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What’s the impact of resilient forest management practices on the wood construction industry?

A new study claims a whole-system functional analysis of tree species would help ensure our forests and the construction industry become climate-adaptive.

Focusing on the temperate southeast climate of Canada, the study authors categorised tree species not only according to their ecological traits, but also their timber building traits and suitability for use across various construction applications.

The researchers found many softwood species currently used in construction would not adapt well to a changing climate, while hardwood species such as tamarack (Larix laricina), red maple (Acer rubrum), oaks (Quercus spp.), and elm (Ulmus americana) could be the key to making more-resilient forests for the future.

By listing tree species and presenting them in groups according to their potential function and application suitability, the construction industry would be armed with knowledge to help select the most appropriate timber for their future building projects.

For instance, mixed species cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and other engineered wood products can all be created using a variety of species as feedstock.

Having this sort of additional knowledge about the species at hand would mean timber could be chosen and grown based on a range of factors including expected future demand, forest ecological resilience, or maximum functional diversity.

The authors are calling for a ‘forest-first’ approach to specifying timber species to be reflected in both the choices made by growers and the construction industry.

Source – Phys.org

Posted Date: November 1, 2023

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