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Individual Highlight

Small-diameter Hardwood Markets, Revisited

Photo of Small-diameter logs, especially when straight, can yield lumber volumes comparable to larger diameter logs. Jan Weidenbeck, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Small-diameter logs, especially when straight, can yield lumber volumes comparable to larger diameter logs. Jan Weidenbeck, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Standard operating procedures for merchandizing hardwood roundwood from timber harvests is to ship small-diameter wood to a wood chipping/stranding operation for conversion into pulp, engineered wood/panel products, or wood pellets. These markets rarely yield a profit to forest landowners. Profits come when logs are sawn into lumber for high-end markets. Instead of assuming that sawmills cannot produce profit sawing small-diameter logs, Forest Service scientists put this long-held assumption to the test.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Wiedenbeck, Janice (Jan) K. 
Research Location : State College, Pa.
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1010

Summary

The Forest Service’s Northern Research Station continues to lead efforts to find new markets and processing efficiencies to add value to low-value hardwoods. Over many years, many sawmill studies have been conducted to shed light on sustainable utilization of the full diversity of timber resources across our landscape. At the request of the primary processing industry and landowners, the most recent effort focused on value-added utilization of logs with small-end diameters less than 10 inches. Forest Service scientists found these logs can produce lumber volume recoveries that are comparable to or greater than those of somewhat larger logs (10-13 inch diameter), logs that are established as profitable sawmill inputs. Lumber grade yields are highly variable among small-diameter logs so procurement specifications and drying systems need to be adapted to guarantee sawing smaller logs will yield profits.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Pennsylvania State University