Comparison of Properties Affecting Firewood
Species
Heat Content
Per Cord

Million BTU

20% MC

Moisture Content

Living Tree

Splitting
Weight

Lbs / Cord

Osage-orange
30.5
--
Fair
3688
Hickory
29.3
70
Good
3560
Black locust
28.3
55
Good
3440
White oak
27.9
64
Good
3392
Bur oak
26.3
65
Good
3192
Beech
26.3
55
Good
3144
Sugar maple
25.9
65
Good
3144
Pin oak
25.9
83
Fair
3144
Red oak
25.9
80
Fair
3144
White ash
24.6
45
Excellent
2992
Honey locust
24.6
--
Fair
2992
Blue ash
23.8
45
Excellent
2896
Black walnut
22.6
90
Excellent
2744
Hackberry
21.7
61
Good
2640
Slippery elm
21.7
66
Poor
2640
Sweetgum
21.3
79
Fair
2592
Virginia pine
20.7
32
Good
2400
Black cherry
20.5
58
Good
2496
American elm
20.5
95
Poor
2496
Sycamore
20.2
114
Poor
2448
Red-cedar
20.2
33
Fair
2344
Silver maple
19.3
58
Good
2344
Sassafras
18.9
--
Good
2296
Yellow-poplar
17.3
83
Good
2096
Hemlock
17.3
97
Excellent
2000
Willow
16.0
98
Fair
1944
Basswood
15.2
81
Excellent
1848
White pine
15.0
62
Good
1744

This table shows those variables that should be evaluated when purchasing firewood. All firewood should be obtained, stacked and air dried at least six months prior to burning. Those species shown at the top of the list are the better woods to obtain more wood content per unit volume. Firewood will have to be split for best results. Please notice those species with POOR splitting ability. These should be avoided. Those species toward the bottom of the list, when properly dried, will burn very fast. Many people will obtain a small supply of these woods to help in initially igniting a fire.