It’s used for pallets, crates, furniture, fencing, and more – Pine lumber is certainly popular! This leaves many people wondering, what is it about this wood species that makes it so popular in the United States? That just so happens to be the question that we’re determined to answer for our customers, suppliers, and industry partners today.
When it comes to Pine lumber, there’s a world of information out there on this specific wood involving several different industries. Although it’s great that there are so many resources to draw from, the excess information can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In the end, pine lumber’s popularity in the US comes down to its history, availability, and versatility.
The History of Pine Lumber in the United States
Pine lumber has a rich history in North America, spanning back to the early 17th century. In 1607, with the establishment of Jamestown, the first official recordings of the lumber industry were documented with the construction of the settlement. Using the available resources in the area, which just so happened to include Pine forests, the early settlers unknowingly established a rich tradition on the North American continent – the lumber industry.
As the European settlements eventually turned into the American Colonies, the demand for lumber ceaselessly grew. Fortunately for the colonists, the East Coast of the colonies was chock-full of Pine lumber and other soft and hardwoods. It didn’t take long for the British Empire to take notice of how advantageous all of this lumber could be. Prior to American Independence, the British established dozens of major seaports along the East Coast to construct ships. These ports used a combination of Pine lumber and Oak to provide a continuous supply of ships for the British Navy during the 18th century.
With the end of the American Revolution in 1783, the American economy had taken an enormous hit in its fight for sovereignty. As a way to combat an economic recession and to battle the new country’s massive debt, the lumber industry was used to kickstart the newly formed economy. By 1790, New England alone was exporting over 36 million board feet of Pine lumber annually. Even by today’s standards, that’s quite a lot of wood!
As the United States grew, so did its demand for lumber. By the mid-1800s, more wood was needed to support the growing country’s domestic and export needs. As Manifest Destiny was in full swing, American settlers headed West to find new land and new forests. Pine lumber became a hot commodity as it was used for building new structures and supplementing new industries. Continuing all the way until modern times, Pine lumber has done just that.
When it comes to wood, the US has never been short on Pine lumber. Growing naturally in practically every state in the lower 48, Pine lumber is harvested by the millions each and every year. Don’t worry though, today, lumber companies have proven that they can plant more trees than they harvest each and every year. This is done by harvesting Pine lumber in cycles, rather than slashing old-growth trees.
These harvesting cycles allow for new batches of Pine to be harvested annually. Unlike some hardwood and softwood trees, Pine lumber takes only about 20-30 years to mature to harvesting age. Due to responsible planting methods in the ‘90s, the 2020s and beyond will have plenty of Pine lumber if sustainable planting and harvesting are continued.
Aside from pure numeric availability, Pine lumber is also available in two main varieties – White and Yellow.
Growing primarily on the East Coast of the US, white pine is touted for its second-to-none workability. White Pine lumber is typically used for products that need to be pliable or carved, being a favorite of artisans, craftsmen, and some manufacturers who need this benefit.
Yellow Pine, or Southern Yellow Pine, is by far the favorite of manufacturers, construction companies, and anyone else who needs a tough dependable wood. Yellow Pine lumber is favored by many because of its strength-to-weight ratio. Although being considerably lighter than many other softwoods and hardwoods, Yellow Pine is particularly tough – making it perfect for a variety of industrial uses.
That’s why, at Conner, we build the majority of our industrial wood products from Southern Yellow Pine lumber. In order to stand the test of time against a harsh manufacturing and transportation environment, we trust Yellow Pine lumber to do its job day in and day out.
Pine lumber is some of the most versatile wood on the market. Although we’ve covered a few of its applications when it comes to availability, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the different uses of Pine lumber here to truly understand what makes this wood so popular!
Many construction companies, manufacturers, wholesalers, and other businesses have vast needs for industrial Pine lumber. Whether they’re constructing framing for houses, using it as industrial boarding in the back of semi-trucks and flatbeds, or building pallets or crates, these businesses trust industrial Southern Yellow Pine lumber to do the job at hand.
To many, Pine lumber is thought of as the workhorse of manufacturers and transportation professionals across the globe. That’s because Pine lumber is the baseline lumber that the majority of transportation packaging is made from. Wood pallets, crates, blocking, and dunnage are all commonly built out of this dependable wood.
That’s Why Pine Lumber is so Popular!
With an extensive history, massive availability, and enormous versatility, it’s no surprise that Pine lumber has only been increasing in popularity in the United States. Although lumber prices may fluctuate due to different factors, it’s always a safe bet to believe that Pine lumber will continue to be a popular wood in the US. So, the next time you find yourself wondering why pine is so popular, make sure to take a look back here!