Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Profile 2005 : softwood sawmills in the United States and Canada

Source: Research Paper FPL-RP-630. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 85 pages

Author(s)Spelter, Henry ; Alderman, Matthew

Publication Year: 2005  View PDF »

Category: Research Papers

Abstract: The softwood lumber industry in the United States and Canada consists of about 1,067 sawmills. In 2005 these sawmills had a combined capacity of 189 million m3 (80 ◊ 109 bf). In 2004, they employed about 99,000 people and produced 172 million m3 (nominal) (73.0 ◊ 109 bf) of lumber. In the process, they consumed about 280 million m3 (9.9 ◊ 109 ft3) of timber. Employee productivity was near 2,125 m3 (900,000 bf) per worker per year for dimension and stud mills but about half that for board, timber, and specialty mills. Average saw log size varied from 42 cm (16.6 in.) in British Columbia to 16 cm (6.2 in.) in the boreal region of eastern Canada. Average lumber recovery factors varied from 267 bf/m3 (7.55 bf/ft3) for timber mills to 236 bf/m3 (6.6 bf/ft3) for specialty mills. The average for dimension mills was 266 bf/m3 (7.5 bf/ft3). Strong underlying demand for housing, supported by demographic growth among young adults and generational low interest rates, are strong positives for the industry's prospects. Low interest rates, however, are threatened by rising inflation, the measurement of which depends on whether new home prices are included or not.

Keywords: Softwood sawmill capacity; employment; average log size; lumber recovery factor; market review

File size: 5 kb(s)

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 12823
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Spelter, Henry N.
Economist (Volunteer)

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »