf maple, and elm.
Woods that have a low heat value, meaning that one cord equals 100 to 150 gallons (378 to 567 liters) of fuel oil or 150 to 200 cubic feet (4 to 5.5 cubic meters) of natural gas, are aspen, red alder, white pine, redwood, western hemlock, eastern hemlock, Sitka spruce, cottonwood, western red cedar, and lodgepole pine.
A cord of wood is a pile of logs 4 feet (1.2 meters) wide, 4 feet (1.2 meters) high, and 8 feet (2.4 meters) long. It may contain from 77 to 96 cubic feet of wood. The larger the unsplit logs the larger the gaps, with fewer cubic feet of wood actually in the cord. Burning one full cord of wood produces the same amount of energy as one ton of coal.