The demand for wood products in California is at an all-time high. In fact, we are unable to meet current demand and import 80% of the wood we use. Each year, the average person uses products that are the equivalent to one, 100-foot tall tree, 18-inches in diameter. That’s why sustainable forestry is so important — so we can continue to provide much needed products to the marketplace, while at the same time providing clean water, air and wildlife habitats.

Would you believe we get all the following and more from wood products?

  • The homes we live in, including framing, siding, roofing, cabinets, flooring and more.

  • Guitars, piano keys, football helmets, ping pong balls, swing sets, books, crayons and game boards.

  • Cosmetics, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste and nail polish.

  • Clean water, rubber gloves, disinfectants, sponges and much more.

Manufacturing Wood Products

California’s wood products market is made up of timberlands that feed 36 wood processing facilities and 22 biomass facilities throughout the State. 97% of the timber harvested in California is processed in California, with 77% of the wood products also being sold in California. Those products include: lumber, fencing, veneer, log furniture, utility poles, firewood, biomass energy and raw materials used in pulp and paper or reconstituted particle board products, animal bedding, decorative bark or mulch.    

The manufacturing of wood products results in virtually no waste. Every part of a tree can be used. For instance, sawdust and other residues are used to make composite wood and even bioenergy, thus reducing the need for fossil fuels. In fact, on average, North American wood producers use 98% of every tree brought into a mill for processing.

Because, Californians care about the sustainability of its forests, many timberland owners go through a comprehensive third party verification process that certifies its forests are using sustainable forestry practices. More than 3 million acres of California forests are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and more than 1 million acres are certified under the Forest Stewardship Council guidelines. American Tree Farm Certification is the United States' oldest family forest certification program.

Wood is truly a renewable, reusable, recyclable and biodegradable resource.

Building with Wood

As California’s population continues to soar, so does the demand for resources and with that the demand for wood products. Since wood products continue to store carbon for their entire life cycle, it makes sense that increasing the use of sustainable wood products, can help to offset the impacts of climate change.

  • Building with wood is a cost effective, versatile green building option.

  • Building with wood is more efficient than concrete, steel, glass or aluminum. In fact, a home framed in concrete or steel requires 16% -17% more energy and has a 26%-30% higher carbon footprint than those built with wood.

El Dorado High School in El Dorado, AR:  For this 300,500-square foot high school, the project team saved $2.7 million by switching from the original steel, concrete and masonry design to wood framing.

Big Box Retail, CA:  In this example, wood was able to meet all of the same performance criteria as steel for a 54,800-square foot big box store while saving nearly $1 million.

Applewood Pointe of Langdon Lake in Roseville, MN:  Wood proved to be an affordable solution for Applewood Pointe. Operating under a tight budget, wood accounted for a base cost of less than $80 per square foot, offering flexibility, affordability and speed of construction. The 48-unit, four-story structure was completed in just 11 months, during the winter season.

  • Wood is 400 times more energy efficient than steel and 15 times more energy efficient than concrete.

  • A typical 2,500 square foot, wood-framed home has 30 metric tons of carbon stored in its structure. This is the equivalent of driving an average passenger car for five years.

  • Architects are taking advantage of new developments in wood building technology in their design of taller wood buildings.

  • Cross laminated timber is a multiple panel wood product that is used to form walls, roofs and floor panels and has quickly established itself as a strong, reliable and popular wooden building material.

Architects have recently designed the world’s tallest wood skyscraper – a 35-story tower in the Baobab complex in Paris. 

Work is set to begin on the HoHo building, a 275-foot structure made almost entirely from wood in Vienna, Austria next year. 

A 97-foot tall Wood Innovation and Design Center in Prince George, Northern British Columbia has already been built. 

And for the first time in America, construction in Portland Oregon on a 12-story wood high rise will begin in October 2016.