American Hardwoods
Real American Hardwoods

Did you know that “every two minutes, the U.S. Hardwood forest grows by the size of a football field?” And did you know that “it takes 0.57 seconds to grow 1m³ (35.3 cubic feet) of American red oak?” This isn’t hype!

An online Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool from the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) now “shows the environmental impact of transporting all U.S. hardwood species, as well as calculating the rate of replenishment in the forest.” The application calculates:

  • “The environmental impact of delivering one cubic meter of kiln dried sawn lumber of the selected American hardwood species and thickness to the overseas customer using the specified transport route. (The data is derived from an ISO conformant LCA model prepared using GABI software by Thinkstep. The eight environmental impact categories shown are a selection of those used in EN15804-conformant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) of construction products and are also being pilot tested for the EU’s Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative.)
  • The replacement rate is calculated from total U.S. annual increment of the specified hardwood species derived from the U.S. Forest Service Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program and assumes that 2 m³ of logs is harvested to produce 1 m³ of lumber (i.e. 50% conversion efficiency). The rapid rate of replacement is due to the very large volume of hardwood trees in U.S. forest.”

More information about the LCA tool, along with other AHEC promotional ‘tools’ such as the American Hardwood Environmental Profile (AHEP) and the interactive forest growth map,
can be found by visiting


Photo courtesy of American Hardwood Export Council


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