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Forestry Facts and Figures: Timber and Wood Market Trivia

Forestry Facts and Figures: Timber and Wood Market Trivia

To open 2023, we offer a set of current and historic forest industry-related facts and quotations delivered trivia-style. Have fun (and Happy New Year!)

Question 1, Forest History
Which U.S. President said, “The fundamental idea of forestry is the perpetuation of forests by use. Forest protection is not an end in itself; it is a means to increase and sustain the resources of our country and the industries which depend upon them.”

Answer: President Teddy Roosevelt said this in a message to Congress in 1901.

Question 2, Tree Planting
How many trees per acre (TPA) do larger, private timberland owners plant in the U.S. South and Pacific Northwest?

Answer: In the South in 2021, the average TPA was 537 (source: Forest Management Practices and Trends in the U.S. South, Forisk 2022). In the Pacific Northwest, the average TPA was 353 for Douglas-fir and 355 for hemlock (source: Forest Management Practices of Western Timberland Owners, Forisk 2021).

Question 3, Wood Pellet Markets
Which country leads the world in wood pellet consumption?

Answer: The United Kingdom accounts for 20% of global use of wood pellets and agglomerates (source: FAOSTAT 2022).

Question 4, Wood Demand
True or False: In the U.S. South, mills consume more pine grade logs (sawtimber and chip-n-saw) than pine pulpwood.

Answer: False. Of the 235 million tons of softwood logs consumed annually in the South, 55% are pulpwood (source: Q3 2022 Forisk Research Quarterly and October 2022 Forisk post “Finding a Pulpwood Paradise in the U.S. South”)

Question 5, Solid Wood Products
Which country is the largest consumer of sawnwood (lumber) and wood-based panels?

Answer: According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), China consumes more lumber and wood panels than any other country, followed by the United States in both categories.

Question 6, Wood Chucks
How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Answer: According to estimates from New York Fish & Wildlife Technician Richard Thomas, a woodchuck could move “about 700 pounds on a good day, with the wind at his back.”

Question 7, Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
Since 2011, total North American OSB capacity grew by a compound annual rate of 2.5%, gaining nearly 6 BSF over ten years. During this time, which is the only region to lose OSB capacity?

Answer: The U.S. North is the only region to lose capacity since 2011, though the region projects to gain capacity in the next two years. For reference, the U.S. South remains the major OSB-producing region, while second place shifted from Western Canada in 2011 to Eastern Canada today.

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About the author

Brooks Mendell, Ph.D.

Brooks Mendell, Ph.D. is President and Founder of Forisk Consulting, a forest industry, timber REIT, bioenergy and timber market research firm. Dr. Mendell has over fifteen years of operating, research, and consulting experience in forest business and finance. Mendell has published over sixty articles and two books on topics related to timber and timberland REITs and markets, forest business management and operations, and communication skills.

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