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Did you know? In North America, it takes less than two seconds to grow the fiber for a standard #10 envelope. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. According to Two Sides North America, here are some little known facts about paper and trees.

  • The time required to grow the fiber needed for a #10 envelope is 0.3 to 1.9 seconds
  • The time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours

Growth rates are based on 100 acres of managed forest in North America.* The fastest growth rates are for Loblolly Pine and Hybrid Aspen. The slowest are for Black Spruce. Climate and temperature play a large role in growth rates. Here are some other fun facts:

  • A forestland owner or tree farmer with 100 acres of commercial pulpwood could produce 15.8 million #10 envelopes or 4,000 reams of copy paper (500 sheets each) in a single year
  • Any market for paper products also benefits local communities, given that a portion of the income is re-injected into local businesses and services

Unfortunately, claims such as “go paperless – go green” or “save trees” mislead consumers into believing that paper is environmentally damaging, as well as a cause of deforestation (permanent forest loss) when it is not. In fact, paper supports the growth of North American forests, and well-managed forests provide a multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits to thousands of North American communities. Forests are also key to helping mitigate climate change due to carbon sequestration and promoting biodiversity compared to other land uses.

Want to learn more? Check out Two Sides’ Fact Sheets or Myths and Facts series.

* Results are based on type of tree species used and the age and growing conditions of the trees. Data and fiber growth rate calculations were obtained from the literature for nine tree species used in pulp and paper production and occurring under different growing conditions in the U.S. and Canada.