Abstracts on Global Climate Change

Mar 2007

Kiln-drying lumber quality of hybrid poplar clones

Kang, KY Bradic, S Avramidis, S Mansfield, SD


Hybrid poplars are currently used in North America primarily for the production of pulp fibre and in the manufacture of engineered solid wood products. Recently, the deployment of poplars as a short-rotation fibre crop has been of interest to mitigate the increasing amount of plantation-grown short fibre resources (hardwoods) derived from the Southern Hemisphere, as well as in the context of global climate change, both as a means to rapidly sequester carbon and as a feedstock for potential bioenergy production. Knowledge on the utility of hybrid poplars in the value-added secondary wood-processing sector, however, is very limited. To improve this situation, the variation in kiln-drying quality of five hybrid poplar genotypes of similar age, harvested from a common site in British Columbia, Canada, was evaluated for three different kiln-drying schedules. The results clearly demonstrate that the drying schedule has a greater effect on grade recovery and the degree of deformation than the hybrid poplar genotype. Furthermore, it was shown that many of the deformations inherently associated with wood derived from fast-grown trees can be reduced or removed with drying, in particular with an aggressive drying schedule.

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