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Wood production

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lumber and wood products, including timber for framing, plywood, and woodworking, are created in the wood industry from the trunks and branches of trees through several processes, commencing with the selection of appropriate logging sites and concluding with the milling and treatment processes of the harvested material. In order to determine which logging sites and milling sites are responsibly producing environmental, social and economic benefits, they must be certified under the Forests For All Forever (FCS) Certification that ensures these qualities.[1]


Mature trees are harvested from, both, plantations and native forests. Trees harvested at a younger age produce smaller logs, and these can be turned into lower-value products. Factors such as location, climate conditions, species, growth rate, and silviculture can affect the size of a mature tree.[2]

Timber mills[edit]

The native hardwood saw-milling industry originally consisted of small family-owned mills, but has recently changed to include a small number of larger mills. Mills produce large volumes of material and aim to ensure delivery of a high quality standard of product. Their goal is to do this efficiently and safely, at low cost, with rapid production time and high output.[2]

Production and use[edit]

Once the timber has been manipulated in the required fashion, it can be shipped out for usage. There are many different purposes for wood including plywood, veneer, pulp, paper, particleboard, pallets, craft items, toys, instrument-making, furniture production, packing cases, wine barrels, cardboard, firewood, garden mulch, fibre adhesives, packaging and pet litter. Western Australia has a unique substance called ‘biochar’, which is made from jarrah and pine and sometimes from crop and forestry residues, along with the former materials. Biochar can be used to manufacture silicone and as a soil additive.

Softwoods, such as the Australian eucalyptus, are highly valued, a are used mainly for construction, paper making, and cladding. The term 'round wood' describes all the wood removed from forests in log form and used for purposes other than fuel. Wood manufacturing residues, such as sawdust and chippings, are collectively known as "pulp".[2] The United States industrial production index hit a 13-year high during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.[3][4]


Originally, trees were felled from native forests using axes and hand-held cross-cut saws – a slow process involving significant manual labor. Since sawmills were traditionally located within forests, milled timber had to be transported over long distances via rough terrain or waterways to reach its destination. Logs were later transported via train and tram lines, first by steam-powered log haulers then by steam-powered locomotives, and finally diesel and petrol-powered locomotives. Even in the modern era, timber is dried in kilns. When the first steam railway in Australia opened in Melbourne in 1854, timber transportation changed dramatically. Trains made the transportation of lumber quicker and more affordable, making it possible for the Australian sawmill industry to move inland.[2]


  1. ^ "FCS". Forests For All Forever.
  2. ^ a b c d "Forestry Sustainability School Activities, Lesson Plans & Resources | Forest Learning". www.forestlearning.edu.au.
  3. ^ Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US) (1972-01-01). "Industrial Production: Manufacturing: Durable Goods: Wood Product (NAICS = 321)". FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  4. ^ "Wood production hits 13-year high—but lumber prices are still up 171% since COVID started". www.yahoo.com. 31 March 2021. Retrieved 2021-08-25.