Pulpwood

From Academic Kids

Pulpwood refers to timber stocks that are cut for paper production. In the logging of mixed forest stands, the better trees usually are used for sawlogs for lumber production, while the inferior trees and components are harvested for pulpwood production. However, because of the low value of pulpwood, it is normally harvested only if the logging operation is fairly close to a paper plant (or pulping plant).

Pulpwood usually derives from four types of woody material in a mixed logging operation. First are open-grown trees, that are heavily branched low on the trunk, and so make poor sawlogs. Second are dead or diseased trees. Third are tops and branches cut from trees harvested for sawlogs. And fourth are trees too small to harvest for sawlogs.

However, many stands of trees are harvested only for pulpwood without regard to timber production. This usually happens in mixed forest stands when the stands are owned by the paper company and in close proximity to the plant. It also happens in tree farms grown by the paper companies, where the farms represent monocultures of softwood species intended specifically for pulpwood. It also happens in certain areas of natural forest where there is little or no timber production value, such as some northern aspen forests.

Salvage cuts after forest fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters often also are used for pulpwood.

There is a growing body of evidence that paper production would be better served by growing herbaceous crops -- largely annuals, but also possibly perennials -- for paper fiber production. See fiber crop.

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