Forests cover about half of Florida’s land area, with most of the timberlands lying north of Orlando.
Statewide, there are more than 17 million acres of forests; the vast majority of those timberlands are working forests. Most are privately owned; the rest is owned by state local, state, and federal governments.
In 2016, there were 74 primary wood-using mills in Florida. Most of those are sawmills. Other types of mills include mulch, pulp/paper, chip-n-saw, chip, post, animal bedding, biomass power, firewood, pole, pallet, pellet, plywood, strand board and veneer.
More than 5000 items are made from forest products, ranging from furniture to pharmaceuticals. They can be found in your kitchen (fruits, nuts, spices, artificial flavorings, food additives, wine corks, sports drinks, root beer, dish washing liquids); your medicine cabinet (soaps, cough syrups, cough drops, shampoo, aspirin, adhesive bandages, skin lotions, tablet coatings, toothbrushes, cologne, cosmetics, cancer-fighting drug Taxol); your playroom (crayons, football helmets, computer casings, sporting equipment, musical instruments); your garage, garden and laundry room (car wax, tools, paints, charcoal, garden mulch, cleaners and laundry detergents); and throughout your home (carpet and fabrics).
Forests have a positive impact on your life outside your home as well. Environmentally, they provide habitat for wildlife; act as natural air and water filters; and offer many recreational opportunities and much-needed green space. Financially, the forestry industry employs more than 124,000 Floridians and infuses $25 billion into the state’s economy.