Publication Details

Effects of prescribed fire on the wood quality and marketability of four hardwood species in the central Appalachian region

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Year Published

2014

Publication

In: Groninger, John W.; Holzmueller, Eric J.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Dey, Daniel C., eds. Proceedings, 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 202-212.

Abstract

A series of research studies addressing the effect of prescribed fire on oak (Quercus spp.) regeneration has been ongoing on the Fernow Experimental Forest in northeastern West Virginia for 10 years. The study site is a mesic, mixed oak forest. Two prescribed fires were conducted in spring 2002 and 2005. In 2010, a shelterwood harvest was conducted. A complementary study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of the prescribed fires on the quality and marketability of the wood removed in this harvest. Seventy-four logs from the four most populous commercial species located on the study site were tracked from forest through milling. Before harvest, trained timber graders visually evaluated the residual effects of the prescribed fires on tree grade and merchantable volume. At the sawmill's log yard, pictures were taken of the logs and paint marks were placed on the log ends to indicate the side of the log most affected by the fire. During sawing, the first two boards recovered from the marked side were marked for examination. The percentage of these most "at-risk" boards showing indications of defect potentially attributable to the heat of the fire ranged from 10 percent for yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) to 65 percent for red maple (Acer rubrum), which translates to between 2 and 16 percent of all boards sawn from these butt logs. Fire-associated defects included mineral stain, decay and incipient decay, shakes, and checks.

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Citation

Wiedenbeck, Janice K.; Schuler, Thomas M. 2014. Effects of prescribed fire on the wood quality and marketability of four hardwood species in the central Appalachian region. In: Groninger, John W.; Holzmueller, Eric J.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Dey, Daniel C., eds. Proceedings, 19th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2014 March 10-12; Carbondale, IL. General Technical Report NRS-P-142. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 202-212.

Last updated on: January 21, 2015