Canadian Forest Service Publications

Quantifying Lumber Value Recovery from Beetle-killed Trees. 2006. Orbay, L.; Goudie, D. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC. Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative Working Paper 2006-09. 32 p.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26289

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


Forintek’s sawmill simulation tool, Optitek, was used to estimate lumber and by-product value yields from a sample of logs with defects caused by mountain pine beetle. A model of a typical British Columbia interior sawmill that manufactures dimension lumber using technologies currently common in the industry was used to process the log data—first without defects, and then with defects present. The resulting relative value yields showed the loss in value caused by the beetle-induced damage. Check damage in a log was the most significant defect and a check severity index was developed to segment the log sample according to damage level. A correlation was found to exist between beetle-induced checking (as measured by the check severity index) and the value of the products obtained from the logs.

Sawmill simulation was also used to estimate potential value recovery gains that could be attainable through use of emerging, innovative lumber manufacturing technologies. The sawmill model was modified to simulate the use of scanners and optimisers capable of detecting defects and considering their impact when generating optimal breakdown and sawing solutions. The data describing damaged logs were re-processed using the updated sawmill model. Results showed significantly higher value yields than did those obtained from the model of the sawmill using current technologies.

The Optitek sawmill model and the check severity index are promising decision support and research tools that, with some refinement, will allow more accurate evaluation of economic opportunities associated with logs from beetle-killed lodgepole pine, based on visible external defects.