Hardwood industry sees shrinking demand

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 19, 2014 4:47 AM

Photo by Wikicommons user Przykuta

(Harrisburg) -- The demand for hardwood has been shrinking, but those in the industry in the state maintain it is strong and healthy.

About 600 Pennsylvanians are directly employed in the forestry and logging industry, according to state Department of Labor statistics.

More jobs are in the southeastern part of the state, NOT where the big trees grow.

Because of plentiful supplies, foresters are only cutting about one out of every three trees when they harvest.

Keith Craig, executive director of the state Agriculture Department's Hardwoods Development Council, says there are some concerns though.

"We know for a fact that we don't have the quality of regeneration on a massive scale in Pennsylvania as all of the experts would like to see. And one of those factors is certainly the amount of deer brows that is consumed."

Craig says hardwood is rarely used to build homes, but when the housing market slows, the industry is impacted because products like floors and cabinets are used inside homes.

Pennsylvania hardwood is famously known for being used to make Louisville Slugger bats.

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