Traditional Pulpwood and Sawtimber Crops

Wood Energy March 12, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF

By: S. Ashton

Typical timber harvest in East Texas.

In addition to residues, waste, and dedicated energy crops, pulp wood and commercial-grade timber can be used as an energy or bioproducts feedstock. When used this way, the fiber is called fuelwood. In 2005, approximately 35 million dry tons of fuelwood was used in the residential and commercial sectors where it was harvested and burned for space- and process-heat (USDOE and USDA 2005). This may become more feasible in areas where the forest products industry is not buying or paying competitive market prices for pulp and commercial grade wood due to mill closures, market shifts, or other reasons.


  • U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 2005. Biomass as feedstock for a bioenergy and bioproducts industry: The technical feasibility of a billion- ton annual supply DOE/GO–102995–2135. Washington, DC. [pdf]

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There are many factors that help determine the use woody biomass for energy production.  Below we consider the decision-making points involved in the process.  

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.