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Research article2007Peer reviewed

Modelling the effects of stem sweep, branch size and wood stiffness of radiata pine on structural timber production

Ivković, M.; Wu, Harry; Spencer, D. J.; McRae, T. A.


The effects of changing three important biological traits — stem sweep (SWE), branch size (BRS) and modulus of elasticity (MoE) — on the radiata pine production system were examined using data obtained from the Australian radiata pine industry and from scientific experiments. Significant improvements in sawlog grade, structural timber grade recovery and the proportion of higher-grade timber can be obtained by reducing SWE and BRS and by increasing MoE. A 10% reduction in sweep reduced sawlog degrade by 17.1% and increased green timber recovery by about 0.5%. A 10% reduction in BRS decreased the volume of degraded sawlog by 68% and increased structural timber recovery by 0.6–1.6%. An increase of 10% in MoE increased structural timber recovery by 12.3–13.1%. The main advantage of modelling the effects of biological traits using data from industry is greater reliability relative to models based on assumptions. The modelling provides quantitative information that the timber industry can use to increase its productivity and profitability.

Published in

Australian Forestry
2007, Volume: 70, number: 3, pages: 173-184

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Forest Science

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