Facts About Wood

Every man, women and child in the US "consumes" about 74 cubic ft. of wood each year. That wood comes in many forms from construction lumber to furniture to tissue paper to packaging and energy. If the 74 cubic feet were dry Douglas-fir, it would weigh over 2300 lbs.! (USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech Report FPL-GTR-116, 1999)

montage of wood products

Wood products make up 47 percent of all industrial raw material manufactured in the United States, yet consume only 4 percent of the energy needed to manufacture these industrial materials.

As a construction material, wood is 4 times more efficient as an insulator than an equivalent thickness of cinder block, 6 times more efficient than brick, 15 times more efficient than concrete, 306 times more efficient than steel, and 1,770 times more efficient than aluminum.

Glued engineered wood products are leading building products into the future. They utilize more of the available resource with minimum waste. They can also carry greater loads over longer spans than solid wood of equivalent size.

44 percent (or about 45 million tons per year) of all paper in the United States is recovered for recycling each year. The industry intends to increase this to 50 percent by the year 2002.

Wood fiber is used in the production of photographic film, rayon products, and even interior moldings of car doors. It is also being used as an important industrial fuel. Wood by-products are often used in paints and adhesives.

The American forest products industry provides jobs for one and a half million Americans and contributes more than $200 billion to the national economy.

Four-fifths of the wood harvested in developing countries, and 55% of all wood harvested in the world, is consumed as fuel. Wood is the principal energy source for cooking and heating for almost half of the world's population.

Global wood consumption has tripled this century, roughly paralleling population growth.

In 1997, forest landowners planted nearly 1.6 billion seedlings. That is more than 5 trees for each American. This does not include the natural regeneration of managed forests.

The forest products industry is one of the top ten largest United States manufacturing industries.

Today the United States has far more trees than in the 1920's and grows over one-third more wood than is used and lost to natural causes each year.

Since 1940 we have been growing more wood in America than harvested.

The United States forest, wood and paper industry will continue to be the global leader in providing safe and essential products based on forest resources.

Wood provides a source of clean renewable energy and is the principal energy source for over half the world's population.

Highly skilled and motivated employees will operate the industry's automated manufacturing facilities.

Last updated: February 7, 2005