Corporations: Test-Tube Forests

No businessmen wait longer for their product to develop than the timber owners of the Pacific Northwest. It takes Douglas firs 80 years to mature, and some still waiting to be cut were young when Paul Revere made his midnight ride. Timber's unique "lead time" is a constant concern of the 63-year-old Weyerhaeuser Co., which turns out more lumber and wood products than any other company in the $6 billion industry that provides raw material for U.S. homes, newsprint, boats, containers and furniture.

Weyerhaeuser's 3.6 billion velvety green acres of timber, most of them in Washington...

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