Of course, every answer to this question will be different depending on the size of the tree, the pulping process used, the type of wood used, etc.
For a basic answer to the question, a typical 8-inch diameter trunked tree with 45ft of usable tree would produce around 10,000 to 20,000 sheets.
As noted in our previous blog post, the average office worker prints roughly 8,000 pages per year. So for us office-bound employees, we use 80% of a tree each every single year. Maybe that doesn’t sound a lot to you but consider this: there are roughly 1.5 million office workers in New York City alone, if they each produce 8,000 printed pages per year then that means total they are producing 12,000,000,000 sheets. That’s 12 billion pieces of paper being printed in New York City over the course of a year!
And how many trees is that? Well, if one tree produces 10,000 to 20,000 sheets – let’s go with 15,000 – then it means 800,000 trees are needed to be cut to the ground just to facilitate New York City’s office printing.
Do you want some more numbers? There are on average around 800 trees in an acre of forest, that means New York City needs to fell 1,000 acres of mature forest – an area of land bigger than Central Park – just to print their office documents.
Whilst this doesn’t necessarily relate to the initial question of “How Much Paper Can You Get From One Tree?”, it does serve as a fascinating insight into the scale of resources needed just to do something that we take for granted like printing out paper. In our so-called “modern world” of so-called “paperless offices”, one has to wonder why paper consumption is still increasing year on year around the world.