American hardwood lumber

This section covers information on the sawn hardwood lumber industry - the production process, product availability by species, export grades and details of the relevant hardwood product associations in the USA.

American hardwood lumber refers to rough sawn lumber boards, normally square edged and end trimmed, air dried or kiln dried, produced to nominal thickness by individual species.

Hardwood lumber industry

Sawn lumber is the primary product of the American hardwood industry, which is fragmented and comprises many thousands of sawmills spread throughout the eastern USA. A small percentage is also produced in the Pacific Northwest. These processing units vary from very small 'circular saw' forest operations through to larger integrated wood processing factories which harness the latest technologies. Most of the industry is privately owned, comprising small to medium sized companies.

The USA is the largest sawn hardwood producer in the world with a current production of around 30-32 million m3 per annum. The American domestic market consumes around 90%, with about 10% exported to more than 50 countries world-wide. The industry has always been committed to export, and in recent years the number of exporters in all regions has increased significantly. This has helped improve the export availability of a wider range of commercial species.