Firewood is any wooden material that is gathered and used for fuel. Generally, firewood is not highly processed and is in some sort of recognizable log or branch form, compared to other forms of wood fuel like pellets or chips. Firewood can be seasoned (dry) or unseasoned (fresh/wet). It can be classed as hardwood or softwood.
Firewood is a renewable resource. However, demand for this fuel can outpace its ability to regenerate on a local or regional level. Good forestry practices and improvements in devices that use firewood can improve local wood supplies.
Harvesting or collecting firewood varies by the region and culture. Some places have specific areas for firewood collection. Other places may integrate the collection of firewood in the cycle of preparing a plot of land to grow food as part of a field rotation process. Collection can be a group, family or an individual activity. The tools and methods for harvesting firewood are diverse.
Some firewood is harvested in "woodlots" managed for that purpose, but in heavily wooded areas it is more usually harvested as a byproduct of natural forests. Deadfall that has not started to rot is preferred, since it is already partly seasoned. Standing dead timber is considered better still, for it has less dirt on the trunk, allowing tools to stay sharper longer, as well as being both seasoned and less rotten. Harvesting this form of timber reduces the speed and intensity of bushfires, but it also reduces habitat for snag-nesting animals such as owls and some rodents.
Harvesting timber for firewood is normally carried out by hand with chainsaws. Thus, longer pieces – requiring less manual labour, and less chainsaw fuel – are less expensive and only limited by the size of the firebox. In most of the United States, the standard measure of firewood is a cord or 128 cubic feet (3.6 m3), however, firewood can also be sold by weight. The BTU value can affect the price. Prices also vary considerably with the distance from wood lots, and quality of the wood.
Firewood for Sale and Methods of splitting firewood
In most parts of the world, firewood is only prepared for transport at the time it is harvested. Then it is moved closer to the place it will be used as fuel and prepared there. The process of making charcoal from firewood can take place at the place the firewood is harvested.
Most firewood also requires splitting, which also allows for faster seasoning by exposing more surface area. Today most splitting is done with a hydraulic splitting machine, but it can also be split with a splitting maul. More unusual, and dangerous, is a tapered screw-style design, that augers into the wood, splitting it, and can be powered by either a power take-off drive, a dedicated internal combustion engine, or a rugged electric pipe-threading machine, which is safer than the other power sources because the power can be shut off more easily if necessary. Another method is to use a kinetic log splitter, which uses a rack and pinion system powered by a small motor and a large flywheel used for energy storage.
Stacking firewood in a shed
There are many ways to store firewood. These range from simple piles to free-standing stacks, to specialized structures. Usually the goal of storing wood is to keep water away from it and to continue the drying process.
Stacks: The simplest stack is where logs are placed next to and on top of each other, forming a line the width of the logs. The height of the stack can vary, generally depending upon how the ends are constructed. Without constructing ends, the length of the log and length of the pile help determine the height of a free-standing stack.
There is debate about whether wood will dry more quickly when covered. There is a trade-off between the surface of the wood getting wet vs. allowing as much wind and sun as possible to access the stack. A cover can be almost any material that sheds water – a large piece of plywood, sheet metal, terracotta tiles, or an oiled canvas cloth, even cheap plastic sheeting may also be used. Wood will not dry when completely covered. Ideally pallets or scrap wood should be used to raise the wood from the ground, reducing rot and increasing air flow.
There are many ways to create the ends of a stack. In some areas, a crib end is created by alternating pairs of logs to help stabilize the end. A stake or pole placed in the ground is another way to end the pile. A series of stacked logs at the end, each with a cord tied to it and the free end of the cord wrapped to log in the middle of the pile, is another way.
The moisture content of firewood determines how it burns and how much heat is released. Unseasoned (green) wood moisture content varies by the species; green wood may weigh 70 to 100 percent more than seasoned wood due to water content. Typically, seasoned (dry) wood has 20% to 25% moisture content. Use of the lower heating value is advised as a reasonable standard way of reporting this data.
The energy content of a measure of wood depends on the tree species. For example, it can range from 15.5 to 32 million British thermal units (16.4 to 33.8 GJ) per cord. The higher the moisture content, the more energy that must be used to evaporate (boil) the water in the wood before it will burn. Dry wood delivers more energy for heating than green wood of the same species.
Kiln dried firewood
The process of kiln drying firewood was invented by Anthony Cutara, for which a successful US patent was filed in 1983. In 1987 the US Department of Agriculture replicated the method and published a detailed procedure for the production of kiln dried firewood, citing the higher heat output and increased combustion efficiency as a key benefit of the process 
Usually firewood is sold by volume. While a specific volume term may be used, there can be a wide variation in what this means and what the measure can produce as a fuel. For example, a cord which is made from 4-foot (1.22 m) logs, will not be a cord when it is cut into 1 foot logs and these split so each piece will fit through a 3-inch (7.6 cm) circle. A measure of green unseasoned wood with 65% moisture contains less usable energy than when it has been dried to 20%. Regardless of the term, firewood measurement is best thought of as an estimate.
In the United States and Canada, firewood is usually sold by the full cord, face cord or bag.
A full cord or bush cord has a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.6 m3), including wood, bark, and air space in a neatly stacked pile. The actual wood volume of a cord may be in the range of 80 to 100 cubic feet (2.3 to 2.8 m3) as stacked wood takes up more space than a piece of solid wood. The most common firewood piece length is 16 inches (41 cm).
A face cord is one third of a full or bush cord stack of wood that is 4 by 8 ft (1.22 by 2.44 m) by 16 in (41 cm) and has a volume of 42.6 cubic feet (1.21 m3).