Pennsylvania Hardwoods Stands for Quality and Sustainability

Pennsylvania has the largest hardwood forest in the United States and provides numerous benefits to all Pennsylvanians — cleaner air and water, recreational opportunities, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration and essential wood products. The forest products industry in Pennsylvania is an important economic driver providing 63,000 jobs and $21.6 billion in direct economic impact to the state. The forest product industry has historically remained one of northeastern Pennsylvania’s stable and leading sources of employment and is essential to the local rural economy.
             Our northern climate and shorter growing season, tighter growth rings, soil composition, mountainous elevations, and diversity of species mean Pennsylvania lumber tends to be more stable and less likely to warp and twist after being properly dried. The colors of hardwood species such as black cherry, red oak, white oak, sugar maple, white ash, and walnut are often superior as well. The Commonwealth’s hardwoods are sought throughout the world for their stability and color and the state’s branding motto “Pennsylvania Hardwoods Stand for Quality” is known and recognized across the globe.

Misconceptions about cutting trees and hardwood manufacturing make it difficult to decipher whether or not it is a responsible product and material choice for “greening” homes, offices or other residential or commercial spaces. However, new scientific studies completed by neutral universities in Europe reported that hardwood is the greenest building material in the world. These studies showed that every species of American hardwood was carbon negative even when the lumber was shipped from anywhere in the United States to Japan, one of the furthest ports. The conversion of trees into lumber and durable goods provides for long-term carbon storage. The harvest of mature forests allows for natural regeneration and a subsequent generation of young forests which sequester carbon at a faster rate than their mature predecessors. The young regrowth also provides superior habitat for game and wildlife.

Pennsylvania’s forest is home to a valuable, life enhancing, renewable resource. Hardwood lumber is the natural choice to create high-value finished products with minimal environmental impact. For a healthy and sustainable home – choose Pennsylvania hardwoods.

Sarah Hall-Bagdonas is the Program Manager for the Northern Tier Hardwood Association (NTHA). The NTHA is a non-profit organization supporting and promoting the forest product industry, sustainable forestry, and its supporters throughout Wayne, Pike, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Bradford, Sullivan, and Tioga counties of Pennsylvania. You can reach NTHA by phone at (570) 265-7753, e-mail, or