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From the forest to products: how segregation systems will allow the characterisation of fibre-grown plantations for higher value production


Balasso, M and Hunt, M and Nolan, G and Kotlarewski, N and Jacobs, A, From the forest to products: how segregation systems will allow the characterisation of fibre-grown plantations for higher value production, Proceedings of the 61st International Convention of Society of Wood Science and Technology and Japan Wood Research Society, 05-09 November 2018, Nagoya, Japan (2018) [Conference Extract]

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Segregation systems can characterise a plantation resource according to its wood quality and can be used to sort material into different product streams.

The global demand for forest products is steadily increasing and the viable long-term supply of wood products requires the use of sustainably sourced wood. In order to comply with the commercial demand for timber, forest plantations are of crucial importance in meeting material supply requirements. Planted forests have undergone a dramatic expansion in the last decades. Species of the genus Eucalyptus are now planted worldwide for hardwood production. In Australia, the spread of eucalypt plantations managed to produce fibre has followed the global trend, with the establishment of single species, unthinned and unpruned stands managed under short rotation. As a consequence, the appearance, wood quality and properties of fibre-grown Eucalyptus timber differ noticeably from the native resource and from plantations managed for sawn timber. Nevertheless, this fibre resource could be used in structural applications where appearance is not critical. The prediction of structural properties of trees managed for fibre production purposes is highly desirable to sort the material and improve the manufacture of different timber products. Significant benefits may derive from segregating trees and logs according to their characteristics, which can later be directed to the ideal processing plant to match end products such as sawn boards or veneers. Correlations between known segregation techniques and wood quality plantation eucalypts are poorly understood.

This poster will discuss the methods being used in a project that aims to quantitatively use non-destructive techniques to predict wood properties and quality of Eucalyptus plantations in Tasmania, and to apply this information to segregating the material to optimise product values. Preliminary research found that site conditions create regional differences in wood properties, but a systematic approach to the characterisation and segregation of this resource at a standing tree level has to date not been applied. Data collected in this project will be used to build prevision models and to set the boundaries in the capability of segregation systems to effectively batch trees according to their characteristics. Wood quality is considered as the critical factor needed to meet the requirements set by end-use applications, hence identification of specific wood quality traits and the evaluation of different sorting methodologies will deliver essential information to allow the resource to be directed to the ideal production chain and ultimately provide greater returns for its efficient use. This will enhance the ability of tree growers and timber processors to share knowledge along the supply chain to utilise this resource for structural timber applications.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:wood quality, hardwood plantation, solid wood products, NDT testing
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Forestry sciences
Research Field:Wood processing
Objective Division:Construction
Objective Group:Construction materials performance and processes
Objective Field:Timber materials
UTAS Author:Balasso, M (Miss Michelle Balasso)
UTAS Author:Hunt, M (Professor Mark Hunt)
UTAS Author:Nolan, G (Professor Gregory Nolan)
UTAS Author:Kotlarewski, N (Dr Nathan Kotlarewski)
ID Code:135797
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2019-11-14
Last Modified:2019-11-18
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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