Where Does Our Wood Come From?

Landowner Patrick Williams and Powell Industries Wood Chip Mill Representative John Culp

Much of it comes from dedicated family-owned forestland around the Canton Mill—including English Mountain, managed by landowner Patrick Williams. Williams and four other grandchildren inherited the land from their grandfather, who assumed ownership of 4,000 acres in Cocke County, Tennessee, sometime between the first and second world wars. Powell Industries Wood Chip Mill uses the English Mountain trees in its production, providing a source of wood for Evergreen Packaging’s paperboard production.tree_from_bottom

Today English Mountain is a thriving forest with a growing population of wildlife. Williams notes that Powell Industries, with its willingness to employ professional foresters, and Evergreen Packaging, with its ability to utilize hardwood pulp wood, are valuable assets to landowners like himself who wish to practice sound scientific forestry practices. According to Williams, “We plan to methodically work the land for a long time and employ good practices to conserve it.”

Williams explains, “Naturally the focus is on the best use of the land and its resources. Utilize a tree to its fullest. It’s just the right thing to do.” Pulp production allows for use of less desirable tops, limbs, and even damaged timber to be converted into valuable, usable wood chips for paper and paperboard. There’s a cost associated with ensuring all wood is used, but Williams believes it’s worth it. With the implementation of scientific forest practices, including natural regeneration, as well as replanting, new stands of trees will be established and growing within five years.

The chip mill branch of Powell Industries supplies 65 tractor trailer loads of wood chips a day, more than 300,000 tons a year, to Evergreen Packaging’s Canton Mill, some of it from English Mountain. At just 13 miles away, the relationship is a close one. According to Culp, “I feel like part of the family. We have a great working relationship with Evergreen Packaging.” The supply chain solution is proving to be beneficial for both companies.