Firewood and Other Ramblings

Andrea Burns
Ford County Extension Agent

This is my last column for this unusual and trying year, 2020.

While things certainly did not go as planned for most of the year, the K-State Research and Extension has tried new technology, thought outside of the box and had to re-think the way we do business.

Thank you to those that have traveled this journey with us, continued to utilized our services, attended our online educational events, volunteered their time, or read this weekly column!

We appreciate you so very much! As we look ahead into 2021, we hope to continue to bring quality programing and educational events. We take and appreciate all comments and suggestions!

You can send them to me at All of us at the Ford County Extension Office wish the best to you and your family in 2020! Now for the real topic of the column- firewood:

Not all firewood is created equal. Some species of trees are able to produce much more heat per cord of wood. A cord is the amount of wood in a well-stacked woodpile measuring 4 feet wide by 8 feet long by 4 feet high.

Following are heat values (in million BTUs) per cord for various species of trees. The higher the value, the better the wood.

Ash, Green 22.8

Cottonwood 15.9

Elm, American 19.8 Difficult to split

Elm, Siberian 20.9 Difficult to split

Hackberry 21.0

Honeylocust 25.6

Locust, Black 28.3 Difficult to split

Maple, Sugar 24.0

Maple, Silver 18.9

Mulberry 25.3

Oak, Red 24.0

Oak, Bur 24.9

Oak, Post 25.6

Osage Orange (Hedge) 32.6 Sparks, do not use in open fireplace

Sycamore 19.5 Difficult to split

Walnut, Black 21.8

The Kansas Forest Service has a publication titled “Managing Your Woodland for Firewood” that is quite helpful. See

Remember to obtain firewood locally. For more information on firewood, contact the Ford County Extension Office.