Forestry Focus

Wood Industries

Ireland’s on-going afforestation programme which began in the early 1920s has today resulted in a national forest estate of some 750,000ha.  This natural resource is now providing a sustainable supply of roundwood timber which is being converted into wood-based products for use at home and also for export.

As the forests mature there is an increasing supply of roundwood timber becoming available for harvest. In 2011, timber production amounted to 2.7 million cubic metres (tonnes) but this is forecast to increase to some 6.5 million cubic metres by 2028.

The timber produced from Irish forests is converted into wood products by a modern and efficient processing sector comprising sawmills and panel board mills. These wood industries process all the logs available in Ireland and export over 70% of the end product.  All mills have internationally recognised chain of custody certification.

Timber is also being increasingly used for wood energy and this is due to expand significantly in the future as the country moves towards meeting its renewable energy targets from biomass by 2020.