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Forest Products

A beautiful and structurally strong laboratory made of wood
A beautiful and structurally strong laboratory made of wood
As consumers, Californians use a lot of wood. We build the vast majority of our homes as well as many larger buildings with wood. Even with computers, smartphones, and the internet, we still use a lot of paper. The global supply chain for products demands an ever increasing number of cardboard boxes. According to the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (BOF), our large population combined with competing uses for forest lands results in a situation where we need to import around 80 percent of the forest products used in the state. A large portion of these forest products come from Canada as it is well connected to California by rail and shipping routes. Fortunately forests in California, the rest of the United States, and Canada are all growing more than is harvested annually. In addition, these harvested products provide considerable climate benefits in terms of the carbon stored in products and landfills as well as through energy saving benefits ( Stewart_Nakamura_FPJ2012_FullGHG_Accounting ).

Even though California has lost a considerable number of our sawmills and have underutilized capacity in our wood energy plants, there are still a significant number of local processing facilities in the state. For an interactive map of the location and number of wood processing facilities in California, check the UC Woody Biomass website.

Though the 2008 housing slump depressed demand for lumber to a very low level, both domestic and international demand has improved for lumber and other wood building products. UCANR finalized a publication on the Economic Contribution of California's Forests and Forest-Products Sectors .

The Woody Biomass Utilization Group at UC Berkeley maintains an extensive source of information regarding opportunities for lower value biomass that can provide both revenue to forest landowners and low carbon products for society.

UC Resources:

Standiford, Evans and Henderson. The Economic Contribution of California's Forestry and Forest-Products Sector. March 2020. 17 pages. Available on-line at https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/8670.pdf

Dost & Botsai. 1990. Wood: Detailing for performance. GRDA Publications, Mill Valley, CA. - A classic work of wood science that is out of print and so is posted here by permission. This work grew out of the many applied problem projects that were conducted by the Wood Building Research Center, a unit that was housed for a number of years at the University of California Forest Products Laboratory. This book became a well respected reference, largely because of the graphics used in the text.

Wood: Detailing for Performance

Here also is information on wood-inhabiting fungi:

Quarles Fungal Damage in Buildings with Emphasis on Meruliporia ‘poria’ incrassata