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Uses and Desirable Properties of Wood in the 21st Century

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The desirability of specific wood properties is driven by a number of social, economic, and environmental factors that influence wood-use trends. This article discusses current continuing commercial uses of wood, significant new or emerging commercial uses, and desirable wood properties indicated by projected changes in wood use. Emerging issues and applications such as carbon markets/carbon sequestration, production of renewable energy, chemical feedstock production, and production of nano-enabled materials and products are expected to increasingly shape wood use as the 21st century progresses. However, current uses of wood are projected to remain the dominant uses for decades to come, and many desirable wood properties recognized as important to today's products will continue to be important. Projected expansion in US timber harvest will be matched by expansion of wood output from plantations. Advances in biotechnology will enable tailoring wood properties of plantation trees and short-rotation woody crops for specific end uses.

Keywords: forest productivity; future resource needs; research needs; wood properties; wood utilization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-06-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Forest Science
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