Tree & Wood Facts

    • The average tree takes in 1.4 pounds of carbon dioxide and gives off a pound of oxygen for every pound of wood grown.
    • The United States has 738 million acres of forestland.
    • Total Forest Growth has exceeded the amount harvested each year since the 1940’s.
    • Annual hardwood growth rate surpasses harvest by 70 percent.
    • Each year 1.7 billion trees are planted in the United States. That’s more than five trees for every man, woman and child in America – an average of 4.8 million seedlings each day.
    • Scientists estimate lumber manufacturing consumes just 4% of the energy used by all raw materials manufacturers. Steel and concrete manufacturers consume 56%. A steel stud requires 21 times as much energy to produce and releases 15 times the sulfur dioxide as a wood 2×4. Producing concrete emits up to 3 times more carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbon that lumber production.
    • If hardwood trees stopped growing today, and harvesting continued at the same rate, our hardwood timber supply would last over 75 years.
    • Forest management enhances biodiversity after harvest, while providing a mosaic of forest types and age classes across the landscape, and benefiting a broader range of plants and animals than does any single habitat type – including old-growth forests. Forests cover about one-third of all land in the United States. The Pacific Northwest is home to some of our oldest forests, while hardwood forests are most abundant east of the Mississippi River.
    • More than 58 percent of America’s timberland is owned by non-industrial private landowners. Twenty seven percent of the timberland consists of public lands and national forests, while 14 percent is owned by the forest industry.
    • The National Forest System (191 million acres) was established “…to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States…” and to improve and protect the forest, securing favorable conditions of water-flows. Twenty-five percent of the gross receipts from timber sales by the National Forest System go directly to states for county roads and schools, which amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
    • The United States still has 70% of the forest land it had in pre-colonial times. The decline in U.S. forest land area stabilized shortly after 1900, following the end of widespread agricultural clearing, and has remained relatively constant since.
    • The average single-family home contains over 13,000 board feet of lumber, and 94 percent of all new homes are built with wood frames.
    • Wood is recyclable, biodegradable and durable – sometimes lasting for centuries. When it is no longer needed, it can be returned to the earth and renewed for future generations. Resources such as iron ore, coal and limestone, once removed, are gone forever.
    • Wood is a more efficient insulator, requires less energy, less clean water, and creates less carbon dioxide than manufactured steel.