Impact of sapwood and the properties and market utilisation of plantation and young hardwoods: Executive Summary and Literature Review (PART A)
The hardwood processing industry in Australia can no longer rely on milling native forest logs and must increasingly look to plantation timbers. For this transition to be successful, more needs to be known about the properties of young, fast grown hardwood, particularly as recovery losses by removing sapwood become increasingly significant as log diameter decreases. This study assessed the physical properties and appearance of both the sapwood and heartwood of nine species from plantation and young regrowth regimes, and compared results with literature data on native forests. Results showed the mechanical properties of sapwood (other than bending) to be at least equivalent to heartwood, while machinability, stain uptake and finish quality of floor and veneered panels were of a high quality. An estimated additional $33 to $113 per m3 of processed log could be earned if sapwood was retaining for use in solid wood products (with the exception of some appearance grade products).