The Many Products from Trees

The late John W. Koning Jr. was a much-beloved person at FPL. He joined the staff at the Forest Products Laboratory in 1961 and conducted research in paperboard packaging. Following retirement in 1986, he joined the Engineering Professional Development Department in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and worked with industry in developing educational courses. He published articles on a range of subjects including research management and corrugated containers.

Koning’s greatest publishing accomplishment may have been the massive book that he compiled and edited: Forest Products Laboratory, 1910-2010: Celebrating a Century of Accomplishments.


One tree can yield countless products.

In that book, Koning reminds readers that while we all celebrate the beauty of forests and their value for recreation, forests also provide wood that is used in thousands of products ranging from components of housing to paper to chemicals. Speaking about the Forest Service in 1998, then Chief Mike Dombeck stressed, “The basic point of our sustainable forest management strategy is this: not only do economic stability and environmental protection go hand in hand, economic prosperity cannot occur without healthy, diverse, and productive watersheds and ecosystems.”

The public’s 193 million acres of National Forests and Grasslands are now recognized for their multiple uses and are under management to continuously provide a broad array of benefits:

  • Clean air and water
  • Natural flood control
  • Timber, forage, and non-wood products
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Endangered species recovery
  • Scenic beauty
  • Recreational opportunities
  • Food
  • Community revitalization
  • Improved human health
  • Carbon sequestration