Each year more than 35 million new saplings are planted, which means that the total growing area in North America is increasing. On average, three new saplings are planted for every tree that is harvested. Every year, 30% more trees are planted than harvested.
In line with this proactive approach, the landowners comply with the mandatory requirement to replant within 3 years, and they also make sure that important species and habitats are completely restored.
Generally, landowners will even ensure faster growth within 12 to 18 months before wild plants have a chance to proliferate and block the sun.
Nurseries, for 3rd generation healthy forests
Where do these 35 million saplings come from? Almost all of them come from nurseries in North America. New forests are grown from seeds of pine cones that have been taken from the same area or region as the original species, known as its 'seed zone'. Since the first seed zone charts were compiled in 1966 more and more new information has been recorded. The use of seed zones helps landowners to replant specimens that are best adapted to the environment, ensuring the sustainable renewal of long-lived and healthy specimens, and the prevention of damage due to climate and disease, as well as maintaining local species.
Wood never pollutes
Why is burning wood waste CO2 neutral?
When wood is burned, for example for producing electricity, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released into the atmosphere is equal to the quantity that would have been released if the timber had decomposed naturally.
Consequently, no net CO2 is added by human agency to the atmosphere.
Moreover, sustainably replanted forests - as you can read above - together with the new trees ensure that this CO2 is absorbed. In fact, the North American forests function as 'net carbon sinks', meaning that they absorb more CO2 than they give out during their entire lifecycle, including processing.
What's more, wood is completely biodegradable. At the end of its lifetime, it can be put back in the ground without any negative effects. Plastic products, for their part, will go on lying in landfills for many years without breaking down.
Western Red Cedar is not only renewable and biodegradable, it is also free of (toxic) chemicals because of its natural resistance to decay. Although completely untreated, its natural properties protect it from insects and harsh weather conditions.
All these features mean that Western Red Cedar is ultimately more environmentally friendly than plastic or composite materials.
Wood vs plastic
Plastic comes from non-renewable resources, but trees are replanted and can be grown again and again.