are amazing! They provide beauty, shade, oxygen, clean air and water, fruit, nuts and wood products such as paper, furniture and housing. These benefits are well known. But did you know that literally thousands of products are made from trees? Many are surprising! From the medicine L-Dopa for treating Parkinson's Disease, to film in your camera, forest products are all around us.
to make lumber and plywood, there are leftover chips, bark sawdust. The chips and sawdust are made into wood pulp for paper and other products. Not too long ago, those leftovers would have been burned as waste. Bark is used for landscaping, and to generate electricity for paper and lumber mills. Modern forest products operations are very efficient at using every part of a tree. Nothing is wasted.
is made of tiny fibers (cellulose) and the natural glue that holds them together (lignin). When wood is turned into pulp for paper, heat and chemicals dissolve the lignin and release the cellulose fibers. Byproducts of this process are used in asphalt, paint, chewing gum, detergents and turpentine.
is used for paper and much, much more. It is a principle part of melamine dinnerware, toilet seats, tool handles and cellophane. It is also used to produce helmets, toothbrushes and electrical outlets. Other refined cellulose products include rayon fabric, and nitrocellulose which is used to make nail polish, solid rocket fuel and industrial explosives.
are used for many different things, ranging from cleaning compounds, deodorants and hair spray, to artificial vanilla flavoring, medicines and cosmetics. Torula yeast, produced from wood sugars separated in the pulping process, is a high-protein product used in baby foods, cereals, imitation bacon, pet foods and baked goods.
(chemicals from trees) are so much a part of our civilization that we take them for granted. But they wouldn't exist without wood and wood products. Trees are truly a miracle resource!
Below are just a few of the thousands of products we get from trees.