Special Issue "Recent Advances in Nondestructive Evaluation of Wood: In-Forest Wood Quality Assessments"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Wood Science and Forest Products".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2022 | Viewed by 8639

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Xiping Wang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI 53726-2398, USA
Interests: nondestructive testing and evaluation of wood; wood quality assessment; measuring wood properties; heat treatment for invasive species; structural condition assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent research and development of nondestructive testing technologies has brought the in-forest assessment of wood and fiber properties of standing trees into forest management, resource evaluation, harvesting operation, and efficient wood utilization. Significant values are associated with the wood and fiber quality of our forests for the production of structural lumber, engineered wood products (such as glulam, LVL, and CLT), and pulping and paper. Rapid and nondestructive measurements on trees allow for this value to be captured through better silvicultural practices, as well as the allocation of resources to the highest-value users and application of best processing methods. This Special Issue calls for research papers on in-forest wood quality assessments using emerging nondestructive and precision-based technologies and wood quality modeling with a focus on forest resource evaluation and wood utilization. These include SilviScan™, near infrared, DiscBot, acoustic waves, resistance drilling, as well as other novel concepts and methods. We also invite original papers and reviews that address how these technologies and the knowledge obtained from them can support the development of the next generation of forests, e.g., through tree breeding and silviculture.

Dr. Xiping Wang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Forests is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • forest
  • forest management
  • genetic improvement
  • nondestructive testing and evaluation
  • silviculture
  • standing trees
  • wood and fiber properties
  • wood quality
  • wood utilization

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Recent Advances in Nondestructive Evaluation of Wood: In-Forest Wood Quality Assessments
Forests 2021, 12(7), 949; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12070949 - 19 Jul 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
Efficient wood production and utilization requires knowing the wood quality attributes of forest resources relevant to various end uses, prescribing appropriate silvicultural treatments that positively influence wood quality, and then, at the time of harvesting, sorting and allocating standing timbers to the most [...] Read more.
Efficient wood production and utilization requires knowing the wood quality attributes of forest resources relevant to various end uses, prescribing appropriate silvicultural treatments that positively influence wood quality, and then, at the time of harvesting, sorting and allocating standing timbers to the most appropriate markets [...] Full article

Research

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Article
Evaluation of Softwood Timber Quality—A Case Study on Two Silvicultural Systems in Central Germany
Forests 2022, 13(11), 1910; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13111910 - 14 Nov 2022
Viewed by 308
Abstract
Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H.Karst) trees planted with high stem densities produce finely branched, solid logs but are vulnerable to extreme weather events, e.g., storms. Over the last decades spruce stands have been planted at lower stand densities, resulting in wider [...] Read more.
Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H.Karst) trees planted with high stem densities produce finely branched, solid logs but are vulnerable to extreme weather events, e.g., storms. Over the last decades spruce stands have been planted at lower stand densities, resulting in wider crowns, lower crown bases, and higher stand stability, but this might decrease the quality of coniferous timber due to an increased growing rate and wider annual rings. Therefore, in this case study we investigated the influence of different silvicultural treatments and stand densities on tree morphology and wood properties of 100 spruce trees up to sawn timber as the final product. Tree morphology was assessed using mobile laser scanning. Ring width analysis, wood density measurements, and the four-point bending strength test on visually graded boards were conducted to gain information on wood properties and product quality. In stands thinned from below, higher wood densities were observed due to smaller annual rings compared to stands that were thinned from above at equal annual ring widths. In addition, crown asymmetry and the height-to-diameter ratio were identified as proxies for wood density. Lastly, visually assessed quality differences between the forest stands were discerned on the examined boards. Full article
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Article
Sight versus Sound: Do Visual Assessments of Dead Standing Trees Reflect Acoustic Nondestructive Evaluations of Wood Quality?
Forests 2022, 13(10), 1680; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13101680 - 13 Oct 2022
Viewed by 377
Abstract
The forest industry typically uses visual appearance to evaluate the wood quality when salvaging dead standing trees. We investigated whether the visual appearance of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) defoliated by the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.)) accurately reflects wood [...] Read more.
The forest industry typically uses visual appearance to evaluate the wood quality when salvaging dead standing trees. We investigated whether the visual appearance of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) defoliated by the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.)) accurately reflects wood quality measured using nondestructive techniques. Longitudinal and transverse acoustic velocities were measured on white spruce, representing three condition categories assessed visually, ranging from live trees to dead standing trees with signs of decay. Generalized linear models were used to determine whether there were significant differences in longitudinal and transverse acoustic velocities among the visual categories. Longitudinal velocities significantly differed between the live and poorest visual categories. Transverse velocities did not differ by visual category. We found that tree appearance provides coarse but useful insight into intrinsic wood quality. We recommend that forest managers use acoustic, non-destructive technologies on marginal trees to measure the wood quality of salvaged trees to ensure the wood is utilized for the highest and best use thereby optimizing possible values. Full article
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Article
Field Assessment of Downed Timber Strength Deterioration Rate and Wood Quality Using Acoustic Technologies
Forests 2022, 13(5), 752; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050752 - 12 May 2022
Viewed by 778
Abstract
Hurricane and tornado events cause significant damage to high-value timber in the United States each year. Forest managers and landowners are keenly interested in finding solutions to salvage and repurpose these downed timbers before they cause pest infestations and fire outbreaks, completely losing [...] Read more.
Hurricane and tornado events cause significant damage to high-value timber in the United States each year. Forest managers and landowners are keenly interested in finding solutions to salvage and repurpose these downed timbers before they cause pest infestations and fire outbreaks, completely losing their value or increasing processing costs. To better understand the wood quality of the downed timber, we used acoustic waves techniques as a nondestructive testing approach to assess the wood degradation rate of downed trees and determine the extent of fracture and voids in the damaged regions. We periodically monitored the acoustic velocity of the downed trees for 12 consecutive months using a time of flight (TOF) acoustic method. Acoustic measurements were conducted using three different techniques—longitudinal, transverse, and off-set methods. Wood density, age, and the diameter at breast height (dbh) class measurement for southern timber (chip-n-saw for dbh 8″–11″ and sawtimber with dbh 12″ and up) were used as the predictive parameters of the downed trees. The results indicated positive relationships between dbh class, stand age, and acoustic velocity measurement (R2 > 65%). The TOF acoustic velocity was indicated to potentially separate higher-stiffness timber from lower-stiffness timber in a hurricane event for structural or non-structural applications. The regression coefficient from the repeated measurements indicated that both age and diameter class strongly impacted the acoustic properties of the downed trees (p-value ≤ 0.001). The sawtimber dbh class recorded a higher acoustic velocity compared to the chip-n-saw type. Fracture, voids, and massive decay in downed trees were detected beyond the visible inspection, features that often are identified by loggers in lower quality wood; however, TOF showed a weak response in picking up incremental deterioration due to changes in specific environmental factors that affected acoustic readings. This study showed that acoustic wave methods could potentially be used as a field evaluation tool for assessing the quality of downed trees. Full article
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Article
A Comparison of Radial Wood Property Variation on Pinus radiata between an IML PD-400 ‘Resi’ Instrument and Increment Cores Analysed by SilviScan
Forests 2022, 13(5), 751; https://doi.org/10.3390/f13050751 - 12 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3599
Abstract
Mature age Pinus radiata D. Don trees were sampled across nine sites in northern New South Wales, Australia, that were expected, based on site quality and inventory metrics, to exhibit significant variation in productivity and wood quality. Twenty trees per site were harvested [...] Read more.
Mature age Pinus radiata D. Don trees were sampled across nine sites in northern New South Wales, Australia, that were expected, based on site quality and inventory metrics, to exhibit significant variation in productivity and wood quality. Twenty trees per site were harvested and 13 mm diameter, pith-to-bark increment cores were extracted from three trees per site from eight of the nine sites for SilviScan analysis. Outerwood increment cores were collected from all trees for basic density measurement. The same trees were also sampled using an IML PD400 (Resi) instrument. Radial mean properties of wood basic density derived from Resi traces were found to correlate strongly with the mean density data derived from SilviScan analyses and from increment cores. The Resi-derived basic density of 10 mm radial segments was strongly correlated with SilviScan measures of basic density averaged at similar intervals. Full article
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Article
Thinning Influences Wood Properties of Plantation-Grown Eucalyptus nitens at Three Sites in Tasmania
Forests 2021, 12(10), 1304; https://doi.org/10.3390/f12101304 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1083
Abstract
Thinning of forestry plantations is a common silviculture practice to increase growth rates and to produce larger dimension logs. The wood properties, basic density and stiffness, are key indicators of the suitability of timber for particular purposes and ultimately determine timber value. The [...] Read more.
Thinning of forestry plantations is a common silviculture practice to increase growth rates and to produce larger dimension logs. The wood properties, basic density and stiffness, are key indicators of the suitability of timber for particular purposes and ultimately determine timber value. The impact of thinning operations on wood properties is, therefore, of considerable interest to forest growers and timber producers. To date, studies examining the impact of thinning on wood properties have produced variable results and understanding the consistency of the effects of thinning treatments across various sites for important plantation species is limited. Two non-destructive assessment techniques, drilling resistance and acoustic wave velocity, were used to examine the impact of thinning on basic density and stiffness in 19–21-year-old plantation grown Eucalyptus nitens across three sites. Commercial thinning to 300 trees ha−1 decreased the stiffness of standing trees and this effect was consistent across the sites. Reduction in stiffness due to thinning ranged from 3.5% to 11.5%. There was no difference in wood properties between commercially and non-commercially thinned trees to 300 trees ha−1 and no difference in wood properties when thinned to 500 trees ha−1. Basic density was not affected by thinning. The site had significant effects on both basic density and stiffness, which were lowest at the highest precipitation and highest elevation site. The results indicate that wood properties are influenced both by silviculture and site environmental differences. This knowledge can be used for the better management of E. nitens resources for solid wood production. Full article
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