WoodHomesteading Firewood Heat Burning Values Chart

Homesteading Firewood Heat Burning Values Chart

This Homesteading Firewood Burning Heat Values Chart will help homesteaders determine which firewood is best for their heating needs. Too much moisture in firewood of any kind decreases burning efficiency. The smoke that comes off of green or unseasoned wood is energy that’s going up the chimney instead of being translated into heat for your home.

Homesteading Firewood Heat Burning Values Chart - The Homestead Survival - Homesteading - Warming Up in Winter

It’s getting colder, so it’s time to collect firewood. This is a list of the best types to burn by high, medium, and low heat value. There are good reasons why one type of wood is better than others; mainly density and water content. The better wood will burn if it is dense and drier, allowing itself to produce more heat.

Hardwoods are better than softwoods and we have tips to handle firewood. High heat value is 1 cord equivalent 200 to 250 gallons of fuel. The wood that qualifies includes red oak, apple, sugar maple, white ash, and yellow birch. Medium heat value is 1 core equaling to 150 to 200 gallons of fuel. The wood that qualifies here include American elm, red maple, and white birch.

Low heat is 100 to 150 gallons of fuel; Aspen, hemlock, redwood, and Western red cedar are along that.

First, note what a cord of wood is, being a measure of volume. It is 128 cubic feet of stacked wood, 4 feet wide, 4 feet tall, and 8 feet long (4’ x 4’ x 8’). The air space between the stacked wood will have a volume around 70 to 90 cubic feet. As noted above, heat value refers to the amount of heat wood will produce when burned.

Freshly cut wood has up to 50 percent moisture and must be dried to 25 percent before burning because the moisture will kill the wood from burning. If steam bubbles come out as firewood heats up, it means the wood is wet and needs be dried. Dried firewood has dark ends with visible cracks, is lightweight, and makes a distinctive clinking sound when two pieces hit each other.

If you enjoy a fire that’s full of crackle and pop, you can’t go wrong with fir or pine. It’s softwood that dries quickly, splits nicely, and makes for large, beautiful, crackling fires.

*** Common Name        Species Name         Pounds/Cord         MBTU/Cord

Alder, Red or White Alnus rubra or rhombifolia 2,380 14.8

Apple Malus domestica 3,485 21.6

Ash, Black Fraxinus nigra 2,890 17.9

Ash, Green Fraxinus pennsylvanica 3,400 21.1

Ash, Oregon Fraxinus latifolia 3,230 20.0

Ash, White Fraxinus americana 3,485 21.6

Aspen, American (Poplar) Populus tremuloides 2,210 13.7

Balsa Ochroma pyramidale 935 5.8

Bamboo Poaceae bambusoideae 1,615 10.0

Basswood (Linden) Tilia americana 2,210 13.7

Beech, American Fagus grandifolia 3,655 22.7

Beech, Blue (Ironwood) Carpinus caroliniana 3,825 23.7

Birch, Black Betula lenta 3,890 24.2

Birch, Gray Betula populifolia 3,145 19.5

Birch, Yellow Betula alleghaniensis 3,570 22.1

Birch, White (Paper) Betula papyrifera 3,230 20.0

Boxelder (Maple Ash) Acer negundo 2,890 17.9

Buckeye, Ohio Aesculus glabra 1,955 12.1

Butternut (White Walnut) Juglans cinerea 2,125 13.2

Catalpa (Catawba) Catalpa speciosa 2,380 14.8

Cedar, Eastern (Redcedar) Juniperus virginiana 1,955 12.1

Cedar, White (Whitecedar) Thuja occidentalis 1,870 11.6

Cherry, Black Prunus serotina 3,145 19.5

Coffeetree, Kentucky Gymnocladus dioicus 3,060 19.0

Compressed Sawdust Logs * Presto homofecit stipes 2,000 17.0

Cottonwood (Poplar) Populus trichocarpa 2,040 12.6

Dogwood, Pacific Cornus nuttallii 3,995 24.8

Elm, American Ulmus americana 2,975 18.4

Elm, Red Ulmus rubra 3,060 19.0

Elm, White (Russian) Ulmus laevis 2,890 17.9

Eucalyptus (Red Gum) Eucalyptus camaldulensis 2,975 18.4

Fir, Balsam Abies balsamea 2,125 13.2

Fir, Concolor (White) Abies concolor 2,295 14.2

Fir, Douglas Pseudotsuga menzies II 2,805 17.4

Hackberry Celtis occidentalis 3,145 19.5

Hemlock Pinaceae tsuga 2,465 15.3

Hickory, Bitternut Carya cordiformis 3,825 23.7

Hickory, Shagbark Carya ovata 4,080 25.3

Holly, American Ilex Opaca 3,995 24.8

Hop Hornbeam (Ironwood) Ostrya virginiana 4,250 26.4

Juniper, Rocky Mtn Juniperus scopulorum 3,145 19.5

Locust, Black Robinia pseudoacacia 3,740 23.2

Locust, Honey Gleditsia triacanthos 3,825 23.7

Madrone, Pacific (Arbutus) Arbutus menziesii 3,825 23.7

Maple, Big Leaf Acer macrophyllum 2,890 17.9

Maple, Black Acer nigrum 3,400 21.1

Maple, Red Acer rubrum 3,230 20.0

Maple, Sugar Acer saccharum 3,740 23.2

Maple, Silver Acer saccharinum 2,805 17.4

Mulberry Morus rubra 3,740 23.2

Myrtle, Oregon (Pepperwood) Umbellularia californica 3,485 21.6

Oak, Bur (Mossycup) Quercus macrocarpa 3,655 22.7

Oak, Oregon (Garry) Quercus garryana 3,655 22.7

Oak, Post Quercus stellata 3,825 23.7

Oak, Red Quercus rubra 3,570 22.1

Oak, White Quercus alba 3,910 24.2

Osage Orange (Hedge) Maclura pomifera 4,845 30.0

Persimmon, American Diospyros virginiana 4,165 25.8

Pine, Jack (Canadian) Pinus banksiana 2,380 14.8

Pine, Lodgepole Pinus contora latifolia 2,465 15.3

Pine, Norway (Red) Pinus resinosa 2,890 17.9

Pine, Pitch Pinus rigida 2,635 16.3

Pine, Ponderosa Pinus ponderosa 2,380 14.8

Pine, White (Eastern) Pinus strobus 2,125 13.2

Pine, White (Idaho) Pinus monticola 2,236 14.3

Sorrel (Sourwood) Oxydendrum arboreum 3,060 19.0

Spruce, Engelmann Picea engelmannii 1,955 12.1

Spruce, Sitka Picea sitchensis 2,380 14.8

Spruce, Black Picea mariana 2,465 15.3

Sycamore, American Platanus occidentalis 2,890 17.9

Tamarack (Larch) Larix laricina 3,145 19.5

Walnut, Black Juglans nigra 3,230 20.0

Willow Salix 2,295 14.2

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Melissa Francis
Melissa Francis
Greetings! I'm Melissa Francis, the founder and primary contributor to The Homestead Survival. With over 20 years of experience in homesteading, sustainability, and emergency preparedness, I've dedicated my life to helping others achieve a simpler, more self-reliant lifestyle.

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