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Why Do Firewood Prices Vary So Much?

As you’ve probably seen, the prices for firewood can fluctuate and vary throughout the year. Why is this so? It basically comes down to supply and demand.  Normally if you continue to buy your firewood from the same supplier, they will give you discounts for repeat business. This is of course not a guarantee, but it could be one way you would be able to cut down your costs on buying firewood.

  • Wood Species – Softer species such as poplar or pine will have about half of the energy content per cord as a hardwood like oak or locust.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be half price of the hardwoods.  Processing, transportation and storage are the same regardless of species. You would however expect to pay more for hardwoods than you would for softer species.
  • Location – With the cost of fuel the way it is nowadays, the distance between you and the supplier can play a role in the price of your firewood.
  • Dryness – It is normal for fully dry, seasoned wood to cost more than freshly cut, green firewood.
  • Amount Purchased – Just like most everything, when you buy larger quantities, you will normally get a better deal. Think about buying a 4 pack of toilet paper vs. buying the 24 pack. Its a little bit more money up front, but in the end, you got each roll for cheaper than if you were to buy 6 of the 4 packs.
  • Delivery & Stacking – Be sure to inquire if the price includes delivery and stacking. A lot of the time a supplier will include stacking and delivery in their price, but not always. Some will offer a lower price for the wood and charge and additional fee for stacking the wood for you. Be sure you clarify this so there are no surprises when the wood is delivered to you.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for.  A load of hardwood firewood that has been cut to the correct lengths, split correctly and is fully seasoned will be more expensive than a load that does not fit this criteria. It may cost a little more up front, but trust us that this small extra cost will pay off in energy, time and convenience throughout the cold winter.