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An Assessment of the Red Maple Resource in the Northeastern United States

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The red maple resource in the northeastern United States has exhibited dramatic gains in the past 3 decades in terms of stem numbers and net volume. Growing stock and sawtimber volumes have displayed extraordinary growth compared to other species, and red maple is replacing important market species that have historically been used in the Northeast. The increase in red maple has salient implications for foresters, primary and secondary manufacturers, and wood technologists. Data from the USDA Forest Service's (USFS) Forest Inventory and Analysis program were used to provide a regional assessment of the red maple resource. The analysis includes the location, concentration, volume, quality, and current utilization of red maple in the USFS's 13-state Northeastern Region. Study results indicate red maple is a significant and increasing component of northeastern forests, with Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine holding the largest volumes of red maple. Red maple, expressed as a percentage of USFS hardwood tree grades, is distributed primarily in grades 3 and lower. Finally, development of innovative markets and novel products, understanding consumers via consumer behavior research, and innovative silvicultural treatments will be required to increase the utilization of red maple.

Keywords: Red maple; concentration; growing stock; sawtimber; utilization; volume

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: Northeastern Research Station USDA Forest Service Princeton WV 24740

Publication date: 2005-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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