Forest Practices Branch

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Basic wood properties of second-growth western hemlock

Author(s) or contact(s): F. Barber
Source: Forest Practices Branch
Subject: Forestry General
Series: Silviculture
Other details:  Published 1998. Hardcopy is available.


This report describes some to the background and results of work done to date on second-growth western hemlock basic wood properties at Forintek Canada Corp. The B.C. Ministry of Forests Research Branch, UBC Forestry Faculty and PAPRICAN were the other co-operating agencies on this project and they investigated live crown/tree growth relationships, strength properties of small clears, and pulping properties, respectively.

Properties that were assessed by Forintek, both within and between trees, include: relative density of wood, shrinkage, moisture content, relative proportions of heartwood-sapwood, bark thickness, content and distribution of compression wood, incidence and degree of spiral grain, incidence and severity of brown stain, and bending strength of small clear samples.

Naturally grown 90 year old western hemlock stands represent much of the emerging timber supply in the B.C. coastal forest region. Information characterizing the commercial quality of this resource is needed now to support processing and marketing decisions and for product promotion. In addition stand management decisions are being made today that will influence the future quality of western hemlock. We can reduce the risk of making wrong management decisions by providing information on how different growing conditions (e.g. biogeoclimatic zone, site, stand density, and thinning) affect second-growth wood quality.

This document was published as : Forintek Special Report Publication No. Sp-38

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Updated November 14, 2008