Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): David L. Nicholls; J.W. Funck; C.C. Brunner; J.E. Reeb
    Date: 2009
    Source: Forest Products Journal. 59(1/2): 29-34
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.37 MB)


    Birch lumber is often characterized by a high degree of knots, bark pockets, heartwood, and other features which force sawmill owners to decide whether to edge and trim boards to produce standard grade lumber vs. proprietary grade character-marked lumber. In addition, the edging strategies used with irregularly shaped flitches can greatly influence cut-stock recovery. To investigate this recovery, 143 kiln dried 4/4 birch flitches were obtained from a sawmill in south central Alaska and evaluated by a National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) grader, for board grade and lumber tally. Each flitch was, marked by the lumber grader, indicating where the board would be edged to produce NHLA grade lumber in a production setting. The flitches were transported from Alaska to Oregon State University where they were scanned to produce digital board data. These data were then processed with the computer simulation program CORY (Computerized Optimization of Recoverable Yield) to estimate the cut-stock yield for various levels of edging severity and sound feature (character mark) inclusion. Four edging strategies were evaluated, ranging from unedged (least severe) to wane-free (most severe). As expected, cutting area recoveries and cutting yields were reduced as edging severity was increased. In many cases, however, these differences were minimal. Cutting yields for clear parts were 21.1, 23.7, 26.2, and 27.1 percent for wane-free, actual, light, and unedged strategies respectively. Cutting yields for parts that included sound character features increased by more than double to 44.0, 49.0, 52.7, and 54.0 percent for wane-free, actual, light, and unedged strategies, respectively. These results indicate that finding value-added alternatives for this character-marked birch might prove profitable for some Alaskan sawmills that also produce secondary products such as cabinets and furniture or supply cuttings to these manufacturers.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Nicholls, David L.; Funck, J.W.; Brunner, C.C.; Reeb, J.E. 2009. Influence of edging practices on cutting yields of Alaska birch lumber. Forest Products Journal. 59(1/2): 29-34.


    Alaska birch, edging, lumber

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page