Wood pulp - a superb bi-product of this versatile natural material we call wood!
First we will get slightly technical, but try not to be to boring.
Wood is made up of cellulose fibres that are bound together by a material called lignin. The pulp mills will separate the fibres from one another into a mass of individual fibres, which essentially is called wood pulp.
Unknown to most, wood pulp represents a third of the fibre used to make paper and board in the UK. Six percent of this is home produced, or comes from Tree Surgeons like us around the country.
The paper making process takes the original wood from tree to end product, and well worth a visit if you have never been to a paper mill. The vast majority of wood used in the process of making paper comes from small dimension timber, so off-cuts or recycled from a Tree Surgery project for example. It’s very rare that a mature tree is used in this process.
Something that isn’t common knowledge is most of the wood pulp used in the UK is imported mainly from Scandinavia and North America, mostly softwoods such as spruce, pine, fir and cedar, with a few hardwoods being used like birch and aspen. Spain cultivates fast growing eucalyptus trees, which can provide a very high quality pulp, used in some of the best papers and boards.
In the UK we have numerous managed forests where more trees are planted than harvested to ensure that demand for timber products will never outstrip supply. This in turn provides a good supply of continuous high quality pulp!
So when you write your next letter, or purchase that ream of paper, remember that 33% of what you are holding is natural wood fibres!