Firewood Terms & Descriptions

Firewood Terms & Descriptions

Firewood terms

We get asked about firewood terms quite often. Specifically, a rick versus a cord and seasoned versus kiln-dried. Regardless of where you get your firewood we believe that you should know what to look for when purchasing wood. Below are some common terms and measurement definitions that will help you ask that right questions.

Terms Relating to Dryness

Green – Green firewood is any wood that has a high moisture content, usually 50% or greater. The moisture in the wood makes it hard to light and hard to burn. Green wood will sizzle, pop, smolder and smoke. It’s nearly impossible to create a hot fire with the wet wood because it never really takes off or gets going.

Seasoned – Seasoned wood is wood that has been naturally air dried for a proper amount of time. It can be wood that has been cut down right on your property, stored in a dried place and allowed to dry for a minimum of 12 months. The goal result should be firewood with less than 20% moisture content.

Kiln-Dried | Heat Treated Kiln drying and heat treated can be used interchangeably. This is the process of drying wood in a kiln. Heat Treated Firewood burns better and reduces the spread of pest and diseases that can be lingering inside firewood. Wood is heated in a kiln until the internal wood temp reaches a specific temp for a targeted amount of time. Tennessee’s certification offers two heat treatments: 140°F for 60 minutes or 160°F for 75 minutes. It is an artificial yet highly effective way of quickly drying out logs. The process of kiln drying evaporates the moisture from the wood, as opposed to seasoning. The ending result should be firewood that is easy to light, a hotter fire and less smoke, overall a cleaner burn. It is also the only way the Great Smoky Mountain National Park will allow firewood to be brought into campgrounds. The best part, by kiln-drying the wood it ensures there are ZERO creepy crawlies in the wood. Giving you peace of mind that you are not carrying termites and roaches into your home. So the question has to be asked,

“Is it worth buying kiln dried firewood?
When you compare the heat output of kiln dried vs seasoned firewood, along with the price, kiln dried logs are certainly worth it, especially when you consider they won’t cause damage to your stove or flue like most seasoned logs on the market, that are above 25% moisture content, will over time.”

Barkless – This is wood that has been cut, split and has had the bark removed. Normally, this wood dries faster, but is does not contain hardwoods with thicker bark (i.e. oak).

Firewood Measurements

Knockout Firewood measures by the rick, aka, face cord. All firewood is cut to 16″ length.

Cord (Full cord) – 4’x4’x8′ (128 Cubic Feet)
Stacked as 3 rows of 4’x8’x16″ (log length). This is the official standard in firewood measurement. Frankly, it is a lot of wood. If the cord is 128 cubic feet, the cord volume (usable wood) is about 85 cubic feet. (Wood + air space = 128 cubic feet.)

Half cord (½ of a full cord) – 4’x4’x4′ (64 Cubic Feet)

Rick or Face Cord (1/3 full cord) – 4’x8’x16″ (Log length) – 42.6 Cubic Feet

Quarter Cord (1/4 cord) – 4’x6’x16″ (Log length)

Bundle – .75 (3/4) Cubic Feet

Bushel Baskets

2 Bushels – 6.4 Cubic Feet (Around 8 bundles)

4 Bushels – 12.8 Cubic Feet (Around 16 bundles)

6 Bushels – 19.2 Cubic Feet (Around 24 bundles)


Cord – 2 Pallets stacked 4’x4’x4′ – 128 Cubic Feet

Half Cord – 1 Pallet stacked 4’x4’x4′ – 64 Cubic Feet

Quarter Cord – 1 Pallet stacked 4’x4’x2′ – 32 Cubic Feet

**Please note: These firewood terms are for your educational use. We don’t offer all measurements, forms or types that may be mentioned on our site.