A Look at the Texas Lumber Industry

Lumber has been a big industry in Texas for 185 years. Timbertown Austin is proud to help carry on the tradition as one of the largest outdoor lumber suppliers in the state. Today, the industry is going strong, which means more jobs, more money in the economy and more building materials for Texas property owners.

Sunrise in a pine forest

Where Texas Wood Comes From

The Texas lumber industry is largely based in the eastern portion of the state. Mills and plants are situated from the Gulf Coast all the way up to the counties bordering Oklahoma. The top 5 timber-producing Texas counties in 2012 were:

  • Jasper
  • Newton
  • Polk
  • San Augustine
  • Tyler

The majority of Texas’ forests (65%) are owned by individuals or families. Another 27% is owned by timber investment management organizations and real estate investment trusts. The remaining 8% is public.

Woods That are Milled in Texas

The Texas record for the most board feet of lumber produced in a single year is 2.25 billion, which was the total for 1907. Timber production has been on the rise once again since falling off during the recession. In 2012 production levels were:

  • 1.4 billion board feet – unchanged from 2009
  • 2 billion square feet of panel products – 7% increase from 2011
  • 2.1 million tons of paperboard – 2.6% increase from 2011

The pines in east Texas are the main source of lumber in the state. Pine has long been a popular, affordable option for building, and today pressure treated pine is one of the top decking materials. It’s also used to create laminates, particle board and plywood.

Hardwood is now being harvested in larger quantities primarily in the northeast region of Texas. According to the Texas A&M Forest Service a variety of oak trees account for 62% of the hardwood lumber sources in east Texas. Sweetgum (17%), Hickory (4%) and Ash (3%) are also noted as the most common Texas hardwoods.

The state is very mindful about the need to keep forests healthy, and it is careful to follow responsible milling practices. In the past, before codes and protected national forests were established, loggers wiped out more than 18 million acres of forest that took years to replenish. Now tree planting is done each year to minimize the impact. In 2012 alone 90,920 acres were planted in Texas.

How Much Money the Texas Wood Industry Generates

In 1860 it was estimated that the lumber industry produced $1.75 million annually. It was impressive at the time, especially for a state that had joined the U.S. just 15 years before, but the industry really started to boom in the 1880s after the railroad network evolved. That’s when owners went from operating simple mills to creating complete manufacturing facilities.

In 2012 the delivered value for lumber in Texas was $556.8 million. Eighty percent of that is attributed to pine. But the industry’s impact doesn’t stop at the mill. It has a ripple effect generating business for shippers, artists, builders and lumber suppliers like Timbertown Austin. In 2007 it was estimated that the lumber industry contributed $33.6 billion to the Texas economy, including $8.6 billion in income to 166,071 workers.

Keep your building local by using Timbertown Austin for your lumber needs. Our experts can explain the attributes of each type of wood and help you make the best selection for your Texas home.

Image Source: ingimage.com/imagedetails/69359051_extInt0/ISS_6411_03265-Isignstock-Contributors-Beautiful-sunrise-in-a-summer-pine-forest

Original Source: http://timbertownaustin.com/home-improvement/a-look-at-the-texas-lumber-industry/

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