STATE FOREST PRODUCTS REPORT: In Fall 2020, during National Forest Products Week, the Pennsylvania Hardwoods Development Council released a report detailing the State of the Forest Products Industry in the Commonwealth. The report is the result of a partnership with the Allegheny Hardwood Utilization Group, the Keystone Wood Products Association, the Northern Tier Hardwood Association, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee, and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association.
Pennsylvania has the largest hardwood forest resource of any state in the United States. The environmental and economic impacts of the industry reach across the state.
There are over 100 tree species that grow in Pennsylvania’s forest and are tracked by Forest Inventory and Analysis; however, just 16 species or species groups make up 93% of the forest trees. The most valuable species to the hardwood industry includes the oaks, maples, cherry, poplar, ash and black walnut.
Pennsylvania has historically provided about 10% of the nation’s supply of hardwood lumber and leads the United States in lumber exports. More than 65,000 Pennsylvanians depend on the forest resources for their jobs at over 2,100 different logging operations, sawmills, secondary wood manufacturers, veneer slicers, flooring manufacturers, furniture and kitchen cabinet manufacturers, and paper mills.
Today, 69.2% of Pennsylvania’s forest is privately owned. This includes 2.35 million acres owned by corporations including timber investment management organizations (TIMOs), 559,793 acres owned by clubs, and 136,335 acres owned by conservation groups. In 1980, the average forest landowner in Pennsylvania owned just under 25 acres, today the average ownership is 11.4 acres.
Pennsylvania continues to have the largest hardwood forest resource in the United States, nearly 90% of 16.6 million acres. It also has the largest volume of hardwoods with over 121.6 billion board feet of sawtimber. Sawtimber is considered trees with a diameter at breast height of greater than 11 inches. Since 1955, the sawtimber volume in Pennsylvania has increased more than five times.
You can read the full 51-page report at the Department of Agriculture’s HDC webpage. Please feel free to share this document with anyone you think would benefit from it.