Fast Facts on American Hardwoods
Don't search the globe for renewable and sustainable materials: American hardwoods fit the bill! From alder and cherry, to the oaks and walnut—to name just a few—the American hardwoods have been bringing warmth and beauty to the built environment for centuries.
Nearly two dozen abundant species provide plenty of color, grain and pattern. American hardwood forests offer more choices than any other temperate hardwood forest in the world.
The Natural Choice
American hardwoods are the natural choice for environmentally conscious builders, architects and designers looking to specify green materials.
American hardwoods are ideal for healthy environments. They don't trap dust, dirt and other allergens. Low-VOC finishes keep hardwoods looking great and performing well.
The USDA Forest Service reports that more hardwoods grow than are harvested each year. Since 1953, the volume of hardwoods in American forests has increased 131%. Supply is increasing, and it is sustainable.
By mirroring natural occurrences, hardwood forestry practices are a long-established form of biomimicry that supports natural regeneration.
In American hardwood forestry, the predominant harvesting method is single-tree selection—not clear-cutting. Foresters choose individual trees for harvest based on a complex array of considerations.
Life Cycle Costing
When considering life cycle costing, the useful life of American hardwoods can span generations, making them more favorable and cost effective than most other materials.
It takes less energy to make products from wood than other materials. Making products from aluminum, glass, plastic, cement or brick can require as much as 126 times more energy than making them from wood.
Healthy trees reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by removing carbon dioxide, storing carbon and releasing oxygen.
Easy on the Environment
Virtually every part of a log is used as lumber or by-products, and finished products are re-useable, recyclable and biodegradable.
Only about 14% of U.S. hardwoods are certified because 69% of all the timberland in the U.S. is owned by private individuals and firms.