Pulping properties of hardwoods and softwood

Wood pulp made from hardwood and softwood trees has different attributes. In Europe, hardwoods account for 29% and softwoods 71% of wood consumption

Hardwood Trees

Softwood Trees

Type of tree

Oaks, beeches, poplars, birches and eucalyptus

Mainly pine and spruce


In Europe it is mostly birches (found in Sweden, Norway, the UK and Spain) and eucalyptus (found in Portugal, Spain and Norway) that are used for papermaking.

In Europe pine is found in the UK, Norway, Finland, France, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Spruce is found in the UK, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Type of fibre



Average length of fibres




Achieving bulk, smoothness, opacity

Providing additional strength. Also suitable for writing and printing

Typical products

Writing papers, printing papers, tissue papers

Shipping containers, grocery bags, corrugated boxes

Hardwood and softwood fibres can be blended into a single paper, to achieve a desired combination of strength, whiteness, writing surface or other required characteristics

The mixed characteristics of recovered fibres makes them particularly suited to applications such as newsprint and increasingly, packaging. Many different types of paper are included in recovered paper.

Copyright 2018 European Paper & Packaging Industries - Disclaimer