Canadian Forest Service Publications

Wood mechanical properties and discoloured heartwood proportion in sugar maple and yellow birch grown in New Brunswick. Duchesne, I.; Vincent, M.; Wang, X.D.; Ung, C.-H.; Swift, D.E. 2015. Pages 64-71 in Proceedings of the 5th International Scientific Conference on Hardwood Processing (ISCHP 2015), 15-17 September 2015, Québec, QC.

Year: 2015

Issued by: Canadian Wood Fibre Centre

Catalog ID: 36602

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Mark record


The rising interest in using wood in non-residential multistory building structures opens up new opportunities for utilizing low-grade hardwoods. In order to evaluate end-use suitability, we need basic knowledge on hardwood properties and how hardwood supply may vary with forest growth conditions. Therefore, the primary objective of this study was to evaluate the geographic variation in modulus of elasticity (MOE) and modulus of rupture (MOR) of sugar maple and yellow birch wood in relation to stand and tree characteristics for two regions in New Brunswick, Canada. To this end, mixed effects statistical models were developed to test the effects of stand, tree, and wood sample variables on hardwood MOE and MOR. The second objective was to examine the geographic variation in heartwood discolouration in relation to stand and tree characteristics. Results show that between-tree differences (trees nested within sites) accounted for 44 and 35% of the total variation in yellow birch (MOE and MOR respectively) and for 69 and 60% of total variation in sugar maple. The fixed effects explained only a very small part for the variation in MOE and MOR in the sugar maple data (10% for MOE and 5% for MOR). According to the results for sugar maple, mechanical properties (MOE and MOR) at 50% of the radius were significantly lower than those close to the bark. However, this radial variation was not significant for yellow birch mechanical properties.