Forest Products

Supply and Demand

Each of us places a demand on our forests for wood products.

We use trees as wood products in hundreds of ways. These pages show some of the ways an average American uses wood. In these examples, the "average tree" is 75 feet tall. It yields a log 14 inches in diameter and 64 feet long.

Americans use more wood than anyone else.
Every person in the world uses or needs wood every day. Worldwide, each of the Earth's 6 billion people uses an average amount equal to a four-pound block. The average American uses three and a half times as much wood each day (14 pounds).

Demand for wood is increasing worldwide.
As population grows, the demand for wood grows with it. At present growth rates for population and consumption, global demand for wood will increase by 50% by the year 2020.

Management Questions:
How can we meet increasing demand? Should we:

  • harvest more wood from forests around the world?
  • harvest more wood from our forests?
  • convert more land to forest by planting fast-growing trees?
  • manage and replant forest land more intensively?
  • increase the price of wood to reduce demand?
  • substitute other materials for wood?
  • develop products that use wood more efficiently?
  • reduce, reuse and recycle more wood products?
  • do several or all of the above?

Click on one of the wood products below to see the number of trees used to produce it. (Note: Whole trees are generally not made into paper products or firewood.)

Deck or Patio

1 Cord of Firewood

A Large House

Household Paper Products for 1 year

A Small House

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