The knowledge of the pressure drop across a packed bed of irregular shaped wood particles is of great importance for achieving optimal control and maximum efficiency in many applications, such as wood drying, pyrolysis, gasification and combustion. In this work the effect of porosity, average particle size and main particle orientation on the pressure drop in a packed bed is investigated. To this end, particle size distributions and porosities are determined experimentally. Based on the experimental results obtained in this study, the form coefficient C and the permeability K of the Forcheimer equation are calculated for different packed beds. The Ergun equation requires an average equivalent particle diameter that is derived from the measured particle size distribution. This equivalent diameter and the corresponding bed porosity are used in the well known Ergun equation in order to derive adapted shape factors A and B. Since a change in bed porosity and particle size, caused by the degradation of the wood particles and gravity, can be expected in a reacting packed bed, a set of shape factors for use with the Ergun equation is determined that are independent of porosity and particle diameter and fit the experimental data very well.