When we think of industry uses for trees, we naturally think of wood and timber products. But every part of the tree is useful, from its wood to its saps, extracts, greenery, and beyond.

Here are some interesting facts about some of the many products that come from Georgia’s trees:

Timber Products

Pulpwood for paper, saw timber lumber, poles, and veneer logs are valuable timber commodities to Georgia’s economy. These are used to make furniture, building products, paper and packaging, energy products, and other products we use daily.

Pine Straw

GFC has maintained a listing of pine straw producers in Georgia since 1987.

  • In 1989 pine straw legislation was enacted by the General Assembly of Georgia to protect landowners from pine straw theft. A Certificate of Harvest is required for anyone in pine straw production.
  • A 10-year-old pine stand can yield up to 100 bales per acre every 3 years. Older stands can yield more.
  • Slash, loblolly and longleaf are the species of choice for pine straw production.

Christmas Trees

Ninety percent (90%) of Georgia’s Christmas tree production is Virginia pine. The other 10% is Leyland cypress, eastern red cedar, white pine, and others.

  • Seventy percent (70%) of all Christmas tree sales from Georgia Christmas tree growers come from choose and cut operations.
  • Approximately 889 trees can be grown per acre (7 foot x 7 foot spacing; 5-year rotation; 6 feet average height).

Firewood

Firewood is sold by weight, truckload, or a cord (pile of wood containing 128 cubic feet including wood, bar, and air space.

  • A standard cord measures 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, 8 feet long).  Oaks, hickories and ash are the most common species used for firewood.
  • In urban areas, firewood is more for recreational or decorative uses versus as a practical means of heating.
  • Demand for firewood is seasonal.

Fat Lighter Wood

Fat lighter is highly flammable due to its resin content. Chemicals for commercial production are extracted from fat lighter wood and stumps. In addition, fat lighter wood is used as:

  • fire starters for wood stoves and fireplaces
  • decorative mantle and hearth products

Floral Greenery + Decor

Several Georgia trees produce a variety of decorative products.

  • Greenery – Holly berries and leaves and magnolia leaves are favorite floral greenery for holidays and special occasions.
  • Pine Cones – Quality slash and longleaf pine cones are popular as decoration year round.
  • Landscape Materials – Red and Florida maple, willow, water, Shumard and pin oaks, Yoshino and black cherry, dogwood, sourwood, redbud, crabapple, and baldcypress are just a few species used for landscaping.

Medicinal Products

Extracts, tinctures, salves, teas, and other products made from from a variety of Georgia trees can be used for medicinal purposes. These include:

  • Sassafras – roots are used as herbal tea (sassafras is thought to be carcinogenic)
  • Witch Hazel – astringent
  • Palmetto Berries – diuretic
  • Willow Bark – analgesic
  • Honeys from sourwood, tulip poplar, and tupelo trees are popular both for food and medicinal value.

Food

Favorite food products from Georgia trees include:

  • Fruits – including apple, peach, pear, and persimmon
  • Nuts – including pecan, hickory, walnut
  • Honeys from sourwood, tulip poplar, and tupelo trees are popular both for food and medicinal value.
  • Shiitake Mushrooms – they grow from spore innoculum plugs implanted in oak or sweetgum logs. The logs are usually 3″-8″ in diameter and 3′-5′ long stacked vertically and leaned against a frame. The logs have to be kept wet and cool. Production begins within 6 months of inoculation and lasts up to 5 years on oak. Production per log ranges from 2-4 pounds (fresh).

Chemical Products

Every part of a tree has a productive use, often in commercial applications.

  • Gum – the extraction of the raw fluid, or resin, from pines trees, predominantly slash and longleaf pines.
  • Resin – the source of rosin and turpentine.
  • Rosin chemical derivatives – used in adhesives, printing inks, synthetic rubber, chewing gums, soaps, and detergents.
  • Turpentine – in whole form, used as a solvent for paints and varnishes and as a cleaning agent. It is also chemically versatile and derivatives from it are used in disinfectants, fragrance and flavor applications.


Helpful Resources

TitleDescriptionDocument Type
2016 FIA Data – Forest Inventory and Analysis Program: Trends for Georgia’s Forest Land

Collected information for the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program, a cooperative program between the U.S. Forest Service and the states to provide estimates of the condition of the forest and forest trend data.

2016 USDA Forests of Georgia

Overview of forest resources in Georgia based on an inventory conducted by the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, the Southern Research Station (SRS) in cooperation with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

PDF
2020 Selling Your Timber

Selling timber can be a source of great satisfaction to a landowner. It may also be surprising, frustrating and stressful, especially for landowners who conduct timber sales infrequently. Relying on the expertise of a registered consulting forester for help with harvest planning and timber sales reduces the likelihood that sellers or buyers will be caught off guard – and that helps landowners get the highest return for their timber.

PDF
Forests of Georgia, 2018PDF
GA Timber Product Output (TPO) Report – 2015

This report contains the findings of a canvass of all primary wood-using plants in Georgia, and presents changes in product output and residue use over the last two years.

PDF
Georgia Certified Mills & Products (2019)

This is a list of companies that participated in the Timber Product Output (TPO) annual survey of the primary wood-using industries in Georgia and reported that their wood procurement system and/or listed mills and/or products are certified through SFI, FSC, PEFC or SBP1.

PDF
Georgia’s Forests – 5 Year Report (2014)

Inventories provide information needed to formulate sound forest policies, provide information for economic development, develop forest programs, and provide a scientific basis to monitor forest ecosystems.

PDF
Georgia’s Timber Industry -Timber Product Output and Use (2015)

This science update contains the findings of a 2015 canvass of all primary wood-using plants in Georgia, and presents changes in product output and residue use since 2013.

PDF
Hurricane Matthew Timber Impact Assessment Georgia (2016)

Hurricane Matthew impacted multiple southern states, and all coastal counties of Georgia experienced extreme winds and heavy rain on October 7th and 8th, 2016.

PDF
Selling Your Timber (Webinar – .wmv file)Video
Timber Buyers Directory

This list is made up of buyers/harvesters who have submitted information to GFC and is not meant as an endorsement of any individual or company. For a full list of Georgia Master Timber Harvesters (GAMTH), visit the GAMTH database.

Page on GFC Website