Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wood Science and Technology

Committee Chair

David DeVallance.


This study investigated how to improve the market potentials of Appalachian hardwoods, specifically within West Virginia. Some Appalachian hardwoods could serve as alternative species for producing various value-added wood-based products. Efficient utilization of these species can lead to reduced manufacturing and consumer costs of major hardwood products. The main objectives of the study included: identifying the major products derived from Appalachian hardwoods, evaluating current and future market trends, and identifying the potential for using hickory as a substitute material in wood products. Additionally, factors that influence both local and international community's wood product purchasing decisions (e.g. price, eco-label certifications, image, design attributes, packaging, promotion and distribution) were investigated. Moreover, this study aimed to assist manufacturers of secondary wood products in positioning and marketing their merchandise during this period of stiff global competition.;Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), red maple ( Acer rubrum), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), white oak (Quercus alba), black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.), white ash (Fraxinus americana), hickory (Carya tomentosa), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis ), aspen (Populus tremuloides) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia) were identified as the top ten under-utilized hardwood species, respectively in West Virginia (based on average annual net change of saw timber volume). Consumers' demand and current product positioning for Appalachian hardwood products were first analyzed to determine the trends and preferences in the present market. Surveys were conducted among the international and domestic communities (i.e. American) at West Virginia University to study the perceptions and market demand for Central Appalachian hardwoods. The 2012 Morgantown Home Show was also used as a venue to check whether there was a difference in the buying behavior of respondents with the intention to buy or already having an interest in wood products. Hickory, as a low-valued species, was further investigated to determine the potential for using it as a replacement for other species in certain wood products.;Keywords: Appalachian Region, forest products industry, under-utilized species, hickory, globalization, sustainable-economic development, green marketing, market perceptions, demand for wooden products, trends and innovations.