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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

Inventory, Monitoring , and Assessment

Timber Products Output

[photo:] need to add description Research Issue

How much wood is removed each year from the northern forests can be estimated from the Forest Inventory and Analysis plot data.  What cannot be determined from the field data is the ultimate extent and use of those removals, and how harvests impact forests and the regional economy.  Timber Product Output surveys are used to obtain estimates of the volume of roundwood removed and utilized, the amount left on the ground as logging residues, what finished products are generated from the roundwood, and the ultimate byproducts or disposal of mill residues.

Our Research

Our research can be divided into three steps:  1) we survey primary timber products users, both industrial and non-industrial; 2) we conduct logging utilization studies at harvest sites; 3) then we link the data from the FIA field plot, the primary users survey, and the utilization studies to provide a comprehensive assessment of the total removals.

The industrial TPO study is a canvass of the primary processors of industrial roundwood in each state on a 3-5 year periodic cycle. This study gives us the information on what species is cut, where it comes from, and what product is produced. Also from this study, we can estimate the volume or mill residues (bark, saw dust, and slabs and edgings) that are produced and whether they are used for other products or not.
The non-industrial TPO study is a survey of residential users of fuelwood and posts on a 10 year cycle. This survey is a two-step process: 1) a survey of residential households as to their personal harvesting of fuelwood and posts, and 2) a survey of commercial producers that harvest and sell products to residential households. For time periods between surveys, the non-industrial uses of wood are indexed to Department of Energy figures.

Logging utilization studies classify removals under the same guidelines that are used on NRS-FIA measurement plot trees. Measurements are taking on harvested trees to determine size, volume being utilized, volume not being utilized, and total height of the trees. Trees damaged or killed in the process of extraction, such as when smaller trees have large trees felled on them, are included.

Combining the data from all our sources provides a comprehensive assessment of the total removals. From the NRS-FIA measurement plots, we can get the removals related to the unutilized trees that occur during land-use conversion, timber stand improvement, precommercial thinnings, etc. Using the logging utilization study and the primary timber products users’ survey, we can determine what products were produced and the volume that was used for products and how much was left on the ground as harvest residue.

Expected Outcomes

We provide periodic information on the products, species, and locations of harvests. This knowledge aids policymakers, forest managers, forest industry, and others, who evaluate trends in forest product removals, to make informed decisions.

Research Results

Piva, Ronald J. 2007. Pulpwood production in the north-central region, 2005. Resource Bull. NRS-21. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 55 p.

Reading, William H., IV; Bruton, David L. 2007. Kansas timber industry--an assessment of timber product output and use, 2003. Resour. Bull. NC-269. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 72 p.

Haugen, David E.; Harsel, Robert A. 2005. North Dakota timber industry--an assessment of timber product output and use, 2003. Resour. Bull. NC-252. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 18 p.

Wharton, Eric H.; Birch, Thomas W. 1999. Trends in Timber Use and Product Recovery in New York. Res. Note NE-367. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 7 p.

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • Dave Haugen, US Forest Service-Northern Research Station Forester
  • Ron Piva, US Forest Service-Northern Research Station Forester
  • Bill Reading, US Forest Service-Northern Research Station Forester
  • Eric Wharton, US Forest Service-Northern Research Station Forester

 

Research Partners

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Forestry
Delaware Department of Agriculture, Forestry
Illinois Division of Forest Resources
Indiana Division of Forestry
Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Forestry Division
Kansas Forest Service
Maine Department of Conservation, Forest Service
Massachusetts Department of Conservation, Forestry
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Forest Service
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Department of Natural Resource, Division of Forestry
Missouri Department of Conservation
Nebraska Forest Service
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry
New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands
New York Division of Land and Forests
North Dakota Forest Service
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Forestry
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry
Rhode Island Division of Forest Environment
South Dakota Division of Resource Conservation and Forestry
Vermont Division of Forestry, Parks, and Recreation
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Program
West Virginia Division of Forestry

Last Modified: 11/14/2008

About this Research Area
Participating Units
Inventory/Monitoring Topics