Tree and Wood Properties

SummarySpadeadam Logs

This project aims to investigate the relationships between tree growth, environment and genetics on the wood properties that are crucial to both the survival of forests and the sustainable production of a range of forest products from the domestic forest resource.

 

Research objectives

  • Provide evidence based guidance on the suitability of conifer and broadleaved species for a range of forest products

  • Quantify the relationship between the growing environment and wood formation to inform how forest management practices will affect the production of forest products.

  • Implementation of modern and efficient methods for measuring and continual monitoring of the wood properties of trees.

Status


The current cycle of research was initiated in 2015 and is due to last until March 2020. We have two active Work Packages with three Work Areas in each. You can click on each one for more information.

Diversifying the Timber Supply

  • Assessing the wood properties of conifers and broadleaves that are likely to be part of the future forest resource
  • Assessing the impact of different stocking and management regimes on wood properties
  • Understanding the carbon sequestration of a range of tree species

Measuring and Modelling Timber Properties

  • Developing efficient methods of measuring and monitoring timber properties
  • Modelling important tree and wood properties
  • Tree biomechanics and environment

Contact

Paul McLean

Funders and partners

This research is funded by the Forestry Commission as part of the Wood & Timber Properties programme and by Forestry Commission Scotland through the Timber Development Programme. Research is guided by input from the Improving Conifer Timber Quality Steering Group.

Research is conducted in partnership with other research groups including:

  • The Integrated Research in Timber (SIRT) network - a collaborative research initiative between Forest Research, the University of Glasgow, and Edinburgh Napier University
  • University of Aberdeen
  • University of Bath
  • University of Surrey
  • Building Research Establishment

Forestry Commission policy  

The sustainable production and utilisation of British timber is a key component of the forestry strategies of England, Scotland and Wales: research in this project will produce information and tools in support of these policy objectives.

In England the Government Forestry and Woodlands Policy Statement highlighted ‘The scope for developing new markets based around a better understanding of the value and potential of our trees, woods and forests’ and the need to “increase the amount of woodland management driven by economic activity through the sustainable harvesting of wood products”.

In Scotland the Scottish Forestry Strategy seeks to “Maximise the economic potential of Scotland’s timber resources”. Forestry Commission Scotland’s Timber Development Programme focuses on four objectives:

  • Promote a predictable and stable timber supply.
  • Encourage more use of timber and timber products
  • Enable improvements to timber supply chain efficiency
  • Encourage and enable improvements to the quality of the growing stock.

In Wales, the Woodlands for Wales Forest Strategy has “A competitive and integrated forest sector” as a key outcome, with planned actions including “More Welsh-grown timber is used in Wales” and “Increased use of timber as a key renewable resource”.

What's of interest

Furthering the use of English wood products in a range of markets
Defra-funded contract aimed at developing an evidence base for understanding the behavioural, cultural, physical and economic barriers which may be limiting the use of wood products.


Unlocking the potential of home-grown softwoods: Timber research workshop
Workshop held on 26th February 2013


Improved conifer timber quality through plant selection and silviculture
Presentations given at the seminar are now available online.


Wood For Good
Includes building with wood: information for architects, engineers, builders etc.


Scots pine market development report (PDF-823K)

Evaluating potential new market opportunities for Scots pine timber.


Benefits of improved Sitka spruce: volume and quality of timber (PDF-534K)

Forestry Commission Research Note 3.

Related pages

Related documents

Useful sites