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Diversity of the Eastern Hardwood Resource and How This Diversity Influences Timber Utilization

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Forest Products Journal. 66(1-2): 58-65.


The eastern hardwood resource is often associated with high-quality sawtimber used in the production of grade products, but this segment of the resource accounts for approximately 20 percent of the cubic volume of all live trees. By contrast, 17 percent of the hardwood timber volume is classified as cull trees, and an additional 14 percent is low-quality sawlog-size growing stock. The remainder of the resource is midgrade sawtimber-size growing stock and smaller-diameter poletimber. This article first examines definitions and terms useful in understanding the structural component of the hardwood resource and then examines this resource and important hardwood roundwood markets on a regional basis. The quality of hardwood timber varies considerably by region. The East Central and Mid-Atlantic contain lower cull volume on a percentage basis in part because of large quantities of yellow-poplar. The Northern and East Central regions contain the greatest volume of highquality sawtimber and produce relatively large quantities of hardwood lumber. The Southern region contains a large volume of hardwood timber, but much of this timber base is low quality or cull; still, this resource is highly utilized by a variety of industries, including grade hardwood sawmills. The West Central region can also be characterized as low quality but contains a third of the black walnut sawtimber in the United States. The Plains region contains the lowest volume of hardwood timber, and the widespread geographic distribution of this timber outside of Minnesota may make use of this material for most areas of this region uneconomical.


Luppold, William; Pugh, Scott. 2016. Diversity of the Eastern Hardwood Resource and How This Diversity Influences Timber Utilization. Forest Products Journal. 66(1-2): 58-65.

Last updated on: May 20, 2016