Knowing how much one cord of green wood weighs can help ensure you have the right amount of wood in your home. It can also help you organize your wood to make the most of your storage space.
Using a weight scale, I found that a cord of seasoned hardwood weighed almost two tons. It is a good thing I had a truck to haul it in!
Wood is dense but contains large amounts of organic “extractives” such as tannins and oils. This, in combination with the presence of air, can reduce the weight of wood per unit of volume. But is it possible for wood to have more than 100% moisture?
Green wood can have moisture content from 30% to over 200%, depending on the tree. It also has several other properties, including specific gravity.
The best way to measure specific gravity is to compare a sample of wood to an equal volume of water. However, the water weight is variable due to the temperature. This measurement could be more accurate.
There are three standard methods of expressing the specific gravity of a sample of wood. The first is the fundamental specific gravity. The second is the specific gravity of the volume at 12% moisture content. And the third is the specific gravity of the book at 20% moisture content.
The Wood Handbook is a good reference for the first two. It also lists the fundamental specific gravity of several species, which is also a good source of the “shrinkage ratio.” The Wood Database is another good source for the fundamental specific gravity of a particular species.
The most important thing to remember is that the specific gravity of a particular species is sometimes different. For example, an American Beech might have a low SG of 0.54. But, it could have a high SG of 1.73. That’s why the Wood Handbook has a table listing the specific gravity of a variety of species around the world. And it’s a good idea to compare several species before deciding which to use for a particular project.
The Wood Handbook lists a wood sample’s “green” specific gravity. This is a tad more difficult to calculate than the density of a cord of wood, but it is the most accurate measurement of wood structure.
Even though many references state that the density of green wood is equivalent to that of dry wood, this is not necessarily true. This is because the moisture content is one of many factors influencing wood density. The rate of decomposition, climate, and site are also important variables that must be considered.
An extensive database is available for research purposes. This includes the mechanical properties of wood samples, phylogenetic patterns, and trait evolution across different species. It is also helpful to understand how wood moisture content affects these properties.
The density of green wood is a valuable measure for assessing the amount of carbon stored in a tree. This is especially important for modeling the costs associated with constructing trees. Moreover, it is relevant in modeling how tree density affects bending resistance.
The spectroscopic properties of wood can also be used to estimate the density of green lumber. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) can be used to identify the fundamental specific gravity of wood.
The density of green wood is not only a measure of the amount of carbon stored in a tree but is also a measure of the wood’s mechanical properties. These properties include the modulus of rupture, maximum strength in compression, and Young’s modulus.
The density of green wood is also essential for modeling how wood properties change with age and site. However, capturing the density dynamics of wood is a challenge for basic research. This is because it is highly dependent on the species. The best way to predict the essential wood density is to use a regression model incorporating various data sources.
One of the more critical factors affecting the essential density of green wood is the moisture content of the wood. The difference between the moisture content of heartwood and sapwood depends on the species. The moisture content of green wood ranges from less than 30% to more than 200%.
The density of green wood also depends on thinning regime and site. The rate of decomposition also affects the wood’s thickness. This is because moisture content fluctuates below the fiber saturation point, which causes dimensional changes in wood. The tangential grain direction is also affected by wood shrinkage. Wood shrinkage can range from 3-6% to Sz.
Whether you are considering buying or burning firewood, you may be interested in knowing the heat content of one cord of green wood. The heat content of wood depends on several factors, including its density and moisture content of the wood.
One cord of air-dried hardwood firewood has an average density of 40 pounds per cubic foot. It contains 0.83 pounds of dry wood and 0.17 pounds of water. The total available heat per pound of wood at 20% moisture content is 7,100 Btu.
Hickory wood has the highest heat value. A cord of hickory firewood contains 28.5 million BTUs of heat. This is about twice the heat value of basswood. It also produces little smoke. It is one of the longest-lasting firewood.
Softwoods, however, have more BTUs per pound than hardwoods. This means that they burn faster. Softwoods also tend to contain more resins, which have more energy per weight than wood fiber. Softwoods are generally less dense than hardwoods.
The energy content of wood is calculated in British thermal units (BTUs). This measure varies depending on the density of the wood and the type of wood-burning appliance used. It is the best way to compare the relative heat values of different fuels.
The average mixed northern hardwood cord contains 24,000,000 BTUs of heat. A line of shagbark hickory contains 28.5 million BTUs, which is about twice the heat value of basswood. It also takes about a year for hickory to season.
Hickory is also known for its smokeless burn. Its smoke is light and not harmful. However, it produces creosote deposits that can build up on chimney walls and catalytic converters.
Ideally, the wood used for fuel should be air-dried and seasoned. During the seasoning process, the moisture content of the wood should be below 20%. It should also be adequately protected from the elements.
A cord of green wood contains 50 to 50% moisture by weight. This means the wood will produce less heat than air-dried wood. It will also have more creosote deposits. It will also be heavier.
Organizing your wood
Whether you’re storing firewood for your home or your business, it’s essential to learn how to organize your green wood to promote the drying process. When wood is stored incorrectly, it can become stale and contaminated. The moisture in the wood can lead to mold, fungus, and insect infestations. Keeping your wood dry is essential to its production.
Organizing your green wood in a single row will ensure that each piece has the chance to dry. You can make these rows by stacking your logs crosswise. This will allow air to flow between the records and promote air circulation. You should also keep your green wood in a dry, well-ventilated area. Wood kept in a shady location will be more prone to mold and mildew. It will also take longer to dry.
When storing your green wood, you’ll also want to keep it away from your dog run. In addition, you should store your wood a few inches off the ground. This will help keep it dry and will also protect it from rain.