Buying and Selling Firewood

Most firewood is sold by the “cord”, although in some cases it may be sold by weight.

How much wood is in a cord? A standard cord contains 128 cubic feet of wood, but actually is closer to 80 to 90 cubic feet, due to the space between pieces. A facecord and rick are sometimes used interchangeably with cord, but many times, these are smaller than a cord.

A standard sized pick-up truck with wood randomly thrown in to the top of the bed will equal about one-third of a cord. If the wood is neatly stacked, the amount of wood will be closer to one-half of a cord.

If you’re unsure about the amount of wood being sold, measure the wood stack and determine its volume (Length x width x height).  This will not work if the wood is not neatly stacked.

Make sure the length of the wood for sale will fit your fireplace or stove.  Splitting of larger diameter pieces may be necessary.

Check for small cracks in the wood end pieces, a sign the wood has been seasoned.

When storing wood, keep the pile covered, off of the ground, and avoid direct contact with buildings. Firewood should be seasoned for six to nine months prior to burning, to remove moisture that sacrifices energy and produces smoke.

Those wishing to sell wood from their woodlot should first consider an overall management plan for the area.  A plan can be created with the help of an Illinois Department of Natural Resources District Forester, or the use of a forestry consultant. Most woodlots can produce about a half a cord per acre per year.  Visit the section on woodlot management for more information.

Both buyers and sellers of firewood in Illinois need to be aware of regulations related to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  Due to the facts known today about EAB, the Illinois Department of Agriculture  strongly urges and recommends that firewood be produced, distributed, sold and burned locally. Visit the section on EAB for more information.