What Is the Wood Industry?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Wood is harvested from forests by lumberjacks.
Wood is harvested from forests by lumberjacks.

The wood industry includes people, places, and jobs that focus on growing trees for wood, cutting those trees, transporting them, turning the trees into lumber, fashioning the wood into usable objects, and any other service involving the use of wood. From foresters to woodworkers, and from tool manufacturers to delivery drivers, the wood industry includes a broad range of jobs and activities that make wood usable for consumption by the general public. Forest managers are perhaps the first link in the chain, as they are responsible for growing new trees, managing forest growth, and even cutting down trees for transport.

Stacks of plywood sheets.
Stacks of plywood sheets.

Heavy machinery manufacturers can also be considered part of the wood industry, as excavators, bulldozers, backhoes, and other heavy machines are often used in the forestry process. Delivery trucks and specially designed wood trucks can be used to haul the goods; forklifts may be used to load and unload trucks with wood. Other heavy machinery may be used for sawing the wood, storing it, or otherwise fashioning it for commercial use.

An area of boreal forest that has been logged.
An area of boreal forest that has been logged.

Lumber mills are key parts of the wood industry, as these mills are where the trees are turned into usable lumber or pulp. Parts of the tree can be used to make products such as paper, while other parts may be used for applications such as construction, furniture making, support structures, and so on. Chemical manufacturers can also fall under the category of the wood industry, as special chemicals are often used to treat lumber used for construction purposes. These chemicals help prevent water damage, bug infestation, and even warping, splitting, cracking, and other types of damage.

Cut firewood is produced by workers in the wood industry.
Cut firewood is produced by workers in the wood industry.

Retail establishments fall under the category of the wood industry as well. Some lumber yards and hardware stores will sell lumber and other types of cut wood, while other retail establishments may sell products made from wood. Furniture stores are perhaps one of the most common types of stores to fall under this category, as much of the furniture designed for home use features wood in some capacity. Other consumer products can be made from wood as well, and they will generally be considered part of the wood industry as a result. Tool manufacturers, for example, often design hand tools with wooden handles; hammers, axes, sledgehammers, and so on will feature strong woods for handles rather than heavier, more expensive metals. Other industry members may include baseball bat manufacturers, book publishers, construction and engineering companies, and many more.

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    • Wood is harvested from forests by lumberjacks.
      By: Penny Higgins
      Wood is harvested from forests by lumberjacks.
    • Stacks of plywood sheets.
      Stacks of plywood sheets.
    • An area of boreal forest that has been logged.
      By: Lars Johansson
      An area of boreal forest that has been logged.
    • Cut firewood is produced by workers in the wood industry.
      By: erikazanier
      Cut firewood is produced by workers in the wood industry.
    • Baseball bat makers are a part of the wood industry.
      By: llandrea
      Baseball bat makers are a part of the wood industry.
    • Furniture is one type of good made by the wood industry.
      By: Dmitry Pistrov
      Furniture is one type of good made by the wood industry.
    • Cabinetry is often made from wood.
      By: jojjik
      Cabinetry is often made from wood.