How to Sell Firewood

How to Sell FirewoodAs with any business, nothing happens until something is sold. Fortunately, firewood is easy to sell since your potential customers already know they want it. You don’t have to convince them that they want it. Every year they have to look for more wood to buy to replace what they have burned over the previous winter. This is the beauty of selling consumable products.

Firewood dealers don’t usually use expensive media advertising like radio and television. Although you could if you wanted to. Most of the firewood I sell is through low cost or free advertising.

Road signs. If your home or business is next to a busy road, you can put out a firewood for sale sign. My grandfather used to get most of his customers that way. He was fortunate to live next to a very busy road that accessed a lot of rural homes that burned wood.

The other variation of this is to park your truck or trailer on the street with a load of wood and a for sale sign on it. I see people doing this all the time but I haven’t tried it. What I don’t like about this method is I can’t use my truck or trailer while it is busy trying to sell wood.

Build a Website. I get most of my firewood customers from the internet. I have a website that shows up at the top of search engines when people search for firewood in my area. I would put a link to my website here but I don’t want this article to be about promoting my firewood business, this is to help you promote your own.

If you know how to build websites, and more importantly, how to promote them, this can be a great option. You can hire someone to build one and promote it for you, but that can be expensive. Another option is to go to the contact tab on this website and send an email stating you would like to advertise your firewood business. This site offers some low cost and even free website and advertising options.

Sell firewood on Craigslist. Probably half or more of the customers I have received over the past few years have been from Craigslist. That site is a woodcutters dream come true. It’s free and a lot of people go there searching for firewood. The downside is there can be a lot of competition. Part of my secret is to put a link to my website on my Craigslist ad. This way people can go to my site and read more about my business. The website makes it look like I am professional and trustworthy. This gives me an edge over the competition.

Sell firewood with classified newspaper ads. Before the internet, I used to sell most of my wood in the newspaper classified section. Many papers have a section for firewood. In one of our local papers it was “fuel and heating”. Believe it or not, people still do read newspapers. Although this is decreasing, classified ads still work. A lot of times it’s the older demographic that is more likely to read the newspaper and less likely to use the internet, and that’s who a lot of my customers are.

Now I have plenty of repeat customers and new customers from my website, so it has been about 2 years since I have tried advertising in the classifieds, but it worked then. A lot of wood dealers advertise in the cheaper low circulation or weekly papers. I used to pay more for the higher circulation papers. More readers and less competition.

Word of mouth. This is always a powerful selling tool if you provide a good product, reliable service and a good experience for the customer. I have several situations where I sell wood to several people in a neighborhood. It all started with one customer.

Just a few weeks ago I got a call from someone from one town, who was taking a walk through a park in a nearby town, and saw some wood I left in one of my customer’s driveway near the park a few days earlier. They really liked the loos of the wood, so they went to my customer’s door and got my number from them and it ended up being a 2 cord order for me. A quality product can help a lot with word of mouth.

Business cards. Get some business cards and leave one with your customer when you deliver their wood. You can try posting them on bulletin boards around town, although I have not tried that. I mostly use them so customers can keep my number on hand so they can call me when they want more, or so they have my number when someone asks where they got the wood.

You can get business cards printed free, plus a few dollars for shipping and handling, through vistaprint. You can find them by doing a web search for “vistaprint”. The only catch is they print their website on the back of the card. Not a big deal, it’s in small print and most of the back is blank. I use them.

More obnoxious ways to sell firewood. If you want to try being more obnoxious you could do things like look for homes with smoke coming out of their chimneys, knock on their doors or leave a flier or business card. I have never had a need to do this so I don’t know how it would work.

Keeping a customer list and calling them every year to remind them to buy wood will increase your income dramatically. I know people who do this and it works great. I don’t do it, except for a few customers who request that I do. Mostly because I get enough orders as it is.

Selling wood is easy. The hardest part can be the first few years while you are building up a customer base. As you get a list of repeat customers, the less advertising you will have to do. Eventually you can get to a point where you have enough repeat customers to keep you pretty busy, then maybe do a little advertising to keep a few new ones coming in.


How to Outcompete Your Firewood Business Competition

One of the advantages of a firewood business is it is very easy to stand out and beat your competition. Because the firewood business is so easy to get into, it can be done and often is done by people with very little business sense. Because of this, someone with just a little common business sense can blow the competition out of the water.

Firewood dealers often have a reputation for the following:

  • They bring less than the full amount of wood that the customer ordered.
  • They bring wood that is green or wet when they say it is dry.
  • They don’t show up to deliver the wood when they say they will.

So here is the big secret to out competing your competition. Are you ready for this? Here goes. Don’t do those things. It’s that simple. Instead of doing those things, do the opposite. Show up when you say you will, and if you can’t make it for some reason, call the customer and let them know. When you show up, bring the amount you agreed on. I like to throw a little more on, which makes customers very happy. And bring them wood that is dry if that is what was agreed upon. If it’s not dry, make sure they understand that before you sell it to them.

That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Assuming the quality of your firewood is good, if you can do those 3 things, you will out compete probably 90% or more of your competition. This is why my customers continue to buy firewood from me year after year.


What is Biochar?

Biochar has been used by humans for thousands of years as a soil amendment. Long forgotten by much of modern civilization, it is recently becoming talked about more as both a soil amendment as well as a carbon sequestering tool.

What is biochar? Biochar is the material that is left over after burning biomass, such as wood straw and other plant materials in the absence of oxygen. This material is mostly carbon, in the form of what is commonly known as charcoal.

Biochar has been used as a soil amendment for thousands of years. One of the most well known examples is the terra-preta in the Amazon. These are areas that have deep carbon rich fertile soils. The carbon in these soils are remains of large amounts of biochar that were added to previously infertile the soils by humans over 2000 years ago. To this day these soils are extremely fertile from the biochar that was added over 2000 years ago. Studying the success of this example is a big part of what has created a recent interest in the benefits of biochar.

Biochar works by its ability to absorb water and nutrients. It holds them in place, instead of them leaching away and eventually becoming runoff. This moisture and nutrients are held in the root zone where the biochar is so they can be available to plants and other soil organisms.

Turning biomass into biochar is called carbonization of biomass, which is done through a process called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is simply done by heating biomass to temperatures high enough to support combustion in an environment without oxygen. Without oxygen, the material cannot combust, instead it breaks down and gives off gasses until all that is left is the biochar.


Where to Buy Firewood

In some areas it can be hard to figure out where to buy firewood. But it helps to know where to look. Firewood in not commonly mass produced the way many products we use are. Although there are established firewood businesses in many areas, most firewood is produced and sold locally by some guy with a pickup truck and a chainsaw.

These guys don’t always have the advertising budgets that the corporate world that brings us most of our products have. So they can be a little harder to find. But if you are in an area where people commonly burn wood, you can usually find them if you know where to look.

Where to Find Firewood For Sale

If you are looking for just a few sticks, you can usually find firewood for sale at local grocery stores or department stores in bundles or boxes. You will usually pay a premium for this wood, but if that’s all you need, it’s a convenient way to get it.

If you need more wood you will probably want to know where to buy firewood from a dealer or wood cutter. Many of them just use word of mouth. If you know people who burn wood, ask them where they get their wood and if they recommend anyone.

Many firewood dealers do advertise. Since small one or two person firewood operations don’t usually have big advertising budgets, look in places where it costs little or nothing to advertise.

Where Dealers Advertise Firewood for Sale

Newspaper classified ads can be a good place to find firewood for sale. I have advertised my firewood in my local newspaper for many years and still do. I know others in my area do as well. It is not uncommon to find even more firewood ads in the free classified papers you find in racks around town, such as near the entry or exits of grocery stores.

Now that the internet is so common, you can usually find firewood for sale on the internet. Simply doing an internet search for firewood for sale in your area may bring results. But it’s usually only the more well established firewood businesses who will have a website. That may be what you are looking for, but many areas may not have these businesses.

Craigslist is the most common place I have found wood cutters advertising online. It may even be the most common place to advertise firewood these days. Many legitimate firewood cutters advertise on Craigslist, but buyer beware. I have had a lot of customers tell me stories of dealers they found on Craigslist that don’t bring what they promise or don’t even show up at all. This is not to discourage you from shopping there, you can find great firewood suppliers there, just use caution.

Another place you can sometimes find firewood for sale is signs on the side of the road in rural areas. Sometimes when wood cutters operate their business from home, they will put a firewood for sale sign in their yard where it can be seen from the road. In my area, when driving in rural residential areas it is very common to see these signs.

You may even find these signs if you travel through an industrial area where a lot of wood products are processed. Places to look for these would be around lumber or pulp mills or where you would find logging businesses.

Urban tree services often sell firewood. They can usually be found in the yellow pages. If they don’t sell it they may be able to tell you who does sell wood in the area.

If you can’t find anyone advertising, you may want to put an ad on Craigslist and advertise for firewood wanted. You might be surprised who might respond.

Where to Store Firewood – Choosing a Firewood Storage Location

Firewood can be stored in many places, and for the consumer, sometimes the best place is wherever it is the most convenient. As a commercial firewood producer I store it where I can get easy access to it, and where it will get the most sun to help it dry.

If you get your wood green, storing it in a sunny location is one of the best ways to get it to dry. But if it is already dry, or if you live in a climate where you have a whole hot dry summer for it to dry, that won’t matter so much. A wood shed or a cover like a patio, lean to, barn can be great places to store firewood. Even a garage can be good if you can spare the garage space and don’t mind the mess. But many of us have to store our firewood outdoors.

The first thing to do is check with your local zoning laws or fire department. In some areas there are laws or recommendations when storing firewood, requiring or recommending that firewood be stored a certain distance from structures for fire safety.

Keep in mind that moving firewood is a lot of work and you will probably want to minimise the distance and number of times that you will have to move it. Choosing a place that will be close to where the delivery truck can get access will save a lot of work in getting the wood to your storage area. If possible store your wood in an area that a truck can back up to.

Also consider bringing the wood into your house when it is time to burn it. The closer it is the less distance you will have to haul it. Also think about how bringing it in from your storage area will be in bad weather. Consider what it will be like if you have to walk through the rain and snow and cold weather. Or even muddy ground. Or maybe you will be wearing a path through your lawn or landscaping.

Make sure the wood is not going to be in the way to where you will have to move it someday before you burn it. Think about whether it may block access for future projects or repairs to your home. For example, having a new appliance delivered. Or blocking access if you have to repair or have your septic system pumped. Also be mindful of delivery vehicles driving over buried plumbing or utilities like leach fields and septic tanks.

Where you store your firewood is usually not a critical decision. But doing a little thinking ahead about where you store it can save you work and grief in the future.

Learn more about firewood storage. Get many tips and techniques for storing and drying firewood.

How to Store Firewood Outdoors

Knowing a few tips on how to store firewood outdoors can save you from some potential problems. Storing firewood in a shed or other covered structure is great, but many of us don’t have access to these areas. Or maybe we do, but we have better uses for them than storing firewood. This is not a problem since firewood can be stored outside just fine.

Storing Firewood Outdoors

Many things will degrade when left out in the weather, and wood is one of them. When exposed to moisture, untreated wood will rot. Repeated wet and dry and exposure to sun can cause wood to discolor, crack and degrade. But with firewood, you will probably not be storing it for more than a year or two. If stored right, this is not enough time for it to degrade enough to be a problem for its intended use. But if you follow these few simple tips, you can minimise the degradation, and more important, have drier wood to burn.

Store Your Firewood Off the Ground

One of the things that will cause wood to degrade faster than anything, is if it has direct contact with soil. Wood in contact with soil creates a natural habitat for the bacteria, fungus and other organisms that consume wood. But if you are only going to store the wood for a few months to a year, it’s probably not going to decay much. But it will become a huge mess. The dirt will stick to the wood in huge clumps bonded by fungi and microbial body slime. It will also help keep the wood wet. So anything you can do to get the wood off the ground will help keep your wood clean and dry.

Putting a tarp on the ground will help, or stacking the wood on stickers, concrete or asphalt or even clean gravel. Just about anything is better than soil. Things like old carpet can work well too.

Drying Firewood and Keeping it Dry

Many people think that covering firewood is the most important part of having dry firewood. But in many cases, covering wood is not always a good idea and can inhibit drying. The first thing I see a lot of people do as soon as they get firewood, is to throw a tarp on it. That may be a good idea if the wood is dry and it’s going to rain. But if the wood is wet or green, air circulation will be more important than covering it. Learn more about drying firewood.

If your firewood is dry, you will then want to cover it to keep it dry when it rains. The most common way to cover firewood is with a tarp or plastic sheet. This can work well but I see people making a very common mistake when doing this. Knowing not to make this mistake will put you ahead of most people when it comes to storing firewood outdoors.

What they do is cover the whole pile of wood in a way that eliminates almost all air circulation. They seal up the whole pile all the way to the ground. This prevents any moisture that gets in from getting out. When they uncover the wood, instead of finding the pile of nice dry wood they covered, they find a wet moldy mess.

The better way to cover firewood is to just cover the top of the pile and leave the sides open. This allows moisture to escape while keeping the majority of the wood dry. Even if the wood around the edges get wet, it will be worth it to have the wood inside stay dry.

When storing firewood outdoors, we are not dealing with rocket science. The main thing is to keep the wood off of the soil, and once it’s dry, cover it but make sure it gets air circulation. Read more tips on firewood storage, like where to store wood, how to stack it and how to dry it.

The Difference Between Hardwood and Softwood Firewood

Firewood is usually classified in two categories, softwood and hardwood. Knowing the difference between hardwood and softwood firewood can help you know how much to pay for a cord of wood as well as how to select the right wood for your needs.

Hardwood usually refers to wood that comes from species of trees that produce hard dense wood. Softwoods are of course the opposite, wood that comes from trees that produce softer and less dense wood. Dense hardwoods are heavier than softwoods because they actually have more wood fiber per volume than softwoods. This means there is more wood to burn in hardwood and more heat.

Resinous softwoods like pine and fir do have a little more energy per weight than non resinous wood because the resins have more heat than wood fiber. But the difference is minimal and is greatly overshadowed by more dense wood.

All wood will have around the same amount of energy per a certain amount of weight. It’s the density of wood that determines the amount of heat per volume. A cord of dense hardwood has more wood fiber than a cord of softwood. It’s the same volume, but the hardwood has more solid wood and weighs more than a cord of softwood.

Hardwood comes from broad leaf trees like oak, madrone, walnut, hickory, alder, maple, birch and aspen. Softwood comes from conifers like pine, fir, larch, redwood and cedar. Not all hardwoods are dense and hard. Some hardwoods like aspen, cottonwood and alder, even though they are technically hardwoods, are less dense and softer than some softwoods and they also burn more like softwoods. For this article, when we talk about hardwood firewood, we will be talking about the more dense hardwoods.

Hardwood is typically considered to be the best firewood and is usually the most popular, where it is available. Hardwood is known for burning long and hot. It puts out more heat over a longer period of time. It burns down to a hot bed of coals that tend to burn clean and put out a lot of radiant heat.

Softwoods and low density hardwood are easier to light than hardwood, especially resinous conifers. This makes these types of wood good for making kindling and starting fires. They produce heat quicker and sometimes produce a more intense heat, but it does not last as long. This makes softwood good for getting quick heat and for campfires and open fireplaces when you want a lot of flames.

Hardwood is more popular for cooking wood. This is because of the way it radiates heat and for its flavour. Resinous softwood will make your food have a “piney” taste. Most hardwood has a much better taste. Popular hardwoods for smoking and cooking are oak, alder, hickory, mesquite and many fruit tree woods.

Hardwood usually costs more per cord than softwood. This is because hardwood is more popular and there is more demand, but mostly because you are getting more heat out of a cord of hardwood.

Both hardwood and softwood firewood have their place. I like to have a mixture of both. All wood will burn and put out heat, so if you have it burn it. Over time and burning different types of wood you will learn which types are best for you.

Learn more about different firewood types and compare the BTU between different species.

What are the Best Firewood Types for Burning?

See firewood BTU charts for best firewood types and energy content by species.

Different species of trees can vary greatly in the way they burn, the amount of heat they put out, and they way they put out heat. Knowing the best firewood types for your needs can help you get better results from your wood burning.

People often ask what the best firewood types are for burning. But this question is not always as easy as saying this is the best wood, now go burn it. It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish by burning the wood. The ideal wood for home heating in a wood stove may not be what someone would want in an open fireplace, or for a campfire, or for cooking wood.

The main difference between firewood types, when it comes to burning, is density. Wood generally has the same amount of heat per weight. The difference is in density. Dense woods have more energy than less dense woods per volume. The exception is with resinous softwoods like fir and pine, which have a little more energy per weight than non resinous wood. This is because the resins have more energy per weight than wood fiber.

Higher density wood will usually burn slower and put out more radiant heat over a longer time. These are the high density hardwoods like oak, hickory and madrone. Low density wood will usually burn faster and put out less total heat over a shorter amount of time. Low density wood is easier to light and can put out more intense flames with intense heat, but for a shorter amount of time. Low density woods are softwoods like fir, pine, cedar and redwood, and the softer hardwoods like cottonwood, aspen and alder.

If you want a lot of radiant heat for home heating, dense hardwoods are hard to beat. You get more total BTU over a long period of time. For lighting fires the less dense woods can be easier to ignite, especially softwoods, which are resinous. Softer wood will also put out heat faster and they make larger and more intense flames, which makes it good for open fireplaces and campfires. For cooking, avoid resinous woods like fir and pine, since it can give food a “piney” taste. Most cooking and smoking is done with dense hardwood. When roasting things like marshmallows where it isn’t over the fire for long, it doesn’t matter much.

Different firewood species can vary in the amount of ash they put out. For example, oak makes great firewood for a wood stove since it burns hot and will hold a bed of coals for a long period of time. But it also produces a lot of ash. For many, putting up with the extra ash is worth its good burning qualities. For those who would rather have less ash, madrone is a better choice.

Resinous softwood is great for lighting fires and in cases where you want more flames. Higher density softwood like Douglas fir and larch (tamarack) can also be good in wood stoves and in my opinion sometimes under rated, but still won’t give the same performance as more dense hardwood. Resinous softwood can also create more creosote buildup.

I often get asked whether a certain type of wood is worth burning. Usually if someone is removing a tree in their yard and want to know whether to cut it into firewood or not. Any wood is good for burning, as long as it is dry. Some are much better than others, but if you have the wood you might as well use it instead of letting it go to waste.

Learn about different types of firewood and the amount of heat energy by species in these firewood BTU charts.

Simple Tips For Drying Firewood

Drying Firewood
Firewood drying in stacks spaced apart to allow air to circulate between them.

Firewood is easy to dry as long as you give it the right drying conditions. With a little basic information about drying firewood, you can avoid the simple mistakes people commonly make. This will give you wood that is easy to light, will burn cleaner, and will give you more heat per cord.

There are two types of wet firewood, green wood and seasoned wood that got wet. If wood is green, that means it is fresh cut from a live tree. Green wood still has moisture inside its living cells and will have tree sap. Seasoned wood is wood that has been allowed to dry long enough for the sap and cellular moisture to escape. When seasoned wood is left out in the rain, it will soak up water and it too will need to be dried again before it is ideal for burning. Green wood takes longer to dry than wet seasoned wood.

Your climate will determine how long it will take for drying firewood. If you have hot dry summers, your wood can dry much faster than if you are in a cool, damp, foggy climate. Drying firewood can take months to over a year or more, depending on the drying conditions. What we are going to teach you here is how to shorten that time.

The fastest way to dry wood is with a drying kiln. But since most of us don’t have a kiln, the next option is to air dry it, or simply leave it out in the open air to dry naturally. Air is what carries the moisture away from the wood as it evaporates. In order for wood to dry, it is very important that it gets plenty of air circulation.

The first step is to cut and split the wood. Wood will dry faster if it is in smaller pieces. A whole log can take years to dry. The exception to this is if the foliage is still attached. A tree that is cut down and left whole, or a standing dead tree, can actually dry quickly through the leaves. But since this is not a practical way for most people to dry firewood, it is best to cut it up and split it into small pieces so there is more surface area for water to evaporate.

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is to cover green or wet wood as soon as they get it. This is the opposite of what should be done. Not only do they cover it, they cover the whole pile with a tarp all the way to the ground. Doing this prevents air circulation and the wood will be more likely to mold before it ever dries.

If wood is green, it is best to leave it outside in the open air and preferably in the sun. Even in wet weather it is fine to leave it in the rain until dry weather comes when it can start drying. It’s not going to dry while it’s raining, but covering it with a tarp is not going to help it dry either. That will just make it a moldy mess of wet slimy wood instead of just wet wood. So it’s best to leave the tarp off until better drying weather.

Stacking the wood can help it dry faster than if it is left in a random heap. In a heap, the wood on top that is exposed to more air and sun will dry fast but the wood inside the pile will take longer. Stacking the wood in a single row gives exposure to open air on both ends of every piece.

There is a technique for drying wood in a heap that can work well if you are not trying to dry it all as fast as possible. You leave the heaping pile out in the sun. As the top layer of wood dries, you take the dry pieces and put them into your covered storage or wherever you will store your dry wood. Now the wood underneath is exposed to quickly dry. With this technique you just keep peeling the top layer off until the pile is gone.

The most common mistake I see people make when stacking wood is to stack the wood against a wall or stacking multiple rows against each other. This greatly reduces air circulation. When stacking a row of wood next to something or when stacking multiple rows, leave a few inches of space between so air can circulate. See the picture at the top of this article.

Covering Firewood
Only the top of the pile is covered so air can still circulate through the sides.

Once the wood is dry, it should then be covered before wet weather comes. You can cover it with a tarp but only cover the top. Leave the sides exposed so the air can flow.

You can put wet or green wood in a shed, garage, barn, or other structure as long as it gets plenty of air flow. It will still dry this way, but not nearly as quickly as it will in the open sun.

It will dry faster if you leave it outside until it is dry and then bring it in before the weather gets wet. There will be more labor in moving it around this way, so if you have plenty of time for it to dry, you may want to just let it dry inside. But if you want to know how to dry firewood quickly, leave it outside in the sun, if weather conditions allow it.

Drying firewood is simple, it’s just a matter of giving it air circulation while keeping it dry. And if you can add direct sun to the mix, that is ideal. If you have questions or comments please post them below.

Texas Deer Hunting Leases

Texas deer hunting leases are available on both private and public land. Leases are available for deer, turkey, hogs, waterfowl and many other forms of wildlife, but deer hunting leases are by far the most sought after. With the enormous size of Texas and the amount of land now available for hunting, you will likely be able to find what you are looking for in Texas.

This site is not in any way connected with the organizations in the videos below. Please contact them directly with the contact information in the video. I am only posting them because they are very cool videos. Feel free to use the comment section below to find or sell hunting leases. To promote your hunting lease on this site free, use the contact tab on this site and send me an email.

In Texas you can find a vast number of different habitats to choose from for your deer hunting lease. The entire state of Texas is well known for deer hunting but there are certain areas that you will most commonly find leases.

East Central and South Texas deer hunting leases provide rich deer habitat with trees and vegetation that provide plenty of feed. South and East Texas have pine and hardwood forests that can be very prolific when it comes to producing whitetail deer. This part of the state differs greatly from the plains and deserts of north and west Texas.

Texas deer hunting leases on private land can offer more opportunities and amenities than leases on public land. With hunting leases on public land all you are getting is a place to hunt. With public land, you are usually on your own and have to supply all your own equipment. On private hunting land, a lease will sometime come with lodging, deer stands, blinds and other equipment.

Many private land owners also provide guide services and actively manage their deer populations for quality deer. By working to produce better deer habitat and nutrient rich feed their deer herds can be bigger in number and size of the animals. For trophy hunters this can be ideal.

How to Find Texas Deer Hunting Leases

There are many ways to find Texas deer hunting leases and the most common is to search online. Leasing hunting land is a big business now and there are leasing agents that will help you find the lease you are looking for. You can find them with an internet search. But keep in mind they get paid a commission which you ultimately pay.

With leasing agent you are more likely to find landowners with experience or who are educated in leasing. Many of them may be more expensive but may also provide more services. That’s not always the case though, with a leasing agent you can find just about any type of lease you are looking for.

As with many things, Craigslist can also be a useful resource. You may be able to find landowners advertising their land for lease or you could place an ad listing what you are looking for. If you are just looking for land for less money you might be able to negotiate a low price just by approaching landowners who are not leasing their land to hunters and ask them if they would consider leasing to you. You will probably find a lot who won’t but you may end up finding an unknown gem that way.