A new infographic created by Resolute illustrates the role of wood products in the forest carbon cycle – from carbon capture to sequestration.
The life span of trees in the Canadian boreal forest generally ranges from 80 to 200 years, depending on the species. As trees mature, die and decompose, they release carbon into the atmosphere. Dry, woody debris is highly combustible, and older forests are particularly vulnerable to natural disturbances like fire and insect outbreaks.
Sustainable forest management, which includes leaving portions of older forests in place, promotes biodiversity. In Canada, all harvested areas are promptly regenerated – it’s required by law. As saplings grow, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Young forests are more resistant to fire and insect outbreaks than older forests, limiting the impact of natural and recurrent disturbances.
Wood is a versatile and renewable natural resource that can be transformed into products we all use. Long-life wood products sequester carbon throughout their life cycle, further reducing the amount of carbon accumulating in the atmosphere, while new trees are capturing carbon in the renewed forest. Wood residues from sawmilling are transformed into other consumer products or carbon-neutral energy. At the end of their life cycle, wood products can be transformed into energy, replacing fossil fuels.
Thanks to our forestry team for helping us create this infographic!