The aim of this project is to develop an understanding of the basic wood properties of hardwood timber in relation to provenance and silvicultural practice in extensively managed stands of largely pioneer broadleaved species.
Particular emphasis will be placed on timber quality in trees up to 40 or 50 years old. It is intended that the results of this study will be used to develop better guidelines for the selection of the most suitable species and provenances to plant on different sites, and the management regime to apply.
Modern methods of hardwood silviculture cannot rely on the intensive use of labour such as was employed in the past nor can we so readily contemplate the long rotations traditionally used to produce high quality timber. Thus, this project aims to examine fast growing pioneer species from the genera Betula, Populus, Fraxinus, Acer, Quercus and Fagus during early years of growth, and to determine how wood quality varies with provenance and silvicultural practice.
It is likely that many of our future broadleaved woodlands will be established using wide spacings and chemical weed control on fertile sites that may previously have been farmed. Stands and individual stems, therefore, will be sampled whose past history of management reflects some of these growing conditions. The requirement for silvicultural inputs such as pruning to maintain wood quality will be investigated. The data gathered will then be used to predict the effect of silvicultural treatments.
The project involves an initial survey of broadleaved woodlands which meets the criteria described above. Parameters of silvicultural importance, such as height, age and growth rate, will be measured and wood samples collected for laboratory analysis. These analyses will determine wood strength and quality.
Each participating centre will develop its expertise in one or two genera, although it will collect and analyse wood samples from the full range of genera under study and pass on the relevant information to the appropriate participants.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
1870 Frederiksberg C
LL57 2DG Bangor (Gwynedd)