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Wood is the hard, dry, fibrous, cellulose-based structural material of plants, particularly trees. Not to be confused with the dried, sawn, finished material: lumber.



A typical measure of wood is a cord. This is defined as 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3). Typically constructed as a 4 foot high, 4 foot wide, 8 foot long stack, where the logs are at least three inches in diameter, and four feet long.


  • A cord of wood weighs 1-2 tons, depending on wood type, bark content, and dryness

Fuel value

  • Bone dry fuel value: 18-22 MJ/kg
  • Air dry fuel value: 15-17 MJ/kg

The Energy budget says 300GJ/yr for america, requiring 15-20t of wood /yr. Unlikely. :)



Woodlot values imply sustainable harvest: a natural environment, managed with the intent to sustainably harvest wood.

  • In a moderate climate, softwood forests can produce almost 9m3 per hectare. (1 cord/acre)
  • In a harsher climate, hardwood forests may produce 1.5m3 per hectare. (0.16 cord/acre)

NB: The hardwood/softwood production differences are offset somewhat by the lower fuel value for softwood, so the GJ/acre/year varies somewhat less.


Clearcut values indicate reducing the forest completely to bare dirt or pasture, with the commensurate time to regrow the area.

  • Clearcutting may produce between 11 and 110 cords per acre

See Also