Evaluation of Softwood Timber Quality—A Case Study on Two Silvicultural Systems in Central Germany

2022-11-14 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​Evaluation of Softwood Timber Quality—A Case Study on Two Silvicultural Systems in Central Germany​
Höwler, K.; Seidel, D.; Krenn, T.; Berthold, D.; Ehbrecht, M.; Müller, J. & Kietz, B.​ (2022) 
Forests13(11).​ DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111910 

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Höwler, Kirsten; Seidel, Dominik; Krenn, Tobias; Berthold, Dirk; Ehbrecht, Martin; Müller, Jan; Kietz, Bettina
Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H.Karst) trees planted with high stem densities produce finely branched, solid logs but are vulnerable to extreme weather events, e.g., storms. Over the last decades spruce stands have been planted at lower stand densities, resulting in wider crowns, lower crown bases, and higher stand stability, but this might decrease the quality of coniferous timber due to an increased growing rate and wider annual rings. Therefore, in this case study we investigated the influence of different silvicultural treatments and stand densities on tree morphology and wood properties of 100 spruce trees up to sawn timber as the final product. Tree morphology was assessed using mobile laser scanning. Ring width analysis, wood density measurements, and the four-point bending strength test on visually graded boards were conducted to gain information on wood properties and product quality. In stands thinned from below, higher wood densities were observed due to smaller annual rings compared to stands that were thinned from above at equal annual ring widths. In addition, crown asymmetry and the height-to-diameter ratio were identified as proxies for wood density. Lastly, visually assessed quality differences between the forest stands were discerned on the examined boards.
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Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Räumliche Strukturen und Digitalisierung von Wäldern ; Abteilung Waldbau und Waldökologie der gemäßigten Zonen 
Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (FNR)
Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture



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