Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Economics

Major Professor

Joe A. Martin

Committee Members

Luther H. Keller, W. P. Ranney


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibilities of expanding present fireplace wood markets or of developing new markets for such a product. Reference to Table II indicates that total fuelwood consumption and per capita consumption have both declined from 1950 to 1965. A closer look at the data reveals that the decrease in consumption has progressed at a decreasing rate. Since fireplace wood constitutes only a part of the total fuelwood produced and consumed, it is difficult to make valid inferences from Table II. Nevertheless, when the substitution of oil, gas, coal, and electricity for fuelwood, in the home and in industry is recognised, at least some part of the decreasing rate of decline in fuelwood consumption must be attributable to the growth of substantial fireplace wood markets in the metropolitan areas. In Tennessee approximately 65 per cent of the total output of hardwood fuelwood is from roundwood, with the remainder being derived from by-products of timber processing plants. It is expected that an increasing proportion of the total volume of fuelwood consumed in Tennes-see will come from by-products rather than from roundwood. If such expectations become a reality, the reduced demand for roundwood fuelwood will adversely affect the application of timber stand improvement practices to Tennessee's forest resources. Development of new fireplace wood markets and expansion of existing markets may be a possible alter native to the increased use of mill residues as a source of fuelwood. In Tennessee, with its large volume of low-quality hardwoods, the opportunity for expansion of the fireplace wood market as a means of utilising low-quality trees would appear to be promising. Such markets may be expected to be more prevalent in the large metropolitan centers than in the smaller urban and rural communities, due to a larger volume of new residential construction and the lack of accessibility to sources of “free” fireplace wood which are often present in smaller, less urban-ised areas. On the assumption that such an expectation is valid, the present study was conducted in the Knoxville urbanised area.

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