Firewood is obtained from a number of sources. It can either be a byproduct of the timber, or lumber, industries. These industries commonly provide pine, fir, and spruce. These types of products can also be acquired through forest management or when land is cleared for development.
It is also sold in a number of ways. Even in some urban areas, firewood can be purchased at supermarkets in the winter. Firewood salesmen may also deliver wood, or it may be sold at the edge of the lot when trees are being cut. In some cases, lots may be set up in urban areas. Wood chips are often sold at supermarkets and discount stores. These are used for BBQs and grilling and tend to be fragrant burning types such as cedar or mesquite.
Firewood salesmen need to keep a close eye on what kind of wood they are selling. Hardwood is premium firewood, with ash from these products being extremely valuable, particularly oak. Pine and fir make better kindling, as do spruce and other soft woods.
Seasoning wood is essential. Cords have to be stored on drying racks for a considerable amount of time. Due to the small size of most fireplaces and stoves, logs are generally cut into two foot long pieces. The process starts with splitting the log. When vendors sell cords, or bundles, they generally stack the products by type. Salesmen need to be able to advise customers on the best wood for various purposes, particularly stoves and furnaces.
Wood is a natural fuel, although it does not give off as much concentrated heat as, for example, coal. Although all wood contains about the same amount of energy, some types burn better or slower than others.
Firewood is likely to remain a popular fuel in the future.