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Within- and between-stand variation in selected properties of Sitka spruce sawn timber in the UK: implications for segregation and grade recovery

Moore, John R; Lyon, Andrew J; Searles, Gregory J; Lehneke, Stefan A; Ridley-Ellis, Daniel


John R Moore

Andrew J Lyon

Gregory J Searles



Information on wood properties variation is needed by forest growers and timber processors to best utilise the available forest resource and to guide future management.


This study aims to quantify the variation in selected properties of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) structural timber.


Twelve harvest-age stands were selected, ten trees per site were felled and processed into 301 logs. Dynamic modulus of elasticity (MOEdyn) was measured on each tree and log using portable acoustic instruments. Logs were processed into structural timber and its MOE and bending strength was determined.


Overall, the timber satisfied the MOE, bending strength and density requirements for the C16 strength class. Approximately 25 % of the total variation in timber mechanical properties was attributed to between-stand differences, with the remaining 75 % attributed to within-stand differences. A series of equations were developed to predict site, tree and log-level variation in timber properties.


Knowledge of the site and stand factors that are associated with differences in timber properties can assist with segregation of the current resource. Portable acoustic tools can also be used to increase the stiffness of sawn timber by segregating out individual trees and logs that will yield low stiffness timber.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Mar 29, 2013
Publication Date 2013
Deposit Date Apr 10, 2014
Print ISSN 1286-4560
Electronic ISSN 1297-966X
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Pages 403-415
Keywords Acoustics; Timber properties; Structural timber;
Modulus of elasticity; Wood quality; Segregation;
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