Green Wood

Green Wood | Wood Type


Greenwood does not refer to a type of wood under softwood, hardwood, and manufactured wood. Instead, it refers to any wood that has been recently cut down. It means that no wood drying process has been done yet on the wood, and therefore green wood may contain 30% to more than 200% moisture content. Thus, green wood should be seasoned or dried to release internal moisture so that wood can be used more efficiently.

Dried Wood Vs. Green Wood

Compared to air-dried or seasoned wood with 20% moisture content (MC), green wood has over 100% moisture content (MC)

Such a large MC makes green wood supple and soft. As a result, it becomes delightful to work with on the lathe while having a convenient chisel use. However, the more moisture content a wood is, the more likely it is to distort or shatter when it dries.

Thus, there are better options than green wood for construction and furniture projects. The build’s structural integrity may be compromised by warping caused by the naturally drying wood’s unstable nature. Unless you’re skilled and going for a certain distressed effect, we strongly advise against using green wood for furniture or construction projects.

On the other hand, the moisture content of dried wood involves two common drying methods to achieve a 20% moisture content: air drying and kiln drying. 

Air-dried wood contains less moisture than green wood but more than kiln-dried wood. The latent moisture content in wood makes it easier to work with than the kiln-dried. Air-dried wood is solid, stable, and perfect for construction projects such as furniture. There is no tendency to over-dry wood with air drying. Overdrying can cause significant damage to the wood.

Furthermore, air-dried wood is a better alternative to green wood when used as firewood. The long weathering process reduces moisture and other elements, making it efficient and safe to use as fuel. Dried firewood reduces the emission of dangerous gas and creosote, which can damage and dislodge inside chimneys and stove flues.

Why use green wood

Greenwood is not all bad. Its moisture content gives it flexibility and softness, making it easier to work with tools like a lathe. This type of wood is very kind on the chisel but keep in mind that the greener the wood, the more likely it is to warp as the moisture dries.

You cannot use green wood as firewood because it would be very difficult to light because of its moisture content. And even if the green wood does light up, maintaining it could be very difficult.

Greenwood should only be used if you’re trying to get a specific look or practicing your woodworking techniques. This is rarely used for fuel and structural projects.

Air-dried wood can be used for construction, and as firewood, it is more forgiving on tools than kiln-dried wood. Kiln-dried wood is ideal for construction and fuel, although this could be hard on tools, so you should keep safe using this type of wood.

Key Takeaways

Green wood is wood from a tree that has been recently cut down or felled. This type of wood has 30% to more than 200% moisture content. Therefore, it is not recommended to be used as firewood or for construction and building. Green wood should be sufficiently dried first, either by air or by kiln, before this is used. If you are eager to use greenwood, it should primarily only be used to achieve and hone your woodworking skills.