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Day 81 – Q 1. With the help of suitable examples, discuss the locational factors of commercial lumbering. In this regard, compare and contrast tropical and temperate lumbering.

1. With the help of suitable examples, discuss the locational factors of commercial lumbering. In this regard, compare and contrast tropical and temperate lumbering. 

उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की मदद से, कमर्शियल लम्बरिंग के स्थानीय कारकों पर चर्चा करें। इस संबंध में, उष्णकटिबंधीय और समशीतोष्ण लम्बरिंग की तुलना और विपरीत करें।


Lumbering is a process of commercial exploitation of timber for furniture, paper and pulp and other marketable products. Lumbering, or the commercial extraction of timber is one of the most important economic activities of the forest. This activity is an important economic activity in temperate regions as compared to tropical regions


Almost all the forest region on earth has developed its own lumbering industry which are markedly different from one another. In this regard, the locational factors of commercial lumbering include:

  • Raw material – When wooden logs are processed in the sawmill, significant weight loss occurs. Barely 40% is used and the rest discarded as waste. Therefore most pulp mill and saw-mills are located near the jungles to reduce the cost of transporting waste matter. For example, Pacific coast of northwestern United States of America.
  • River – They’re located near rivers and streams because Logs are bulky and awkward to transport. Rivers provide cheap and convenient mode of transport. E.g. Myanmar, the teak logs are floated down the Irrawaddy river upto Yangon and then exported. The paper/pulp mills require clean water free from chemical/pollutants. This is one reason why they were set up in forest locations away from polluted rivers.
  • River direction – Generally, this is towards the market but sometimes, some industries are also located in a direction away from the market. For example, in Southern Canada, Sweden, Finland, Himalayas, rivers flow in general direction of final market which keeps production, transport cost low whereas in some places of US West Coast, Siberia, rivers flow in the opposite direction from market areas which leads to higher transport cost.
  • Industrialisation – along with the infrastructure development of a nation affect the location of lumbering industry as mechanisation and efficiency are an important factor. For example, Canada has a highly developed lumbering industry along with paper manufacturing.
               Tropical Lumbering               Temperate Lumbering
1. Despite having innumerable tree species in the hitherto untouched dense virgin forest of tropical rainforest, lumbering industry in this region has not yet been properly developed.1. Nearly 80% of lumbering products are obtained from temperate coniferous forest spread over North America and Europe. Here, lumbering industry is integrated, coordinated, well-organized and well-managed
2. Tropical forests have large number of tree species in a particular location. This made commercial exploitation tough. The hardwood trees found in such areas are difficult to float on water and thus difficult to transport.2. In temperate forests, the commercial exploitation is easier as small number of species are located in a region. Softwood trees are found that are easier to chop.
3. Valuable trees are scattered throughout the jungle, needing some land transport before logs reach the rivers. But road construction is difficult due to rain, dense vegetation. In Amazon and Zaire Basin, some trees are so heavy, it is difficult to float logs so there is high extraction cost.3. During Winter, frozen ground helps transporting logs from jungle/hills up to rivers. Further, Softwood are easy to float down the river streams.
4.  Settlement is sparse, economies are non-industrialized, away from demand areas (e.g Africa).4. Located in major industrial/urban areas thus are nearer to market. For example, United States of America.
5. These regions have Lax regulations, slash-n-burn type agriculture, jungles are permanently destroyed. 5. Many replantation programs are undertaken along with silviculture, there is  strict government regulation on lumbering which helps in jungles regenerate thus leading to lumbering as continuous economic activity.


Sustainable lumbering on scientific lines, planting multiple trees for a single tree cut can make lumbering an environmental friendly and economically viable alternative where Governments can a playing crucial role to increase environmen­tal awareness through proper forest management and also giving assistance to forest research projects.

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