Recovery from Young-Growth Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce in
- Understanding the lumber product value
and economic potential of young-growth timber from the Tongass
National Forest is identified as a high-priority in the Tongass
Management Plan (TLMP).
- Little is known about how fluting in
Hemlock and thinning affect wood quality in young-growth timber.
- More information is needed on the mechanical properties of
lumber from Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce.
This study examines lumber produced from thinned and unthinned
stands of Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce to provide managers
with quantitative information on the commercial potential of the
young-growth forest resources in southeast Alaska. Previous lumber
recovery studies in southeast Alaska exclusively examined old-growth
Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce, a minor component timber available
for future harvest. Proposed management practices (e.g. thinning)
under TLMP are applied to the young growth resource and may affect
the yield and quality of future products.
- Volume recovery was low but is similar to results from past
lumber recovery studies in SE Alaska.
- Yield of high quality lumber was high, but these stands were
thinned late and grew slowly. Had they been early and grown fast
as proposed under TLMP, yield of high quality lumber may be significantly
less. This is currently being investigated.
- No difference was found between thinned and unthinned stands,
likely due to the late thinning.
- Fluted Western Hemlock produced slightly less volume but
was of equal quality.
- Mechanical properties of lumber produced from young-growth
resource are at least as good as the traditional timber resource.
Christiensen Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland
(503) 808-2000, Kent Julin, Marin County, Woodacre CA (415) 499-3759,
or Robert Ross, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison WI (608) 231-9221.