, Kingston, NH


January 2, 2014

Buying Firewood


Dry, Seasoned or Green

Before you buy, find out if the firewood is split and if the dealer provides dry, seasoned or green wood. Split wood dries faster. It is not easy to determine the moisture content of firewood. Depending on the species, cut and split wood needs six to eight months of drying time. Therefore, working with a reputable dealer is critical. Unless the wood is kiln-dried, which assures a consistent moisture content of about 20 percent, the wood will vary quite a bit. Seasoned wood tends to be around 30 percent moisture content. Green wood can be in excess of 50 percent moisture content.

How to Store Firewood

Consider where you want the wood to be dumped and if you want the dealer to stack the wood for you. Have the firewood dumped near to where it will be stored. Find a sunny spot with good air flow and place the wood off the ground on stringers or old pallets. Cover only the top of the pile to avoid trapping moisture.

Take Precautions

• New Hampshire law requires that a receipt or delivery ticket be presented to the buyer upon delivery. It is important that you receive a receipt for each load that is delivered. The receipt should include the names and addresses of the seller and buyer, the delivery date, the quantity delivered and the quantity upon which the price is based, the price for the amount delivered and a description of what was delivered.

• Never pre-pay for multiple loads; pay upon delivery.

• Upon delivery, immediately inspect the wood to ensure that what you received is what you ordered. Stack the wood within two weeks to assure the volume ordered was the volume delivered. And, if there are any problems with or questions about the wood, contact the seller before burning or moving any of it.

If you have general questions about firewood, call the UNH Cooperative Extension Forestry Information Center at (800) 444-8978 or e-mail For quarantine or other regulatory questions, contact the N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food Division of Weights and Measures at (603) 271-3700.

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