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FTORST PURCUUCIS UPRCUEMS CO THt SOUTU
NO)T IOIl IUUIL3CATIION
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OP AGRICULTURE
FOREST SERVI CE
FOREST PRODUCTS LABORATORY
In Cooperation with the University o. Wisconsin
the Internet Archive
This report records observations, findings, and, recommendations
as a result of a problem analysis of the forest products situation in
the Deep South. The part of the South involved is roughly the same as
that covered by the Southern Forest Survey the data and findings of
which serve as a background for the problem analysis.
The forest area covered includes all timber land in Georgia,
Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, and parts of Arkansas,
Oklahoma, and Texas. It totals about 122 million acres, which is 57-1/2
percent of the gross land area involved. On an acreage basis, more than
one-half of the forest land is occupied by softwoods, but in terms of
cords of material (including all trees over 5 inches d.b.h.), hardwoods
represent about 60 percent, pines 37 percent, and cypress 3 percent.
The pine and cypress are for the most part merchantable, but something
like one-half of the hardwood is not readily merchantable and finds
little or no profitable utilization. The unmerchantable hardwood
material falls into three classes: (1) culls, (2) tops and limbs,
and (3) little-used species. Culls represent about 20 percent, and
tops and limbs about 17 percent of the total volume of the hardwood
stands. The amount of sound, urnmerchantable material of little-used
species is difficult to determine, but is known to represent a
substantial part of the hardwood stands.
Of the total forest lands, about 77 percent is covered with
second growth, about 15 percent with old growth a part of which has
been cut over-, and the remainder is largely barren of productive trees.
The preponderance of young stands raises questions of the quality nf timber
being produced, what may be done to improve the quality, and the utiliza-
tion of the increasing amounts of low grades from the second-grnw7th stands.
These questions are important in both pine and hardwoods. Much of the
young hardwood and large acreages of the original mixed pine-hardwood
stands would be improved by removal of the low-grade hardwoods. In pines
the cut and the growth are approximately equal but in the hardwoods growth
exceeds the cut (by about 5-1/2 million cords in 1936). It is estimated
that the productivity of the forest lands can be increased from 2 tor' 3
times. However, in terns of quality material and better species the drain
undoubtedly exceeds considerably the growth, and in many areas the
aggregate drain exceeds growth. Thus an important factor in the establish-
ment of a satisfactory forest resource and industrial situation within
the South is the practice of better forestry, which will yield a higher
proportion of valuable species and higher quality material.
The per capital consumption of wood within the Deep South is barely
equal to the national per capital average, yet the area produces approxi-
mately 31 percent of the softwood and '43 percent of the hardwood lumber
and timber products of the United States. A considerable part of the
lumber consumption of the area is dressed lumber and other products from
planing mills and from flooring and container plants; hence the con-
sumption in other secondary wood-using industries and in building con-
struction is unusually low. With an abundance of hardwoods, a large,
local production of hardwood lumber, and a low per capital lumber con-
sumption, there appears to be much opportunity to develop within the
Deep South additional secondary hardwood-using industries, such as
furniture, plywood, millwork, and other fabricating plants.
Apart from the timber resources and the present production ind con-
sumption of timber products, other important characteristics of the region
are the ease of reproduction and the high productivity of the forest lands,
together with a great need of better housing and higher standards of
living for the region as a whole. The forest lands, the timber rc!-,-rces,
and the wood-using industries, which they support, occupy an important part
in the economic and social conditions of the region. They can be made to
contribute much more to the welfare of the people. Improvement of the
productivity of the forest lands and timber stands, with respect to both
quantity and quality of material, more efficient utilization of the timber
resources, and extension of manufacture and fabrication of finished wood
products can very materially benefit the small landowner, the timber
operator, rural and urban laborers, and the consumer.
The major forest products problems of the Deep South may be
summarized as follows:
1. Utilization of existing large volumes of low-grade and of
2. Utilization of the increasing volume of low-grade pine and
cypress and the utilization of turpentined pine timber.
3. Development of more milling, fabricating, and secondary -ood-
using industries to provide needed employment, cheaper products
for local consumption, and improved housing and general living
4. Small sawmills their effects on the landowner and the
practice of forestry and on lumber markets and the quality of
5. Quality control lack of understanding of the controllable
factors in growth quality relations for hardwoods, pines, and
6. Lack of sufficient integrated utilization.
The main approaches to the problems involve: (1) Technological
research on properties, processes, methods, and equipment, (2) investi-
gations of economic conditions and limitations, and (3) demonstration
and application of the results of research.
It is evident that considerable progress is possible through more
extensive application of the results of research already available in the
many fields of forest products Utilization. Opportunities exist for
better manufacture, enlarged production of many standard products, and
the development of improved and new products.
There is need for action to promote more wood using industries.
By that is meant systematic appraisal of opportunities and needs for
specific manufacturing plants, including availability of raw materials,
labor, power, transportation, potential markets, and the like. The
actual establishment of such new enterprises rests upon the decision of
the entrepreneur, but public agencies perhaps should do more than is now
being done in fact -finding and interpretation to provide a sound
economic and technical background for such developments. Progress
toward the establishment of forest products industries will be delayed
or retarded unless research, extension, and private enterprise actively
support each other in an adequate way.
Economic considerations and limitations play an important part
in all the major problems. The development of better utilization and
the establishment of more fabrication and remanufacture depend in largo
part upon costs and the competitive situation as between classes of
material and species both within and without the region. Low-grade and
inferior species must of necessity compete with the better 7radcs and
species and research directed toward their disposal must recognize fully
the costs and values involved. Application of the results of research
must in the end conform to the economic conditions involved.
Much of the present forest products research, which bears on
(1) maintaining existing market outlets, (2) broadening and extending
the uses. of wood, (3) improving processes and conversion methods, and (4)
finding and developing new products and byproducts, relates to the
problems of the South as well as to those of other regions and should be
While major lines of approach to the problems of the South are,
for the most part, apparent, as indicated previously, a breakl:down into
specific jobs and undertakings with a rating of each as to relative
importance is more difficult and can only be made after a thorough study
of the economic and technological factors involved and afterr careful
consideration of each of these factors from the standpoint of possible
results. The job of rating the importance and priority of the many
activities, investigations, and projects, which have been suggested
in connection with the Southern problems, 7,ith respect to'each other
and to existing research work, necessitates considerably more detailed
analysis and study. However, the following are considered of high
importance and priority:
1. Develop7,cnt of more secondary wood-using industries.
2. Pulping of low-grade and little-used species and evaluation
for different fiber products.
3. Utilization of low-grade softwood and hardwood lumber.
4. -Studies of small sawmills directed toward improved practices,
better products, and low-grade hardwood utilization.
5. Integrated utilization, particularly in the hardwoods and
naval stores pine areas.
6. Investigation of growth-quality relations and their
application, especially in second-growth pine and hardwoods.
'7. Improvement in seasoning practice by chemical and other means.
8. 'Expansion of veneer, plywood, and laminated wood industries.
9. Development and adoption of log grades for both pines and
-n. 'Adaptation of little-used species to specific uses.
11. Fuel wood studies.
12. Cheap, effective preservative treatments.
Several projects and studies are involved under most of the
foregoing lines of work. On some of them research is now in' progress.
Also there are other investigations and projects that should pcrhapr,
be given a high priority rating. For example, in connection with thu
possibilities of an enlarged and more diversified production of various
wood products it is felt that consideration should be given to !. -,ore
intensive survey, largely economic in character, of the consuption of
-ood by secondary industries within the South.
It is recommended that several activities that relate
specifically to the Southern regional problems be included, if possible,
in the Laboratory's program of work. These include pulping various hard-
wood species in combination and demonstration of the use of sermichemical
hardwood pulps in newsprint; participation in small sawmill conferences
and survey of the place of the small sawmill in the utilization of low-
grade and little-used hardwoods; survey of plywood production and possi-
bilities, and of the cutting of Southern species into veneer; partici-
pation in growth-quality relations conferences; demonstration of pre-
fabricated panel construction from low grades; a field chemical-
seasoning trial, if developments warrant; cooperation with the Southern
Forest Experiment Station in preservative treatments and experiments at
the Delta Experimental Forest; and investigation of the decreasing con-
sumption of cypress and other species in tanks and vats.
However, it is felt that sufficient consideration has not been
given to the many proposed projects, investigations and activities 7ith
respect to their priority in a research program. Steps need to be taken
to (1) set up priorities and (2) consider ways and means of making more
progress on the high priority jobs.
FOREST PRODUCTS PROBLEMS OF THE SOUTH
T. R. Truax,
Principal Wood Technologist, Forest Products Laboratory,
in ,cooperation with
the Southern Forest Experiment Station, the Southern
Region, and the Forest Products Division, Forest Service
In accordance with the recommendations of the Program Conference
held at the Forest Products Laboratory in May 1939, an analysis of the
forest products problems of the Deep South was undertaken jointly by the
Southern Forest Experiment Station, the Regional Office,- and a repre-
sentative each from the Washington Office and the Forest Products
Laboratory. Various members of both the Experiment Station and the
Regional Office participated; the Washington-Office was represented by
Geo. W. Trayer and the Laboratory by T. R. Truax.
Approach and Procedure
The objectives of the regional analyses were described by
Trayer in a memorandum of July 10, 1959, as follows: "It seems obvious,
therefore, that unless these analyses are taken out of the realm of
generalities into specific, tangible realities, they will accomplish
little. In other words, general situations are already pretty well under-
stood. Unless broad problems are broken down into smaller subdivisions
and these subdivisions discussed in detail, 'it will be. impossible to
meet the practical need of ultimately setting up specific projects and
studies in order to create a specific research program."
The general procedure agreed upon for the analyses included (1)
study and analysis of the regional situation and preparation of written
interpretations and recommendations by the.Station and Region and (2)
joint consideration in the field of problems and needs by Wnslington
and Laboratory representatives in cooperation -ith the Station and Region.
lThe "Regional Office" and region in this report'refer to'the Southern
Administrative Region (No. S) of the Forest Service with headquarters
at Atlanta, Georgia.
In line with this, representatives of the Station and Regional Office con-
ferred, developed plans, made preliminary field contacts, and prepared
write-ups of specific proposals for consideration. A meeting of
Washington, Laboratory, and field representatives was held on March 19,
1940, at Atlanta, Georgia at which the written proposals were discussed
in a preliminary way. A scheduled trip was then made with stops at
various points in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and
Louisiana. Two days were spent in New Orleans, Louisiana,after Which a
second tour to various points in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee
was made. A final conference was 'held at the Station in New Orleans on
April 12 and 13, 19)40. Truax then visited points in Louisiana and Texas,
enroute back to Madison. Participating in the trips and conferences at
various times were: Bell, Bickford, Curry, Demmon, Eldredge, Evans,
Forsling, Hawes, Hughes, Ineson, Putnam, Smith, 0. G. Strauss, Streinz,
Trayer, Truax, and Wakeley.
The Situation and Problems
Situation for the Region as a Whole
The forest resources and their profitable utilization hold a most
vital and potentially important part in the economy of the South. In the
eight States of the Deep South, covered wholly or in part by the Forest
Survey,' forest lands comprise more than one-half of the total land area
of the region. This large acreage of forest lands, combined with ease of
reproduction, rapid growth, variety of species, dependence of the
population on forest products industries for a livelihood, and the need
for higher standards of living and better housing conditions within the
region emphasize the need and urgency of research directed toward putting
the forest lands on a more productive basis and utilizing the timber
resources, so as to produce more labor. It seems probable that in no
other similarly large section of the country are the same problems so
acute and pressing.
Some of the more pertinent data developed by the Forest Survey
with respect to areas, quantities, and character of timber, and species
composition, are assembled in the attached table. These and other
-Data on the forest resources of the region are taken from publications
on the Forest Survey by the Southern Forest Experiment Station,
including the following:
"The New Forests of the Old South" by I. F. Eldredge, Southern
Lumberman, Dec. 15, 1939.
"The Timber Wealth of the Lower South", by I. F. Eldredge, Southern
Lumberman, Dec. 15, 1935.
"What Are We Going to do With Our Hardwoods", by I. F. Eldredge,
Occasional Paper No. 82 Southern Forest Experiment Station.
"Our Southern Forests" by W. S. Stover, Southern Pulp and Paper
Journal, Nov. 1939.
Timber resources of the deep both
(From report on Forest Survey)
:Area in: Total stand Type of material
Regions and types forest: ------------ ----------------------- :
S :Thousand board Cords :Saw : Under :Tops :Culls:
Feet! :(Includes:log :saw log: and :
S : saw- :size: size :limbs:
S: timber :
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --.. . : - - - - -. .- -.. .- ..-: . .
Species and percentages on
: acres :
LONGLEAF SLASH PINE
PINE HARDWOODS EAST
PINE HAriDWOODS WEST
: Million : Percent on cordwood
Pines o3 : 42-1/2s:26 :1?
Hardwoods 37>: 57-i/2;l6-1b 19
:13 : 34,oo0,000ooo
Oak mixed hardwoods:40o-1/2:(Hardwoods
Gum mixed hardwoods:33-1/2*:
:6 : 1
:1 : 1
:(Lon-'leaf & slash
:(Shortleaf & other
aftere r oaks
:( hi-h--rade 2;
S .low-grade 12)
: '; -etgum
:zlacLbpm & water
tupelo : 3
Summary Lof types of material
6aw-log size .......................
Under saw-log size .................
Top and limbs ......................
43 703, '**- *)
lExpressed in International 1/h-inch rule, which closely approximates green lumber tal
in Miississppi Delta 13.0" d.b.h. and larger) and hardwoods 13.0" d.b.h. and lar-er.
2-Based on measurements outside bark.
ly; pine and cypress 9.0" d.b.h. and larRer (except cypre-s
significant findings of the Forest Survey serve as a background, in
attempting to define.the forest products problems of the Deep South and
their relation to-the general welfare of the region, and are briefly
summarized as follows:
1. Forests occupy 122 million acres, of which nearly 95 percent
is privately owned. The forest lands are 57-1/2 percent of the total
land area of the region covered by the survey. This is exclusive of the
many millions of acres in the post oak region of Texas and Okl'homa.
2. On an acreage basis 49 percent of the forest lands is
occupied by pine (stands of 75 percent or more pine), 35 percent b:
hardwoods and cypress (stands of 75 percent or more hardwoods and
cypress), and 16 percent mixed hardwoods and softwoods (stands varying
from 25 to 75 percent of either hardwoods and cypress or pine); on a
volume basis (cords of usable material) hardwoods and cypress comprise
63 percent and pines 37 percent of the timber stands.
3. The forest resource is predominantly young trees; the 122
million acres consist of 77 percent of second growth, 15 percent
original old growth -- a part of which has been cut V- r' eit ..ear
cut and denuded of its forest cover.
4. While a high percentage of the forest lands are occupied
by forest stands they vary greatly as to degree of stocking and quality
of material and it is estimated that, under improved management and
utilization practice, the productive capacity of the land can be in-
creased from 2 to 3 times.
5. In pine the increment and drain, as of 1936, -"ere arrroxi-
mately equal on a cordwood basis, but drain slightly exceeded increment
on a basis of board feet of sawlogs.
6. In hardwoods and cypress the increment exceeded drain about
40 percent (approximately 5-1/2 million cords) in 1936 on a cordwood
basis, but drain exceeded increment annroximately 15 percent on a basis
of board feet of sawlogs.
The foregoing overall relations of growth and drain for both
pine and hardwoods do not indicate the true situation with respect to
specific classes and quality of material. In many localities drain
exceeds growth, and even for the entire area the drain of the hi-hest
quality material undoubtedly exceeds considerably the growth of the
same quality of material.
7. The total volume of usable material in standing timber of
1,449 million cords consists of pine 536 million, harl'oods s66 million,
and cypress 47 million cords. Of the total volume of 1,449 million
cords, 598 million are of sa'log size, 439 million unde sRw'log size,
214 million in tops and limbs, and 199 million in culls-. Of the pine,
.Culls include sa',log-size trees less than 50 percent sound or so limb-.
crooked, or otherwise defective as to prohibit their use for sa, timber
and under-sawlog-size trees that will not become sa'-timber trees
because of limbs, crook, etc. or that are sufficiently unsound to in-
dicate the likelihood of their future loss from the stand.
29 percent is in small trees (6 and 9 inch d.b.h. classes), 70 percent
in saw timber trees (10 inches d.b.h. and larger) including lower and
upper stems, and 2 percent in cull trees, unfit for most industrial uses.
Of the hardwoods and cypress, 32 percent is in small trees (6 to 12 inch
d.b.h. classes, inclusive), 4g percent in saw timber trees (14 inches
d.bh. and larger) including upper stems and limbs, and 20 percent in cull
trees. Though the pines and cypress are readily merchantable, many of the
hardwood species are either nonmerchantable or find limited commercial use.
The total ouantity of such hardwood species is difficult to determine but
is large and perhaps is comparable to the quantity of cull material in the
8. The distribution of total commodity drain for 1936 among the
different uses was:. lumber 53 percent; fuelwood 22 percent; cross ties,
poles and piles 7 percent; land clearing and farm use S percent; veneer,
cooperage, and miscellaneous manufacturing 6 percent; and pulpwood
9. The total drain on the pine stands in 1936 from all causes
and for all purposes was about 33 million cords. Of this drain, ho-ever,
24 percent -uas due to mortality. The remaining 76 percent went into
profitable uses, distributed as follows: lumber 49 percent, fuelwood 13
percent, pulpwood 5 percent, cross ties 4 percent, land clearing and
other farm uses 3 percent, poles and piles 1 percent, and all other uses
2 percent .. "
10. The drain on the hardwood and cypress stands in 1936 from
all causes and for all purposes was 22-1/2 million cords. Of this
drain, however, only 64 percent went into profitable uses, as follows:
lumber 23 percent; fuelwood 19 percent; land clearing and other farm
use 9 percent; cross ties 5 percent; veneer 4 percent; cooperate 3
percent and all other uses including pulpwood 2 percent. The otner 36
percent was due to mortality and yielded little or no profit. This
large, unprofitable drain results from the high percentage of dama* A
and cull trees' in the hardwood stands.
Situation by Forest TTc-s
Statistical data for the whole region or for major breakdowns,
as the pines and hardwoods, do not 7ive correct or sufficiently detailed
impressions of the problems involved. Consequently, a brief discussion
of the principal forest types and the principal problems of each seems
A. LOICrlEAF-SLASH FINE AREAS. -- Extending along the Coastal
plain from South Carolina to Louisiana, the longleaf-slash pine type covers
a -ross area of 5g million acres of which approximately 71 T-rrcent is
forested. It comprises essentially the naval stores region.
In addition to longleaf and slash pines it contains varying
amounts of other pines, cypress, and hardwoods. On a b6ard-foot volume
basis pines show 64 percent, hardwoods 27 percent, and cypress 9 percent.
The total saw timber stand of nearly 57 billion board feet consists of the
- 4 -
following species and percentages: 31ash pine 24 percent, longleaf pine
19 percent, loblolly pine 16 percent, cypress 9 percent, blackgumn per-
cent, sweetgun 5 percent, red oaks 5 percent, white oaks 2 percent, other
hardwoods 7 percent, and other pines 5 percent. On a cordwood volume
basis, including all trees 5 inches and over J.b.h. the percentages of
pines and hardwoods are almost the same with about 45-1/2 percent of each
and cypress comprising the remaining 9 percent. Cull trees constitute
14 percent of the total cordwood volume (12 percent hardwoods, 1 percent
pines, and 1 percent cypress) and tops and limbs 13 percent (( percent
hardwoods, 6 percent pines, and 1 percent cypress).
The more urgent products problems of this area are:
1. Utilization of the lowland hardwoods including littli-use
species, such as s-amp oaks, pecan, swamp hickory, elm, sycamore,
hackberry, swamp tupelo, and the lower qualities of yeet -u7 arind a-.h.
The greater concentrations of these species are alonic sti-rams and in
swamps or "pond" areas of the region, usually in association with cy-riss.
The oaks find some use for flooring, the larger and better gums go into
veneer and lumber, but for the most part the other species find little
use. Most of the 14 percent of cull in this region occurs in the hard-
woods. In addition, the large volume of the entire stand represent by
the hardwoods (45 percent) makes the developL.,:'t of profitable utili-
zation of the hardwoods an extremely important problem. Improved drying
would aid in the utilization of the oaks. Conversion into quality pul-rs
would also aid in utilizing swamp blackgum, sweetgum, and the other hnri-
wood species. Other possible outlets are enlarged production of dimen-
sion stock, and increased use in construction, as wall panels.
2. Second-growth pine. The pine stands are predominantly second .
growth. They are characterized by fast growth and run to high percen'-
ages of lower grades when cut into lumber. The Survey showed that 73
percent of the volume of the pines is in trees from 10 to 16 inches in
diameter. Turpentining is practiced on much of the pine stands and the
trees thereafter are converted into logs, piling, poles, pulpwood, and
fuel. In general, utilization is much better than in the hardwoods of
the region. However, -vith a larger proportion of the cut in pine coming
from the second-growth and turpentined stands, the proportion of low
grades of lumber is incresasing and indicates the need for a wider
diversification in use. Laminated or glued structural members, solid
wood paneling or wall covering and increased pulping offer some promise,
if developed. There is a distinct need for a close correlation of growtl-
conditions, density of stands, and other silvicultural practices '"itb the
production of quality wood for structural and other uses.
3. Naval stores. Within the area there were 1,100 stills and
approximately 12,000 gum producers in 1934; also about 40 rprcent of the
total productive forest land had been or was being worked for naval
stores and another 20 percent had stands of longlaf and slash pinos of
such character and density as to justify future working. The princi-ol
problems of the industry relate to (1) costs of production and market
outlets for turpentine and rosin, and (2) the management and utilization
of the turpentined stands. Most of the work in reducing costs.of pro-
duction fall within the Station's activities but such developments as,
for example, finding a cheaper,or more satisfactory resin cup, might
receive the help of the Laboratory. Active research aimed at broadening
and diversifyingthe outlets and use of the products of the industr- is
justified but now considered t9 be in the field of the-Bureau of
Agricultural Chemistry and Engineering. The utilization of the turpen-
tined timber for the -most profitable uses, such as logs', piling, roles,
pulpwood, or fuel, should receive more attention and presents an oppor-
tunity for cooperative endeavor and better integrated use.
4. Utilization of low-grade and second-growth cypress. The
proportion of lower ,r'"._s of lumber in cypress was re-oorted by operators
to be increasing and to present an increasingly difficult problem. Re-
manufacture, especially into containers, has provided an outlet for much
of the past cut but, with a hiher percentage of the cut running to lo"'
grades, profitable utilization becomes progressively more difficult.
Shrinkage in the demand for tank and' vat stock, which has in the past
commanded a premium price, is also a problem. The high percentage of
sapwood in second-growth cypress makes the lumber less valuable for
many uses forwhich old-growth heartwood has been well suited and
indicates problems in its future utilization.
5. Integrated utilization. In this area and in the rine-hardwood
and hardwood areas, which are discussed belowv, there is need for the
development of more kinds of utilization outlets for any given territory
in order to bring greater social and economic gains from the existing
and prospective forest resources. The dominant practice in the r.'st has
been to develop industries or manufacturing plants that use the raw
material or part of it..to produce a single given product such as naval
stores, pulpwood, dimension stock, veneer, or lumber. Tnder this
practice the landowner has no opportunity' to diversify his sale of the
raw material in a way to bring the greatest return. For example, he
cannot sell a veneer log at a higher return 'than a sawlog if there is no
utilization of veneer logs near him. What is needed is -the development
of sundry industries to utilize all the available resources to the
fullest and best advantage. This indicates that the start shouldbe.made
with the raw material and from there develop manufacturing. plants that ....
will take advantage of all its various uses, instead of'starting with the
end product and working back to the land. This is important in the
practice of forestry because the best use of land'for growing ra'7 forest,
products material requires developing outlets for all the ram materials
that necessarily are produced.
B. PiVE-HAF.P7OOD ARFA. The large pine-hardwood area is divided
into two parts, one to the east and the other to -the west of the
Mississippi Delta. The eastern area covers 36 million acres of pro-
ductive forest lands and the western area covers more- than'rl31-1/? million,
together they total more than 67 million acres (this do-s not include
the post oak area of T-'xas.and Oklahoma nor the pine-hardwood areas to
the north of the region). '
The eastern area contains, in volume of saw-timber, approximately
84 billion board feet of which 64 percent is pine and 36 percent hard-
wood and cypress. The principal species and their percentages are:
lobloIly 36, shortleaf 20, longleaf and slash 5, other pines 2; red oak
g, sweetgum 9, yellowpoplar 3-1/2, blackgum and water tupelo 3, white
oaks 5, other oaks 2, ash 1/2, cedar 1/2, cypress 1/2, and other hard-
woods 8 percent. However, on a cordwood volume basis in which all trees
5 inches d.b.h. and over are included, the total volume of the pines is
42 percent and of the hardwoods and cypress 59 percent. Of this total
volume, cull trees make up nearly 15 percent (13 percent hardwood and 2
percent pines) and tops and limbs about 13.percent (9 percent hardwood
and 4 percent pines).
The western area contains in volume of saw-timber about 79 billion
board feet of which about 63 percent is pine and 37 percent hardwoods and
cypress. The principal species and their percentages are: loblolly 29,
shortleaf and similar pines 30, longleaf 4, red oak 9, sweetgum g, white
oak 5-1/2, blackgum 3, post oak 3, hickory 2, ash 1/2 and other hard-
woods 6. On a cordwood volume basis, in which all trees 5.0 inches d.b.h.
are included, pines again run about 42 percent and hard-oods 58 percent.
The cull trees make up about 13-1/2 percent (13 percent hardwoods and
1/2 percent pines) and tops and limbs also about 13 percent (9 percent
hardwoods and 4 percent pines) of the .total volume.
A m^jor problem within the pine-hardwood belt, and particularly
the eastern part, is the large number of small sawmills and their
effects on forestry practice, the welfare of the landowner, and the
quality of products produced. In 1934 small mills (19 M.B.F. and under
capacity for 10-hour day) comprised 92 percent of all pine mills in the
South and accounted for 47 percent of the total production of pine
lumber. Small mills' comprised 83 percent of all hardwood mills and
accounted for 23 percent of the total production of hardwood lumber.
The greatest concentration of the small mills is in the eastern part of
the pine-hardwood area where nearly 4,000 were operating on pine in 1934
and accounting for 72 percent of the total pine lumber production. It
is the general consensus that the number of small mills operating on the
second-growth, young pine of the South is increasing and that the problem
of their relation to the management of small private holdings of forest
lands is'becoming progressively more critical. Their effects on the
marketing of southern pine lumber, because of inferior manufacture,
improper seasoning, and the like are important from the consumer stand-
point and for the maintenance of future markets. Also the importance of
the small mill problem to the many small landowners, the laborer, the
consumer, and even the small mill operator himself justifies much more
attention by all agencies concerned. ..
Other critical utilization problems., of this area again involve
the hardwoods, which make up more than one-half of the volume of wvood
on the forest lands. Approximately an eighth of the volume is in cull
trees and tops and limbs with the hardwoods accounting for more than
80 percent of this unused or low-value material. Of the remaining
volume of sound trees, 5 inches d.b.h. and. over, hardwoods make up nearly
half. However, only a few species of the~larger and better quality trees
find markets, leaving a very large volume of less valuable material with
little or no market outlet. Second-growth stands predominate. In the
eastern area, second-growth stands that have reached saw-timber size
contain 6g percent of the volume. One-third of the forest area is
covered with trees too small to produce sawlogs. In the western area a
similar situation exists with 62 percent of the volume in second-growth
stands that have reached saw-timber size. In the pines of both the
eastern and western areas nearly two-thirds of the saw-timber volume is
found in trees within the range of 10 and 16 inches d.b.h.
The major utilization problems of the pine-hardwood area both
eastern and western -- are in part similar to those described for the
longleaf pine area and involve:
(1) Utilization of hardwoods of little utilized species and of
the low-grade and cull timber of more marketable species. Both upland
and lowland hardwoods are represented in large volumes.
(2) Second-growth pine-- particularly the utilization of in-
creasing amounts of lower grade and a correlation of growth conditions
to character of wood produced.
(3) The small saw-mill problem.
C. MISSISSIPPI DELTA AREA. -- Extending from lower Illinois
to the Gulf along the Mississippi River the delta area contains some
13-1/2 million acres of forest lands, which is about 42 percent of the
total area. In respect to both area and stand of timber it is exceeded
by the three other forest areas of the South, but as to fertility of
soil and growing conditions it is highly important.
The volume of saw-timber, approximating 34 billion board feet,
consists of hardwoods about 92 percent, cypress 5 percent, and pine
3 percent. Of the total volume of timber down to 5 inches d.b.h.,
about 39 percent is sawlog material, 25-1/2 percent under sawlog size,
23 percent tops and limbs, and 12-1/2 percent cull. The principal
hardwood species and their percentages that make up the sawlog material
are: Water oaks 15, white oaks 14 (high grade 2 and low grade 12),
sweetgum 13, pecans (bitter and sweet) 9, water tupelo 8, elms g,
cottonwood 5, willow 4, ash 4, hackberry 3, red oaks 2, hickory 1,
blackgum 1, and other hardwood species 5-
The better quality gum, oaks, ash, and cottonwood finds
commercial outlets but this takes only a small percentage of the total
volume. Much of the water oaks, the low-grade white oaks, pecans, elms,
willow, and hackberry, which constitute about one-half of the delta timber
stands, find little profitable use. Likewise, there are large quantities.
of the lower quality timber of otherwise merchantable species and the
cull trees and tops and limbs, which find no outlets, even as fuel.
The major problem of the Mississippi Delta is one of finding some
profitable utilization for large quantities of hardwoods, much of which
should be removed from the management standpoint. A large part of the
material is of low quality, either of species that have been high-graded
or of species that have not found ready markets. There are possibilities
of much better utilization through a combined effort by management and
products research. Consideration should bi given to integrated wood-
using industries setups by which the better quality of timber is diverted
to higher grade uses, demonstrations should be made of the profitable
use of so-called little-used species and outlets should be found, if
possible, for the lower quality and culled material. Other problems
within this area are: development of log grades, growth conditions as
!related to insect and decay damage, logging practices, and preservative
treatment of species involved.
Other Phases of the Forest Resource Problem
Other important phases of the forest products problems relate
to the general economy and standards of living in the South. Probably
in no other comparably large area of the country are standards of
living so low, housing conditions so bad, and the need for profitable
employment so great. The reduction in cotton raising during the past
few years is reported to have intensified the problem generally. While
diversified agriculture will do much to improve the existing situation,
full advantage should also be taken of the forestry opportunities.
Improvement of the forest stands with respect to both quantity and
quality of timber and more extensive manufacture and fabrication of
timber products will do. much to better the status of thi small timber
owner and the rural and urban laborer and to raise the general
economic and social conditions of the entire region.
Population and Production and Consumption
of Timber Products
The population of the eight Southern States (Ala., Ark., Fla.,
Ga., La., Miss., S. C., and Texas), included in the analysis, was about
20-1/2 million in 1930, of which nearly two-thirds were rhite. The
area contains about 17 percent of the total population of the United
The per capital production of lumber and timber products for the
eight States is nearly double the per capital production for the entire
country. In 1936, the eight States produced 8 billion board feet, which
was nearly one-third of the national production. The production of
softwoods was somewhat over 6 billion board feet and of hardwoods some-
what less than 2 billion or, expressed as'percentages of total cut, 31
percent for the softwoods and. 43 percent for the hardwroods.
The per capital consumption within the eight States is close to the
national per capital consumption, which in 1936 was 184 board feet. For
the same year the per capital consumption figures for the eight States
were: Alabama 159, Arkansas 226, Florida 212, Georgia 172, Louisiana 290,
Mississippi 218, South Carolina 133, and Texas 167. However, lumber con-
sumption includes dressed lumber and other planing mill products and
flooring manufactured in connection with sawmills. The inclusion of such
items in consumption leads to abnormally high per capital consumption
figures for the principal lumber producing States, as for example, Wash-
ington with 927 and Oregon 1,121 board feet. Consequently, the per
capital consumption for all the Southern States, particularly for Arkansaq,
Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, reflect this classification of
lumber consumption and indicates that the utilization of lumber in other
woodworking plants and in building construction is much below the average
for the United States.
Based on the value of products manufactured in 1937, the eight
Southern States combined produced 15 percent of the caskets and coffins,
5-1/2 percent of the cooperage, 4 percent of the furniture, less than 1
percent of the mirror and picture frames, 14 percent of the planing mill
products of plants not connected with sawmills, 4-1/2 percent of the
doors, 10-1/2 percent of the sash, 8 percent of the window and door frames,
5-1/2 percent of the plywood, less than 1 percent of the window and door
screens, and 6-1/2 percent of the turned and shaped wood products. For
most of the many other wood-using industries there was either no pro-
duction or too small an amount to be tabulated in the census figures.
These and other statistical data indicate that the South is poor
in secondary wood-using industries and that much of the lumber produced
within the region goes to other regions for manufacture into finished
products. This is especially true of the hardwoods of which the South
produces a large part and of which the South has a surplus. Against
a national per capital consumption of hardwoods in 1936 of 33 board feet,
Alabama consumed l14, Florida 7, Georgia 20, South Carolina 10, and
Texas l14. Alabama with 108, Louisiana with 119, and Mississippi with
57 board feet of hardwood consumed per capital were higher than the
average, largely because of the container and flooring industries with-
in these three States. Aside from containers and flooring, all other
wood-using industries within the eight States concerned, used only
about 5 percent of the national hardwood consumption. This included
furniture which, in the same year, consumed alone 57 percent of the
entire hardwood production of the United States.
It appears, therefore, that there are distinct possibilities in
further remanufacture and fabrication of lumber into finished products
within the South. A large part of the timber resource is being shipped
from the region in the form of rough lumber' and remanufactured into
furniture and other products, a part of which is shipped back to the
connsumlmrs of the region. The manufacture and fabrication in local
plants by local labor of even those wood products now consumed within
the South would do much to improve conditions and should result in
lower costs to the consumer. With increased agricultural and industrial
development should come an increase in the use of lumber in building
construction, in the improvement of homes, particularly in the rural areas,
and a larger consumption of furniture and other wood products. While the
South might logically share in the country-wide markets for remanufactured
wood products, much more fully than at present, important potential
markets exist within the South itself.
Limitations in Solution of Problem
It cannot be assumed that technological research alone will or can
find a satisfactory solution to the utilization of the surplus of hard-
woods; the large quantities of cull or defective timber, and of certain
species that are not now profitably used. Something of the size of the
job involved in bringing about the profitable utilization of such large
volumes of timber of variable quality and value can be more readily
visualized by comparing them with the amount of wood consumed for
existing specific uses. For example, in contrast with the 1,450 million
cords of timber in the Deep South, of which 867 million are hardwoods,
the consumption of pulpwood .in 1937 in the South was 3 million cords and
in the entire United States 10 million cords. Just as large quantities
of low-grade ore cannot be utilized profitably so also the utilization
of a part. of the existing forest material may not be commercially
feasible. The application of the results of technological research are
limited by economic considerations and the competition with other
materials from other regions and from other sources. For the most part,
forest products can be utilized only when it is profitable to do so and
so long as market outlets are available.
Some individuals, interviewed during the trip, predicted that
there will be a scarcity of high-grade hardwood timber between the cut-
ting of the existing old timber and the time that the young timber
reaches suitable size and quality. It is recognized that the second-
growth stands do not now possess the quality of timber being removed
from old stands and it seems a reasonable assumption that they will not
for a long time to come. If and when such a situation develops, then
the supply of lower-grade timber and less-preferred species will doubt-
less find a more profitable market. This raises the question of
whether efforts should be made to force thrifty timber of little-used
species on the market now in competition with the large volume of low
grades of the now marketable species, especially inasmuch as the current
cut exceeds the growth of hardwood sawlog timber.
The use of species is also governed to some extent by the pro-
motion activities of the manufacturers. For example, .e were told by a
representative of hardwood lumber manufacturers that they could sell
pecan flooring if their members were in position to supply it but that
most of them preferred to make oak flooring instead. In other words,
there is a potential market for pecan flooring if the manufacturers
desire to develop it. The same situation doubtless exists for other
species and uses.
It is entirely evident, on the other hand, that the utilization
of the defective and poorly formed trees will improve the composition
of the hardwood stands and give more growth of sound timber -- objectives
that are highly important from a timber-management standpoint.
An important factor in the establishment of a satisfactory forest
resource and industrial situation within the South is the practice of
better forestry, which will yield a higher proportion of valuable species
and higher quality material and which requires the cooperation of re-
search, extension, and administrative agencies. Furthermore, while the
overall growth and drain data appear to be favorable, in reality the
relation of growth and drain of quality material is unfavorable, es-
pecially in many areas, which will tend to create a still more unfavorable
balance between the high quality, valuable species and the lower quality,
less-valuable species and to make profitable utilization more difficult
in the future, unless the forest stands are improved.
The present national war emergency and the foreign trade situation
are creating conditions that may ultimately have important effects on the
forest resources and utilization practices within the South, as well as
the entire United States. A recent effect is the strong demand for low-
grade southern pine (No. 2 common and lower) for building construction,
particularly for Army and Navy quarters. This can only be regarded as a
temporary influence and not a permanent solution to the use of lo'-grade
softwoods. It may even have a detrimental effect on the conditions
within the South, through stimulation of lumber production by small mills
from young pine stands. The fostering of trade relations with the South
American countries may bring the large tropical hardwood resources into
more active competition with the native hardwoods of which the South has
a surplus. The cutting off of pulp and paper supplies from foreign
countries should tend to encourage the production of more newsprint in
the United States and particularly in the South, which may lead to the
use of more hardwoods for this purpose. The strong demand for plywood
may ultimately turn the expansion of the industry to the South. The
large number of man-hours of gainful employment provided per unit of wood
used in the pulp and paper and plywood industries makes such developments
important to the South.
General Approach to Problem
The problem of bringing about better utilization of the timber
resources of the Deep South is partly a research job, involving tech-
nological and economic investigations, and partly an extension and
educational job. A broad program of attack necessarily involves greatly
enlarged research, both in the Laboratory and in working out technical
details in connection with field and commercial demonstrations, develop-
ments, and applications -- work that requires highly specialized
technicians in many diverse fields, cooperative organization of timber
growers and processors and stimulation of local initiative in industrial
undertakings; and finally greatly enlarged direct extension of well-
d v leped and proved research results both in utilization methods and
in broader and better uses of wood. The organization, promotion, and
extension phases, likewise, require a much greater effort and should
receive the cooperation of other Federal, State, and local agencies and
commercial and industrial groups.
It is believed. that enlarged utilization can be accomplished and
utilization practices improved by the application of existing knowledge
and research results developments that need not await further re-
search and investigations. In many instances the results of products
research may or may not be applicable, depending upon the economics
involved and in such cases the approach may preferably be from the
economic angle. There are, however, many problems that require pro-
ducts research or a combination of products and economic investigations.
In still other cases a close correlation of management, products, and
economics research is required.
There are a number of avenues of approach to the general
problems of the region. These may be grouped as follows:
1. Technological research and development, aimed at (a) making
the present nonmerchantable materials of value for existing known uses,
as for example, through new and improved methods of seasoning, pulping
methods, preservative treatments, and machining processes; (b) divert-
ing a part of the present merchantable materials to higher value uses,
as for example, to veneer and plywood, lower grades of lumber to in-
terior wall paneling and the like, (c) finding.new products, uses, and
outlets, such as plastics of various kinds, glued laminated beams, arches,
and other structural parts, and new chemical products.
2. Organization and development of milling, fabricating, and
remanufacturing aimed at (a) the use of present nonmerchantable material
by conversion into dimension st6ck, cheap lumber, and other products
that are either of such value as to justify transportation charges or are
used locally; and (b) employment of local labor in the production of
more finished products to be used locally, such as furniture, millwork,
plywood, cabinets, and the like. 'Such development requires in large
part only the application of existing information.
3. Develop and demonstrate the value and utility of non-
preferred species for specific uses for which they have not heretofore
been considered well suited or popularized. This involves many possi-
bilities, for example, the use of the various hardwoods alone or in
mixtures for newsprint; cypress and various hardwood species for ply-
wood; hardwood species, like elm, hackberry, pecan, willow, defective
oak, and the lower grades of pine, for interior trim and paneling,
and the use of hardwoods in local construction.
4. Develop and put into use log and pulpwood grades for both
the southern pines and hard'-oods. This embraces both the necessary
conversion studies and the promotion and adoption of grades for timber that
give the timber grower a fair value for his products.
5. Establish the relationships between growth conditions and the
quality and value of timber produced. Such studies should develop both
the fundamental relationships and the effects of various silvicultural
treatments on quality and volume of wood produced. The forester and the
timber owner must work with existing forest stands and the results of
such investigations should guide them in their harvesting and improvement
cutting, for example, the effects of various degrees of cutting under
the selection system, of thinning young stands, release cuttings, also as
an aid in determining the best spacing in planting. This work requires
close cooperation between the Laboratory and the Experiment Station.
6. Develop ways and means of eliminating the destructive and
undesirable effects of the small sawmill, especially in pine; promote
better manufacture in small sawmill operations; and find or develop an
improved type of small mill and determine its place in the salvaging of
low-grade and little-used species, especially in the hardwoods.
7. Investigations and developments that will enable wood to
continue to be used and give good service to the consumer and thereby
protect the existing outlets and markets, such as proper methods of
painting and finishing different species, proper moisture contents and
seasoning practice for various uses, strength properties and require-
ments, fire resistance and requirements in use, shrinkage reduction and
control, and durability and preservative treatments. While these lines
of investigation apply for the most part to wood in general, they are
directly applicable to many specific problems of the South.
Proposed Specific Projects and Activities on
Southern Wood Utilization Problems
While it is extremely desirable to have a thorough understanding
of the broad problems of the region and their significance and to develop
and plan for their solution, it must be recognized that under present
circumstances research and other activities aimed at their solution must
be initiated and directed along carefully selected lines and specific
projects or jobs. With that in mind the following more specific pro-
posals are selected and discussed.
Statements on problems and proposals for research, prepared by
the Experiment Station and Regional Office, as well as other suggestions
have been used in preparing the following summary of projects and ac-
tivities that are recommended for consideration in planning the research
program of the Forest Products Laboratory. On a number of these, some
work is now in progress. In preparing this summation no attempt has
been made to arrange the projects or activities in order of importance
or priority, and the grouping does not conform entirely to the divisions
of the work at the Laboratory.
Logging and Milling
Log grades for southern pines and hardwoods. -- The plan for the
Laboratory's work on hardwood log grades is to extend the studies to the
Central and Appalachian hardwoods and then to the Deep South as soon as
work on the northern species is completed. The need for developing log
grades for southern pines is obvious and was rated by the Station and
Region of perhaps even higher priority than log grades for southern hard-
woods. However, hardwood log grades will apply to much of Eastern United
States and a considerable amount of work has already been done in develop-
ing them. With the existing program of work of the Division of Industrial
Investigations at the Laboratory it will be impossible for the Laboratory
to undertake actively the development of log grades for southern pine in
the near future in addition to the hardwood log grades. However, in view
of the status of log-grade studies on hardwoods and thq interest in the
South for pine log grades it is suggested that a conference by the Lab-
oratory, Station, Region and possibly Southern Pine Association repre-
sentatives be held in an effort to find ways and means of initiating wTrk
on pine log grades in advance of the completion of the hardwood lo--gradR
Combination circular and gang-saw conversion.-- To determine the
advantages of using a combination portable circular saw and stationary
gang saw, information is needed on relative costs, yields, and improve-
ment in grades and quality. The Region has contact with an operation in
Alabama and the Laboratory has plans partially developed for a study of
this kind. It seems desirable that any effort along this line be
correlated as to objectives and methods.
Small sawmill problem.- The large number of small sawmills in
the Deep South and their relation to the forest landowner make the problem
of very great importance from the standpoint of the practice of forestry
and the livelihood of many small owners of land. However, in the dis-
cussions of the small mill in relation to forestry practice and to social
and economic aspects it was evident that an adequate approach to the
problem has not yet been determined. Some phases of the problem have
received considerable attention and efforts are being made to carry out
certain research and extension activities. The Laboratory is continui.-.
to work along the lines outlined in 1930 and planned activities for the
near future include (1) extension of information in the form of group
meetings, (2) development of a simple cost-keeping system for lo.-inrc
and milling operations, and (5) development of the portable band sawmill.
The Region has also recently initiated an action program with respect to
small mills. It is suggested that continued effort be made by the Region,
Station, and Laboratory in an effort to define a more adequate approach
and to outline needed efforts along economic, technological, and extension
lines. For example, should research undertake such projects as the develop-
ment of an efficient, portable dry kiln that may put the small mill in a
better competitive position with respect to large mills; will research on
a combination circular and gang-saw set-up be helpful so far-as the
small farm owner is concerned; and should the small mill be further
developed in the hardwoods as a possible aid to improved utilization and
It appears that more general agreement on the approach to the problem is
needed before specific projects and investigations can be undertaken. In
the meantime, working out improved small-mill manufacture on the basis of
existing information and better lumber products from the consumer stand-
point is justified but is largely an extension job.
Improvement in design and operation of large sawmills.-- Some
improvement seems possible by a study of layouts, equipment and operation
of the larger sawmills; also from a compilation of existing information
and its dissemination to owners and operators. Two years ago the Lab-
oratory made a preliminary study of current sawmill construction costs at
the request of Forest Management for the purpose of arriving at an in-
dication of what are fair mill depreciation charges. Even this prelim-
inary work turned out to be difficult and complex. To carry on similar
work effectively, very specialized and experienced personnel is necessary.
There is a question how far existing Government agencies should go in such
Tree-length logging.-The value of such a study is largely con-
tingent upon developments in integrated use and the application of the
results depends largely upon the organization and development of such a
set-up. The underlying problem appears to be one of economics and organ-
ization of integrated utilization. Specific projects are costs of logging
and suitable logging equipment. While the Laboratory could assist in such
studies the undertaking can probably best be developed by the Station or
Machining southern hardwoods.--Determining the machining properties
of various southern hardwoods and the best machining conditions for each
species has been in progress at the Laboratory for some time. The work is
to be continued with particular emphasis on the preparation and dis-
tribution of the results of the study.
Seasoning degrade in pines and hardwoods.- It would be desirable
to obtain information on the amount and character of degrade that develops
in both pine and hardwoods during seasoning. The Laboratory has long re-
cognized the problem and has considered it in connection with log-grade
studies. Such information might, for example, show higher degrade for
small size logs, which, if true, might be a useful tool in bringing about
better forestry practice. However, the study involves many factors, such
as seasoning methods, species, size and quality of logs, and several grades
and sizes of lumber, and it has not seemed practical to include seasoning
degrade in the log-grade studies. The information from such a study would
be of value but it is a question of relative priority in contrast with
many other projects that should be developed.
Factory fabrication and remanufacture.-- The fact that the Deep
South is characterized by a general lack of remanufacturing of rough
lumber into finished products and by the production of large quantities
of low-grade materials for which there are not readily available markets,
naturally suggests the possibilities of developing much more fabrication
and remanufacture both in connection with lumber mills and as separate
operations. Factory fabrication of lower grades of pines and hardwoods
into construction panels, which is now in an experimental stage at the
Laboratory, would seem to hold some promise for the South and should:
have early attention. Contact with manufacturers by Laboratory re-
presentatives is considered very desirable. The possibilities of pro-
ducing various items of dimension stock, lumber cores for veneered panels,
furniture, cabinets, millwork, and the like should also receive attention.
Certain economic problems are involved but the development of secondary
industries appears to depend more on local interest, initiative, and
skilled workers than on technological research.
Possibilities of integrated wood-using industries.--The complexity
of species and the quality of material that exists, particularly in the
hardwood belts, suggest the need for much more effort toward the develop-
ment of integrated industries for given localities and areas. There
appear to be good possibilities both from the standpoint of better utiliza-
tion and the improvement of timber stands. Such undertakings obviouslyy
involve the entire Forest Service and other cooperating agencies. The
Laboratory's part in such developments relates chiefly to aid in selecting
industries and in working on problems connected with such industries.
Fuel wood.-The survey determined that 22 percent of the forest
drain goes into fuel wood. It also found that the average negro tenant
on cotton plantations consumes about six cords of wood per year, and
since there is a negro family for about each 20 acres, the consumption
of fuel wood on a 200-acre plantation amounts to about 60 cords per year.
Furthermore, the fuel wood supply in general comes not from the large
quantities of cull, waste, and poorly utilized species but much of it
from the better species and thrifty trees. In the Mississippi Delta,
ash one of the most valuable species -- is searched out for fuel
because of its easy splitting and good burning properties. In South
Carolina, where in 1936 one-third of the total of sound timber cut rent
into fuel, a large part is pine even though there is an abundance of low-
grade hardwoods. Fuel wood studies as related to the South are considered
of much importance.
Chemical seasoning of refractory species.-Current work at the
Laboratory applies directly to this problem. It is desirable that con-
siderable attention be given toward different methods of application that
can be used by both small and large operators. It is also highly de-
sirable to have field trials and demonstrations as soon as the Laboratory
results warrant them.
Kiln-drying studies.-Work is also in progress in developing kiln-
drying schedules for the various southern species. The results of this
work plus any developments in quicker seasoning are highly important from
the standpoint of utilization of the large quantities of ok, *cnz, nd
other little-used species.
Development of portable dry kiln.- The need for bringing about
better seasoning in small mills suggests that the development of an
efficient portable kiln for drying the output of small mills is de-
sirable. See also "Small sawmill problem".
Use of low-grades.--Present efforts to make possible a larger use
of low-grades of pine and hardwoods in building construction have much
significance in connection with the increasing production of lower
grades. See also "Factory fabrication and remanufacture".
Laminated arches.-There appear to be no immediate research
problems in connection with the development of large laminated arches in
the South. The practicability of making laminated members from southern
pine has been well demonstrated in the North. Bringing about such
developments in the South appears to depend largely upon the stimulation
of local effort.
Fabricated panel construction.-This was referred to previously
under factory fabrication and remanufacture. It is planned that contact
will be made with manufacturers by the Laboratory and that any further
necessary development will receive attention.
Veneer and plywood
Veneer cutting.-There appear to be distinct possibilities of
extending veneer and plywood production in the South. Research is
needed on the details of cutting some of the southern species, par-
tic' 1-ri., the..har.-'coods.
Structural plywood.- The rapid growth in the plywood field,
particularly for structural purposes, suggests the possibility of ex-
pansion of plywood production in the South. Some efforts are being
made in that direction at the present time by commercial interests. A
survey of the situation with respect to existing efforts, difficulties
encountered, and the like should be undertaken and is at present planned.
Effect of growth rate on properties of wood.-- The extensive
areas of young, second-growth stands in the South, the rapid growth that
is characteristic of the region, and the extremely variable Qualities of
wood produced make the study of the effect of rate of growth on quality
of wood of very great importance. It is important to develop both the
fundamental relations of growth conditions to quality and the application
of such results in timber management. The present need for such informa-
tion and the possibilities for its extensive application over largu areas,
especially in the pines, make this project one of high priority. A close
correlation of efforts of the Laboratory and Station is needed.
Heartwood formation in pines.-This problem is important in the
South in connection with the use of pine for pulp, which involves the
relation of heartwood to the pulping.processes, the selection of wood,
and the management of stands for pulpwood production. It is also
potentially important in its application to sustained yield timberlands,
operated for the production of high quality structural timbers for ex-
port. The problem appears to be one for investigation jointly by the
Southern Station and the Laboratory.
Durability and Preservative Treatments
Preservatives and processes.-The decay and termite hazards to
timber in the South make the Laboratory's work on preservatives and
preservative processes of paramount importance. Experimental material
under test on the Harrison Experimental Forest and elsewhere will give
much worthwhile information on the comparative value of preservatives.
In addition, the Laboratory has much other information on wood pre-
servation that is being applied in the many treating operations in the
South and to the problem of getting satisfactory service from wood for
various uses. The Station and Region should keep the Laboratory in-
formed of local developments of preservatives and processes and the Lab-
oratory should continue to conduct tests to evaluate such developments.
Nonpressure treatments.-The short serviceable life of farm
timbers, the generally low economic status of the farmers in the South,
and the low natural durability of most southern species make cheap,
nonpressure methods of importance. Further experimental work on the
effectiveness of different nonpressure methods on the various species
is needed. Developmental and experimental undertakings, such as the
Stoneville project in Mississippi, should be utilized as fully as
possible in getting such information and should be carried out with
close cooperation between the Laboratory and Station.
Natural durability of southern species.-Reliable durability
data are not available on several southern species and opportunities,
such as the Stoneville project, should be utilized to get such data.
Building rot.-The problem of rot in buildings in the South,
where it is so prevalent, is being studied at both the Station and Lab-
oratory by the Forest Pathology Division of the Bureau of Plant Industry.
Vat and tank study.--Cypress manufacturers report that wood in
vat and tank construction has been losing out to substitute materials.
It is proposed that a survey be made to determine the cause of the
shift and possibilities of overcoming the disadvantages of wood in such
fields as chemical, food, brewery, and dyeing vats and tanks.
Pulp and Paper
Pulping southern species individually.--It is important to
evaluate the pulping and paper-making possibilities of a number of
southern species, particularly the oaks, hackberry, elm, pecans,
cottonwood, willow, sweetgum, blackgum and water tupelo. The
studies should include the physical and chemical characteristics of
the species' from the pulping and paper-making standpoints. Segregation
of species and pulping individually (as distinguished from pulping in
combination listed below) offers the greatest opportunity for develop-
ing the inherent properties of the species and maximum use possibilities.
Work is in progress and will continue.
Pulping southern species in combination involves mixtures of
varying proportions in one operation. While the idea warrants some
attention it must be recognized that every digester charge will be
different, if woods-run lots,of material are used, and the resulting
pulp will be of variable quality which may limit its use. The pulping
of controlled combinations of species and proportions has greater
possibilities for obtaining higher pulp qualities and adaptability to
a wider range of use requirements.
Demonstration of semi-chemical newsprint.-It is anticipated that
a demonstration of the practicability of making newsprint from hardwood
semi-chemical and southern pine ground wood pulps will be worked out in
cooperation with some manufacturer during the coming year.
Demonstration of semi-chemical corrugating board.--Developments
in the pulping of blackjack oak and its use in corrugating board has
reached the point where it is believed its practicability can be
demonstrated. It is hoped that this can be arranged in cooperation
Specialty pulps.--The use of southern species for the production
of specialty pulps, such as rayon and other dissolving grades, which
yield higher financial returns, should be investigated.
Application of now processes to southern species.--The work
involves the application of new pulping processes -. several southern
species. Studies on the holocellulose process and the purification
of semi-chemical pulps are in progress and will continue actively in
the near future.
Development of paper specialties from southern species.--This
involves the use of pulps from southern woods for a variety of specialty
products. Such developments should aid in establishing small plants
within the South for the manufacture of paper and pulp products.
Salt cake substitutes. Some work has been done at the Laboratory
relating to the kraft cooking liquor composition. Commercial interests
are also actively investigating the possibilities.
Pulpwood grades.--The growth of pulp manufacture in the South raises
the problem of pulpwoodaades. As more diversification comes into the
pulp and paper field, such as the development of high-grade pulps from
southern species, the need for selecting or grading pulpwood will become
more important.-, Inasmuch as the different processes and quality of pIul-s
produced vary with respect to wood requirements the problem becomes somc-
what involved. As a means, however, of meeting the requirements of pulp
manufacturers and of giving the timber owner a measure of the value of
his products, pulpwood grades are important. They also have a bearing
on the future of forest stands and their management. Various properties
and qualities of wood are involved, such as weight, size, kind and pre-
valence of knots, rate of growth, springwood and summerrood content,
heartwood and sapwood content, compression wood, resin content, rot, stain,
and crook, rhich are of varying importance depending on the process and
quality of pulp produced. The approach to the.problem should involve the
requirements of both the manufacturer and the producer of timber.
Improved barking equipment.-Two or three portable barkers are
available that might be investigated and tried out in the field. Such
an approach seems preferable to an attempt to design and build improved
Clipping and storage of pulpwood at or near source.--!Iodif-i cations
of the proposed system has been used to some extent in the North and West,
especially in connection with the disposal of mill waste. Transportation
costs and staining appear to be important problems, as related to the
South. From the standpoint of better utilization of logging and mill
waste the project would seem to warrant further attention.
Chemical Products and Processing
*Plastics and plastic wood.--Work on plastics in progress at the
Laboratory has been done in large part on hardwoods which correlates
well with the hardwood problem of the South. Gums and oaks have been
found well adapted to the production of plastics. Work will be con-
Antishrink and compregnated wood.-Modifying the shrinkage and
other physical and mechanical properties of wood by resin impregnation,
gluing and pressing, applies to southern species as well as to others.
Work will continue.
Hydrogenation of lignin.--Likewise, the hydrogenation and other
work on lignin applies to all species.
A number of other suggested projects and activities are listed
here but without comment." This does not mean that they are not re-
garded as importl-nt. 1. rt".Vjr that the possibi ities of incorp-orating
them into the research program seem remote:
Utilization of second-growth cypress.
Studies of pulp grinding of southern pines.
Development of small pulp mills.
Research conference and clearing house on cellulose chemistry.
Prevention of "fuzzy grain" in slack barrel heads.
Prevention of degrade in slack staves.
Market outlets for sawmill and other plant waste.
Cheaper chemical dips.
Cheap termite damage prevention.
Development of insecticide-fungicide treatment for green logs,
poles, piling, and pulpwood.
Durability of different types of- southern cypress.
Development of a more satisfactory resin cup.
Constant tare in rosin barrels.
Improved equipment for logging swamps to prevent destruction
Fiber box with wood cleats.
Strength studies of southern hardwoods and secon-.~rro th oi-:.
It is fully appreciated that the foregoing is not a complete
list of projects and activities that bear on southern utilization
problems. Further .study of-the problems will evolve other means of
approach and specific investigative jobs. It is also appreciated that
putting any enlarged effort into effect or modifying materially the ex-
isting programs of research calls for careful consideration of pri-
orities, not only as among the proposed projects and activities but
between existing work and proposed work.
Rated high in importance and priority is the present research
directed toward: (1) maintaining existing outlets for wood and rood
products, as on pulping, seasoning, strength and other physical pro-
perties, growth-quality relations, durability, preservative treatments,
painting and fireproofing, and improved manufacture; (2) broadening and
extending the outlets for wood by modifying the properties, form, and
character of the products, such as fiber products, plastics, plywood,
laminated wood, and co-TJregnated wood; (5) developing and improving
processes and conversion methods, such as better sawmill practice and
machining, semichemical pulping, and hydrogenation; and (!-) finding and
developing new materials and byproducts from forest products, for ex-
ample, the components of lignin. Other approaches to the main utili-
zation problems are also important, such as diverting present sup-rlies
to higher value uses, eliminating wastes, reducing costs, and prod-cini-
While recognizing the importance of existing research on these
various lines, it is recommended that the current research program of
the Laboratory be made to include certain activities of high priority *
relate specifically to southern regional problems. These include:
1. Preliminary trials in the pulping of various south-rn hard-
wood species in combination.
2. Arrange, if possible, with southern operators for a demon-
stration of the use of semichemical hardwood pulps in newsprint and
3. In cooperation with the Regional Foresterts office and
State foresters, participate in two or three small sawmill conferences
in the South, aimed at promoting better manufacture and less destructive
forestry practices in the pines.
4. Survey the small sawmill situation in the South in relation
to the utilization of low-grade and little-used hardwoods with particular
reference to equipment desired and results obtained.
5. Survey plywood operations and possibilities and veneer
cutting problems in the South and do some test cutting of southern
6. Participate in one or more growth-quality relations con-
ferences in the South in connection with other necessary field work.
7. Further develop the prefabricated panel from low-grade
material and arrange with a southern operator for a field trial and
construction of an experimental building.
8. Arrange for a field trial of chemical seasoning of southern
species, if and when research at the Laboratory has overcome certain
technical difficulties which now prevent practical use.
9. Cooperate with the Southern Experiment Station in
preservative treatments and experiments at the Delta Experimental
10. Investigate the decreasing consumption of wood (cypress and
others) in tanks and vats.
A number of other proposed projects, investigations, and act-
ivities are considered of high priority. However, it is felt that
sufficient consideration has not been given to the many jobs with
respect to their priorities in a research program. It is, therefore,
recommended that a conference of representatives of the Region, Station,
Washington Office, and Laboratory be held in the near future for the
purpose of (1) setting up priorities on individual jobs with respect to
importance to the problems of the South and to the possibilities of
obtaining significant results and applying such results and (2) consider-
ing ways and means of making more progress on projects and activities of
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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