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Buying Firewood

As in any transaction, your safest bet is to deal with a reputable business.

Packaged Firewood

Packaged firewood is required by Minnesota Statute to be clearly marked with the following information.

  1. A package offered, exposed, or held for must bear a clear and conspicuous declaration of:
    1. the identity of the commodity in the package, unless the commodity can be easily identified through the wrapper or container;
    2. the net quantity in terms of weight, measure, or count;
    3. the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, if the packages were not produced on the premises where they are offered, exposed, or held for sale; and
    4. the unit price, if the packages are part of a lot containing random weight packages of the same commodity.
  2. This section is not intended to conflict with the packaging requirements of the Department of Agriculture. If a conflict occurs, the laws and rules of the Department of Agriculture govern.
  3. Firewood sold or distributed in this state must include information regarding the harvest locations of the wood by county or counties and state on each label or wrapper.


(Minnesota Statute 239.093)

Bulk Firewood

Minnesota Statute requires firewood sold in bulk to be accompanied by a delivery ticket when the buyer and seller are not both present to witness the measurement. The delivery ticket must contain the following information.

  1. Bulk sales of commodities, when the buyer and seller are not both present to witness the measurement, must be accompanied by a delivery ticket containing the following information:
    1. the name and address of the person who weighed or measured the commodity;
    2. the date delivered;
    3. the quantity delivered;
    4. the count of individually wrapped packages delivered, if more than one is included in the quantity delivered;
    5. the quantity on which the price is based, if different than the quantity delivered; and
    6. the identity of the commodity in the most descriptive terms commercially practicable, including representations of quality made in connection with the sale.
  2. This section is not intended to conflict with the bulk sale requirements of the Department of Agriculture. If a conflict occurs, the law and rules of the Department of Agriculture govern.
  3. Firewood sold or distributed in this state must include delivery ticket information regarding the harvest locations of the wood by county or counties and state.


(Minnesota Statute 239.092)

Prior to delivery make sure you get the sellers name, business information and phone number. Without this information, it is difficult to settle a dispute should one arise. If the seller refuses to provide this information, consider doing business with a different company. 

Request a receipt with the information above, as well as the price, amount, and agreed upon type of wood. If the seller refuses to give a delivery receipt at the time of delivery, record the delivery vehicle's license plate number.

Try to be present at the time of delivery. Have the delivery person stack the wood, so that you both can determine the correct amount of wood is delivered. If the delivery person cannot wait, or you cannot be there at the time of delivery, and you discover that the delivery is short when it is stacked, do not use any of the wood. Contact the seller immediately. If you cannot settle the matter satisfactorily, contact the Weights and Measures Division.

Firewood Measurements

Firewood may be measured by the cubic foot, the cubic meter, or the cord. If measured by the foot or meter, the wood is first stacked with all pieces placed parallel to each other. The wood is then said to be ranked. Wood must be ranked if it is to be measured accurately. Ranking minimizes the space between the sticks, or pieces, of wood. Some sellers use various cross-stacking methods to exaggerate the quantity of wood delivered. Do not attempt to measure cross-stacked wood.

Cords

A cord has a specific legal definition in Minnesota:

  • One cord is 128 cubic feet in four foot lengths
  • If the wood is sawed, a cord is 110 cubic feet when ranked, or 160 cubic feet when thrown loosely into a truck
  • If the wood is sawed and split, a cord is 120 cubic feet when ranked, and 175 cubic feet when thrown loosely into a truck (Minnesota Statutes, Section 239.33)

Must I buy my wood in cords? 

No. You and the seller may enter into any agreement you choose, but be aware that words like truckload, face cord, rick, fireplace cord, or pile, have no legal definition. The Weights and Measures Division cannot help you in a dispute if the wood is not sold by the cubic foot, the cubic meter, or the cord.

How do I calculate the number of cords I receive in a delivery? 

If the wood is ranked, multiply the wood pile's height by its length and stick (piece) length (height x length x stick length) and divide by 110 if the wood is sawed, by 120 if the wood is sawed and split, and 128 in all other cases. Remember to make all your measurements in feet.

  • Number of cords of ranked sawed wood = (height x length x stick length)/110
  • Number cords of ranked sawed and split wood = (height x length x stick width)/120
  • Number cords of all other ranked wood = (height x length x stick width)/128 

If the wood is loosely thrown into the back of a truck, measure the dimensions of the truck bed and the height of the wood in feet. Multiply the height of the wood by the length and width of the truck bed. Divide by 160 if the wood is sawed, or by 175 if the wood is sawed and split.

  • Number of cords of sawed wood loosely thrown into a truck = (height of wood x truck bed's length x truck bed's width)/160
  • Number of cords of sawed and split wood loosely thrown into a truck = (height of wood x truck bed's length x truck bed's width)/175
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