Impact of Age and Site Index on Lumber Quality from Intensively Managed Stands

Don Ledford, Jim Rakestraw, John Paul McTague, Alastair Twaddle, and Joseph Dahlen

Wood Products

SREF-WP-002.pdf — PDF document, 2198Kb

Forests products companies are increasingly buying intensively managed loblolly pine as a raw material source for sawmills and other wood product facilities. Intensively managed loblolly pine has different mechanical properties than loblolly pine from natural stands or from plantations that have not received intensive silvicultural treatments. This study was conducted in ti001 by International Paper to assess the impact of age and site index on lumber quality from intensively managed loblolly pine stands. The study included stands of ages 19, 22, 26, and 30 grown on lands with a site index of 70-75, and ages 19, 22, and 26 from a site index of 80-85. 26 defect-free trees were harvested from these stands in South Carolina and tracked through a Georgia sawmill. The lumber was visually graded then tested in static bending to determine the modulus of elasticity (MOE, a component of stiffness) and modulus of rupture (MOR). Lumber quality improved with age, and by age 26, the dimension lumber was able to adequately meet most stiffness requirements. The stiffness from No. 2 grade lumber from the 70-75 site index sites exceeded those of the 80-85 site index sites at the same stand ages.

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