How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year for Paper (See Graphic)

Woman looking at a calendar with a scale behind her with trees on one side and paper on the other wonders how many trees are cut down each year for paper.

If you’re wondering how many trees are cut down each year for paper and how many trees are cut down each year to make paper, this article is for you.2

Did you know that paper usage is directly related to a nation’s wealth? America and many European countries rank at the top, and on average, every American consumes about 3.6 trees per year in paper and cardboard.2

Furthermore, the deforestation of existing forests contributes to Human’s ecological and carbon footprint. Think about that. Over 3 and a half trees are used by every American, every year for paper and cardboard.

Naturally, some of that paper is due to food packaging and other necessities, but as the use of Amazon shipping increases, those numbers increase.

Check out this visual representation of how many trees are cut down each year for paper.

Ocer 4 billion trees cut down for paper each year llustrated by piles of paper and trees.

Studies estimate about 1.4 billion trees end up in landfills every year, due to product packaging and other paper waste.2

But the bottom line is that answering the question, how many trees are cut down each year for paper is hard to calculate. Estimates suggest anywhere from 4 billion trees to 8 billion trees used for paper every year. 

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year to Make Paper? (How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year for Paper?)

Over 400 metric tons of paper are produced each year (paper and paper products).

To make that paper, according to the EPA, the resources that are used include:

  • About 1/3 of materials come from recycled paper
  • Another third comes from sawmills (the chips and scraps left over from softwoods)
  • And the last amount comes from trees that are cut down for paper

Many of the trees cut down for paper are grown specifically for that use, and these tree farms replace and regrow the renewable resource.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Day?

Studies estimate about 42 million trees are cut down each day for both paper and other products.

How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year?

In the United States, about 1.9 billion trees are planted each year.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down for Paper Each Day?

More than 200 million trees are cut down daily to make paper. This means that a tree is cut down every 2.5 seconds.

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere when trees are cut down for paper production is estimated to be about 28 million metric tons per year. This makes up 20% of all global CO2 emissions.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year in the World?

Trees are cut down for a variety of reasons. They can be cut down to make room for new development; they can be cut down because they are diseased or dying, or they may be cut down by mistake. The most recent estimate suggests that approximately 15 billion trees are cut down yearly.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year for Paper? Its Factors

The exact number of how many trees are cut down each year to make paper depends on several factors. Foremost among these is the size of the forest being logged: larger forests have more trees per acre than smaller forests do.

Logging companies also consider how many years it will take to regenerate after an area has been logged. They also check whether there are native species present to replace those trees that have been removed from the area.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down a Second?

Every second, almost one football field’s worth of forest is lost.6 The logging industry is the main culprit, with the demand for wood products driving the destruction of forests. However, other factors such as urbanization and agriculture also contribute to the problem.

Image of a pie graph that shows the Global Paper Consumption having Wrapping and Packaging get the highest cut of 55 percent.

In many cases, trees are simply bulldozed or burned to make way for new development. As a result, countless acres of forest are lost each year, along with the animals that call those forests home.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Minute?

Twenty-four trees are cut down each minute, which means that humans could potentially clear a forest in just two hours.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Day in the World?

Around 42 million trees are cut down worldwide daily. This process is called deforestation. Deforestation is when trees are cut down to make room for crops, buildings, or other things that humans need.5

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Month?

If you’re wondering how many trees are cut down each month, it’s about 500 million. That’s a lot of trees.

In fact, the United States alone is responsible for one-third of the world’s deforestation. And that’s not all: Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia are among the top five countries whose forests are cut down each year.

Image of a graph that shows the paper production by country. This shows China being the highest producer of paper at 69.7 million tons.

The issue of deforestation is a serious one because it affects everyone—not just people in the United States but every nation on Earth.1 People are losing what little soil they have left to make room for more farmland and homes, which means people are also losing their natural resources, including clean water and air, to make room for human activities like farming and building houses.

How Many Pieces of Paper in a Tree?

Given that the average U.S. home throws away roughly 13,000 pieces of paper a year (think junk mail and other stuff), knowing how many pieces of paper in a tree can help you visualize the waste.

Although the average tree produces anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 pieces of paper, the type of paper makes a difference. So, the 3.6 trees each American used each year for paper includes those additional types.

It is estimated that it takes approximately 17 trees to produce one ton of paper.

Stunning Paper Facts

Did you know that in the U.S. alone, there are approximately 4 trillion pieces of paper documents right now?

Using paper towels accounts for about 3000 metric tons of waste every day! (You can reduce that amount by using organic bamboo washcloths to dry your hands).

The pulp and paper industry accounts for about 5 percent of the world’s emissions and uses about 4 percent of the world’s energy.

Wrapping and product packaging make up about 55 percent of the paper made. Printing and writing is about 26 percent, and the remaining amounts are for toilet paper and other uses.

Carbon Emissions for Paper Products

Paper production generates about 1.15 kg of carbon emissions for every kg of paper. But, that’s not the whole story.

Check out these common emissions amounts for things that are consumed every day:5

Table graphics of carbon emissions of paper products with the carbon emissions (pounds of CO2) on the x-axis and the paper products on the y-axis.

Paper ProductCarbon EmissionsPaper Facts
Paper Grocery Bag0.026 Pounds of CO2
Department Store Paper Bag0.17 Pounds of CO2
Recycled Paperback Book0.88 pounds of CO2
Non-Recycled Book4.4 pounds of CO2If 50% of copies are pulped
NTY Sunday Edition3.3 Pounds of CO2If the edition is recycled
Toilet Paper Roll1.6 Pounds of CO2

Some Additional Paper Production Facts

1 ton of non-coated, not recycled office/print paper requires approximately 24 trees for production.

1 ton of the same kind of newspaper needs about 12 trees to create it.

1 ream of paper (500 sheets, not recycled and newly made) uses approximately 6 percent of a tree.

But, a ton of coated, paper, like the pages that are used for magazines, needs over 15 trees to produce!

(Source: Cushman-Roisin & Tanaka Cremonini, Useful Numbers, Elsevier 2021)

How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year Worldwide?

The world’s forests are disappearing at an alarming rate. The goal of planting trees is to help slow down this trend by providing wood for homes and buildings, as well as for use in furniture and other products. Trees also play a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate – they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, protecting you from global warming.3

According to statistics, there are currently about 3 trillion trees around the globe, but only about 1.15 billion of them are planted each year. That means you have a long way to go before you have enough forests on Earth to keep up with human demand for wood products like furniture or paper pulp.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year?

As mentioned above, about 15 billion trees are cut down each year. That’s a lot of trees! And it’s not just in forests either—it’s also happening on farms, in cities, and on private property.

There is some bad news, though: that number is likely to increase by 20% by 2023. Why? Because people are starting to see how climate change affects trees.

Trees need water to survive—and when you have less rain or snowfall, it makes them more vulnerable to disease and pests. So if there are fewer trees to fight off these things with their leaves, then they’re going to get wiped out faster than ever before.

How Many Trees Are Planted Each Minute?

The number of trees planted each minute is approximately 3,611.

Trees are essential for the environment and humanity. Trees can help clean the air and water, provide shelter, and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. They also provide food to many species of animals, particularly forest creatures.

How Many Trees Are Planted Each Day?

Approximately 5.2 million trees are planted each day. There are many types of trees that are used for different purposes. Commonly planted trees include:

Eucalyptus: These trees are used for making paper, construction, fuel, and timber. They can also be used for landscaping and as windbreaks.

Douglas fir: These trees are among the most common varieties of fir trees in North America. Their bark is smooth and dark brown with light-colored sapwood that turns white when it dries out. Douglas Fir wood is used for making furniture and other wood products.

Larch: Larch trees grow in cold climates with cold winters like those found in Scandinavia, where they get their name from the Latin word “larchos,” meaning “of the Larch.” These evergreen conifers are often grown as Christmas trees because they have a soft texture on the outside but hard interior bark that makes them ideal for allowing air circulation.

Is the World Running Out of Trees?

The world’s trees are at risk of disappearing.

Trees are the lungs of the planet. They provide people with oxygen, clean air, and shelter from the sun’s rays—all the things needed to survive. But if you don’t care for your forests, they could be gone within a few decades.

Related Reading: Email Carbon Footprint vs. Paper Letter by Mail (And the True Price of SPAM)

The United Nations has estimated that by 2050,4 there will be 2 billion more people on Earth than there were in 2010. That means more people means more demand for food, water, and energy—and less forest cover to help absorb carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels (which contribute to climate change).

There are many causes of this problem – climate change, loss of habitat, over-harvesting, and deforestation. But one thing that is clear is that you need to do something about it NOW!

Is Urban Tree Removal Contributing to Deforestation?

Yes, urban tree removal is contributing to deforestation in several ways.

First, it is removing trees from the urban landscape, which helps make cities more dense and less green. This can be detrimental to wildlife, especially birds. Birds are essential for pollination and seed dispersal, so removing trees from an urban environment could lead to the spread of disease if they are not replaced with native plants that provide the same function.

Photo taken from the bottom of the tree focusing the camera to the top of the tall trees in a forest.

(Image: ekaterinvor7)

Second, the removal of trees can reduce forest cover and increase surface runoff and erosion in urban areas. Trees reduce runoff by slowing water down and absorbing some of it into their roots before it reaches the soil. The roots also help hold soil in place, preventing erosion during heavy rains or snowmelt.

Third, urban tree removal decreases biodiversity by removing native plants that might compete with invasive species like weeds or non-native plants like ivy or honeysuckle (which tend to grow quickly). These invasive plants can crowd out native species by taking over space where they can no longer survive, such as along sidewalks or buildings where there are not enough spaces for both types of vegetation at once.

Finally, urban tree removal has been shown to increase air pollution due to increased traffic emissions when roads are widened or built.

Which Country Has the Most Trees?

Russia leads the race with 642 billion trees followed by Canada with 318 billion trees. Brazil is a close third with 302 billion trees. The USA is fourth at 228 billion trees and China rounds up the top five with 140 billion trees.

How Many Trees Should Be Planted to Stop Global Warming?

The world’s forests cover about 32% of the Earth’s surface. They absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. The total amount of carbon stored in trees is estimated to be 4 billion tons, which works out to about 0.08% of all the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities each year.

To stop global warming, it would take planting about 1 trillion trees to absorb all the emitted CO2 by humans.

What Will Happen if All Trees on Earth Are Cut Down?

If all trees on Earth were to be cut down, the consequences would be devastating. The land would lose its ability to absorb carbon dioxide, which is a primary contributor to global warming. Without trees and their ability to absorb CO2, the planet would become warmer and more vulnerable to catastrophic weather events such as hurricanes and floods.

Basically, all life on earth would be destroyed.

Knowing how many trees are cut down each year for paper can help you make conscious decisions to use less, and recycle more.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year for Paper

How Many Trees Are Cut Down for Paper Each Year in the World? In Other Words, How Many Trees Are Cut Down for Paper Each Year?

The number of trees cut down for paper each year is estimated to be around 15 billion.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down for a Single Sheet of Paper?

It is said that about 1/500th of a tree is needed to make a sheet of paper.


References

1Bologna, M., & Aquino, G. (2020, May 6). Deforestation and World Population Sustainability: A Quantitative Analysis. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 7631. <https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-63657-6>

2Cushman-Roisin, B. (2022, February 3). Forest and Paper Industry: A Mature Industry That Has Done Much to Clean Up Its Act. Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from <https://cushman.host.dartmouth.edu/courses/engs171/Paper.pdf>

3Stancil, J. M. (2019, June 3). The Power of One Tree – The Very Air We Breathe. USDA. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from <https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2015/03/17/power-one-tree-very-air-we-breathe>

4Ward, S. (2021, September 30). Forestry Statistics and Forestry Facts & Figures. Forest Research. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from <https://www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-and-resources/statistics/forestry-statistics/>

5Wikipedia. (2022, August 10). Deforestation. Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation>

6WorldCounts. (2022). Retrieved September 21, 2022, from <https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/forests-and-deserts/rate-of-deforestation>

7Photo by ekaterinvor. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/photos/eucalyptus-tree-flora-spain-2734066/>