Increased Demand for Prefabricated Wooden Elements




A new dissertation from Linnaeus University looks at how birch wood properties can be improved through tree breeding, forest management and with better measurement methods. Grace Jones, in the department of Forestry and Wood Technology at Linnaeus University, in Sweden, has studied birch wood properties from genetics trials and a species mixture trial of spruce and birch. The hope is that this increased knowledge will make birch forests more popular and, as a result, inspire new products and areas of use.

Birch is the 3rd most common tree species in Sweden. However, only a fraction of the stems are used for anything more refined than pulpwood and firewood, despite the fact that Swedish birches grow by 15 million m3/y. In her dissertation, Ms. Jones has studied the wood properties in breeding trials with silver birch and downy birch, as well as the effects of mixed species forests where the proportions of spruce and birch varied.

In order to measure wood properties like density, stiffness and grain angle, she has used a number of non-destructive testing methods. When using these modern measurement techniques, only small wood samples are needed to draw conclusions for the rest of the stem. Furthermore, some of the methods do not require removing any wood from the tree.

Unlike more destructive wood measurements, these tests do not harm the tree so it can continue to grow afterwards.
Grace Jones’s research is part of FRAS (future silviculture in southern Sweden), a joint research project by Linnaeus University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), and the Swedish forestry research institute Skogforsk. FRAS aims to contribute to development of silviculture in southern Sweden, and adapt silviculture to meet both the present needs and future conditions. This is done in close collaboration with the forestry industry in the region.

Source: Linnaeus University

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