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National Forest Products Week October 17-23, 2021

By October 22, 2021Community, News

Written by Heidi Brock

Posted online by the American Forest & Paper Association

From paper towels to tissues and toilet paper, or boxes used to protect an online order, as well as printing and writing papers that help facilitate reading and communication and wood products found throughout your home. It’s hard to imagine a day without using these sustainable forest products.

The American Forest & Paper Association celebrates the essential people who make these essential products, especially this week, during National Forest Products Week. Forest products are a refreshing reminder that as we are living, learning or working, we can still do our part to be responsible stewards of the planet. Ours is an industry of people who know that a strong and vibrant forest products industry goes hand-in-hand with healthy forests. Demand for forest products means continued demand for and replanting of trees – the more than 1 billion planted in the U.S. each year. Our work doesn’t stop at sustainable manufacturing or sustainable forestry. Advocacy and education are also at the heart of what we do, sharing information and resources with lawmakers and policymakers, as well as local communities.

So, the next time you reach for a product made from paper or wood, pause for a moment and consider how that product was made and who made it. It’s the approximately 950,000 people in the forest products industry. Individuals who care deeply about the thoughtful use of resources. Individuals working together to advance sustainability and grow U.S. jobs and the economy.

What is Wood?
Wood comes from trees and is used in a wide range of products and applications — some we easily recognize and even some we don’t.
What kinds of things are made from wood?
  • Lumber comes from trees that have been turned into planks or boards. Lumber is commonly used in structural materials, but is also used in cabinetry, furniture and flooring and pallets.
  • Engineered wood products are a combination of wood or wood byproducts and various adhesives to make different products, including plywood, particleboard, laminate flooring and structural composite lumber, just to name a few.
  • Structural composite lumber (SCL) products are engineered through layering wood veneers, strands or flakes and adhesives, which are then cut into specific sizes. They are used in building structures to make things like rafters, beams, joists and studs.
  • Panels can be both structural and non-structural. For example, plywood and oriented strand board can be used in construction applications, whereas particle board and medium-density fibreboard (MDF) are primarily used in non-structural products, like furniture or cabinetry.
  • Mass timber is a new and innovative style of wood construction that allows for the construction of buildings far taller than traditional light frame methods, most commonly associated with wood construction. (ICCU Basketball Arena) Types of mass timber include cross-laminated timber (CLT), glued-laminated timber (glulam), nail-laminated timber (NLT) and dowel-laminated timber (DLT). Learn more about the benefits of building with mass timber.
Why should I use wood?
Wood products are made from a renewable resource — trees — that are replanted to ensure a sustainable supply, and they are less energy- and carbon-intensive to manufacture than competing materials like concrete and steel. Wood products also store carbon. Meaning, as a tree grows, it sequesters carbon and when the tree is turned into building materials or wood products, that carbon stays locked away in the finished materials for decades or centuries. Additionally, studies have shown that building with wood produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than building with other materials. Through sustainable forest management, tree farmers harvest and replant trees responsibly, taking into consideration wildlife, diversity of plant species and forests’ abilities to create watersheds and sequester carbon.