n Southern African Forestry Journal - The wood quality of the South African timber resource for high-value solid wood products and its role in sustainable forestry : review paper




Maximising volume growth and yield per unit area is generally recognised as an important objective towards maintaining or enhancing forest productivity. However, the forest industry's future success will also be judged on how well it understands the qualities of the timber supply, how successful it is with the implementation of appropriate wood quality improvement strategies and how willing it is to introduce new species and hybrids which are unique and different from the other commercial species grown locally. It will also depend on how well the wood product processing industry can relate knowledge of the market for manufactured wood products to resource characteristics. These are important elements of sustainable wood production, required to optimise conversion efficiency and effective utilisation into products which meet international standards with regards to predictability and performance characteristics. These should be seen as major challenges, considering the continuous changes in the qualities of the timber supply combined with the rapidly increasing demands for wood products in terms of quality and diversity. This paper discusses the existing resource characteristics, qualities that still need to be improved and the importance of having a proper understanding of the characteristics of the raw material supply for solid wood products and their impact on end-product quality and value.


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