Scientists & Staff

Matt Bumgardner

Research Forest Product Technologist
359 Main Road
Delaware, OH, 43015
Phone: 740-368-0059

Contact Matt Bumgardner

Research Interests

• Factors affecting hardwood demand
• Improved use of lower-grade and lower-value hardwoods
• Competitiveness of the U.S. forest products industry
• Product development in the secondary woodworking industry
• Consumer perceptions of hardwood products
• Impacts of resource changes on the hardwood industry

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Hardwood parts for cabinet doors being manufactured in a U.S. woodworking facility

Forest Products Manufacturers are Entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution – Are They Ready?

Year: 2020

Industry 4.0, known for the digitization of manufacturing, enhanced automation, smart factories, and data-driven production systems, promises to bring rapid change to the forest products industry. Are woodworking manufacturers in the United States ready?

Customized options for kitchen cabinet doors including species, style, and finish

Building a Stronger Hardwood Economy with Customized Products

Year: 2018

Demand for individually customized products, where customers are enabled to choose their own design features, is increasing in the broader U.S. economy. USDA Forest Service research analyzed this trend and found that it offers opportunities for the hardwood industry to enhance its global competitiveness if the associated manufacturing and supply chain challenges can be overcome.

Hardwood lumber ready to ship to woodworking plants.

Overall investment activity in the woodworking industry is likely to increase

Year: 2017

Business investments are critical to the productivity and competitiveness of the U.S. woodworking industry. With employment and sales volume improving in many sectors of the industry, companies seem well-positioned to make investments to improve their capabilities. This notion was confirmed in a recent study.

Hardwood lumber on a sawmill grading deck. Exports are a major market for U.S. hardwood lumber graded for appearance-based uses. Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Institute of Technology.

Are There Regional Barriers to Exporting U.S. Hardwood Products?

Year: 2016

Exports have become a critical market for higher-value hardwood lumber given the steep decline in domestic furniture manufacturing and the recent housing downturn; however, some hardwood-producing regions of the United States seemingly face greater barriers than others to participating in export markets.

Hardwood parts for cabinet doors being manufactured in a U.S. woodworking facility. Urs Buehlmann, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

To What Do Woodworking Firms Attribute Success? Enhancing Technology Transfer to the U.S. Woodworking Industry

Year: 2015

Recent research has shown that woodworking firms in the United States attribute their success to actions they have taken and their lack of success to external forces largely beyond their control. Understanding this tendency helps researchers tailor programs that best meet practitioners’ needs “where they are” in terms of their relative performance within a given business environment. Enhanced technology transfer can help improve the competitiveness of the U.S. wood products industry.

Top hardwood lumber producers and exporters 1995 and 2013.

Role of the United States in Changing Worldwide Hardwood Lumber Production and Markets

Year: 2015

Hardwood markets are increasingly global, and understanding the role U.S. hardwood lumber plays in worldwide consumption and trade is valuable to timber investors, the hardwood industry, resource planners, and market analysts. Forest Service scientists have recently assessed factors affecting regional hardwood lumber consumption on a global scale. They determined the U.S. position in each of these categories and analyzed factors potentially affecting global hardwood lumber consumption such as population and Gross Domestic Product.

U.S. Imports and Exports of Hardwood Lumber and Logs, 1990-2013 (Data Source: USDA, Foreign Agricultural Service). Matt Bumgardner,  USDA Forest Service

United States Maintains Positive Trade Balances for Hardwood Logs and Lumber

Year: 2014

Exports have become a vital lumber market for hardwood sawmills in the United States because of the loss of domestic furniture manufacturing and the steep downturn in U.S. housing construction. Strong export markets for hardwood logs also can benefit timberland owners. Given the importance of export markets to demand for U.S. hardwoods, recent research sought to determine the competitive position of the United States in international hardwood lumber and logs markets, assessing the U.S. trade balance in these products. The United States has maintained a positive trade balance for both hardwood logs and lumber since 1990, but the global sources and destinations for these products have changed, sometimes in dramatic fashion.

Hardwood logs at a harvest site in northern Wisconsin. Bumgardner, Matthew, USDA Forest Service

Scientists Investigate the Influence of Markets and Forest Management on Small-diameter Hardwood

Year: 2013

Despite the potential silvicultural advantages of removing some small-diameter trees during timber harvests, activities such as diameter-limit cutting remain somewhat common in hardwood forests. A lack of markets is often cited as a major cause, leading to research toward development of new production and marketing systems. But the absence of pre-harvest planning with involvement of a professional forester can play an important role in utilization as well. A recent study assessed the influence that markets and forest management were playing in a case setting where both were present to varying degrees.

Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2019