Canadian Forest Service Publications

Predicting volume distribution of hardwood sawn products by tree grade in eastern Canada. 2018. Bédard, S.; Duchesne, I.; Guillemette, F.; DeBlois, J. Forestry 91: 341-353.

Year: 2017

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 38939

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Abstract

Northern hardwoods are an ecologically and economically important forest type in eastern North America. Historically, the hardwood supply came from old-growth forests dominated by large-diameter trees. Unfortunately, the repeated removal of high-quality trees has substantially degraded hardwood forests and reduced the profitability of the primary manufacturing sector. In this context, forest managers need tools to guide silvicultural investment decisions and to estimate pre-harvest stand value based on forest inventories. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of classification systems and measured variables used at the tree level to predict sawn product volumes of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britton) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.). We developed statistical models to estimate the volume of lumber products, pulpwood, sawdust and residues based on tree DBH, species, tree grades in different combinations and tree height. Results show that the tree grade variable increased the explained variation in product volumes. As expected, the accuracy of product volumes estimation, based on root mean square error (RMSE), was poor for an individual tree, but improved as the number of trees increased.

Plain Language Summary

The results of this study indicate that a more accurate estimate of sawn wood volumes can be obtained after the grade of standing trees has been initially identified. Quality stems are mainly used in the construction of appearance wood products, such as furniture and floors. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of classification systems and measurement variables used at the tree level to predict sawn product quality and volumes in sugar maple, yellow birch and American beech.

The researchers propose a simplified method to determine stem grade. This method would facilitate the production of high-quality sawtimber and reduce forest inventory costs. It includes two categories, i.e. trees with a low potential and trees with a high potential.