Southern Pulp Mills Increase Use of Whole Trees as Opposed to Wood Residues in Pulping Process

Southern pulp mills are using more logs and less wood residues to make paper and packaging products—and it’s not entirely due to the slump in home construction.

According to a report by the U.S. Forest Service, the industry’s 81 mills in the Southern region consumed almost 170 million tons of fiber from whole trees and residues mostly from sawmills in 2011, the latest data available.  Of that total, 82 percent was from “roundwood,” or whole trees, and 18 percent was from wood residues.

By comparison, the industry in 2002 used a total of 167.7 million tons of wood fiber from both sources, of which 68.6 percent was in the form of whole trees and 31.4 percent was from wood residues.  However, in subsequent years before the housing bust in 2006, the proportion of trees used by the industry showed an increased relative to residues.

TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE SUMMER 2013 F&W FORESTRY REPORT, SUBSCRIBE NOW.