Firewood Sale Requirements

When the weather cools, a toasty fire may sound good; but before you buy wood, be armed with the following tips:

Things to Remember

State law requires firewood to be sold by the cord, fraction of a cord or by cubic feet, EXCEPT:

  • Packaged wood (wood must be less than 1/16 cu. feet and priced by the bag)
  • Artificial compressed logs (sold by weight plus count and priced per log or package)
  • Stove wood pellets or chips (chips not greater than 6" in any dimension and sold by weight)
  • Favoring chips (chips sold by volume)

National standards require a cord to equal 128 cubic feet (see "Stacking A Cord For Measurement" below). A seller may NOT legally sell firewood by the truckload, face cord, rack or pile. These are arbitrary measurements and do not guarantee you that you'll get what you pay for. When you buy firewood, get a receipt which shows the seller's name and address, price, amount and kind of wood purchased.

If possible, get the seller's phone number and the license plate number of the delivery vehicle.

When the wood is delivered, ask the seller to STACK it so you can confirm you received what you paid for. (Note: You may have to pay extra for this service.)

Measure the wood before using any. If the cubic measurement indicates that you did not receive the correct volume, contact the seller immediately.

If the seller can't or won't correct the problem, contact the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Services Division at (602) 771-4920 before you burn any wood. It is also helpful to document the possible shortage by taking a picture of the stacked wood.

Stacking a Cord for Measurement

Always stack the wood neatly by placing the wood in a line or a row, with individual pieces touching and parallel to each other. Make sure the wood is compact and has as few gaps as possible.

Never stack wood in a crisscross fashion. Measuring wood that is stacked this way results in an inaccurate volume. Crisscross stacking can falsely increase the volume as much as 50%

How to Measure Stacked Firewood

Step 1: Measure the height at each "H" mark from top stack to bottom. Add all height measurements and divide by 8.

Step 2: Measure the length at each "L" mark from right to left side. Add all length measurements and divide by 8.

Step 3: Find the Average Stack measurement by use the following formula:

Log Measurement

To find the width of a log do the following: Randomly select 5 logs with the biggest diameter. Measure length from center to center. Add all width measurements and divide by 5.

Quick Reference: Cord Dimensions in Cubic Feet

  • 1 Cord = 128 cubic feet
  • 1/2 Cord = 64 cubic feet
  • 1/3 Cord = 42.7 cubic feet
  • 2/3 Cord = 85.3 cubic feet
  • 1/8 Cord = 16 cubic feet

Formulas to Calculate Cubic Feet:

  • Length (feet)  x  width (feet)  x  height (feet)  =  cubic feet
  • Height (inches)  x  length (inches)  x  width (inches)/1,728  =  cubic feet
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