Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Research partnerships with Ontario Universities develop...

a non-destructive mapping system that identifies wood quality before trees are harvested, making the forestry industry more environmentally friendly, competitive, and attractive to new investment.

Predicting the quality of wood before launching a major logging operation can be tricky. Getting it wrong is expensive, which is why the industry would like to know the inherent properties of a given forest’s trees before logging. Traditional tests involve a destructive process that is expensive and time consuming. Lakehead University’s Mathew Leitch has come up with a system for testing wood quality that is less destructive and samples more trees for the same cost. It involves remote, acoustic testing, and was developed in partnership with Resolute Forest Products, Sumac Geomatics Incorporated, CCS Central Computer Services, Green Forest Management Inc., and Lac Seul and Sachigo First Nations.

The procedure not only ensures loggers harvest the most suitable trees, it also allows mill operators to more accurately assess and market wood according to its quality.