Hardwood Properties (Stokes Plots) - 150-301

Description: One third of Ontario forests consist of tolerant hardwood stands. These stands represent a source of raw material for the manufacture of a number of value-added wood products (i.e. furniture, joinery, and flooring). Unlike softwoods that are graded based on their mechanical properties, hardwoods are graded using visual criteria. Indeed, hardwood log grade depends on external log characteristics (i.e. dimension, shape, and number of defects). Common lumber grading systems usually involve an evaluation of clear cut yield. Some internal wood characteristics such as knots, heartwood and discoloration are considered as defects and lead to a decrease in lumber grade yield and value. In sugar maple for example, clear tinted (sap) lumber is worth, on average, three times more than lumber containing discoloration. The difference between the price of the best and worst grades in sugar maple can be as high as 600%. It is therefore imperative to integrate internal wood characteristics as criteria for the evaluation of the effects of various silvicultural treatments in tolerant hardwood stands.

The objective of the study is to understand relationships among stand characteristics, external tree characteristics, internal wood characteristics and lumber yield (volume, grade, and value recovery) in sugar maple, with the aim of maximizing product value in managed stands. Analyses will lead to:
1)     The establishment of relationships between stand characteristics, external tree characteristics and internal wood features in sugar maple;
2)     The development of models to predict lumber volume, grade and value yield;
3)     The assessment of the impact of logging damage on lumber yield;
4)     The evaluation of possible value gains through an entirely optimized sawing process.

This project was initially designed to allow integration of internal wood characteristics as criteria to evaluate current silvicultural approaches in tolerant hardwood stands managed under selection cutting system in Ontario. Hopefully, this study will contribute to the maximization of wood value in sugar maple stands throughout their distribution.


The Project Team: Tony Zhang, Forintek, Bill Cole, OFRI, Murray Woods, MNR, Aude Fournier, Formerly FRP



Progress Report: Fournier, A. et al. 2006. Logging Damage and Lumber Recovery Project – Stoke’s Study Forestry Research Partnership project # 150-301

Progress Report for Forintek: Fournier, A., Woods, M., Stinson, A. and T. Zhang. 2006. Maximizing the value of hardwoods through intensive silviculture. Forintek


Technical Notes/ Reports:

Zhang, T. May 2007. Maximizing the value of hardwoods through intensive silviculture. Report for Forintek Members. 4pp.


Tree Tips:

Tree Tip for Project 150-301, December 2005



Logging Damage Studies Update, 2008


For Additional Information Contact:

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