Lumber recovery and value of dead and sound black spruce trees grown in the North Shore region of Québec

Julie Barrette, David Pothier, David Auty, Alexis Achim, Isabelle Duchesne, Nancy Gélinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


• Context To increase the wood supply to its industry, the government of Québec has allocated dead and sound wood (recently dead merchantable stems, DSW) to the wood supply chain in addition to the annual allowable cut of living trees. However, DSW is often criticized by sawmillers for its perceived poor quality and lower value. • Aims The objective of this study was to compare the lumber visual grade yield and value from live and recently dead merchantable trees in three different states of wood decomposition. • Methods In total, 162 black spruce trees [Picea mariana (Mill.) BSP] were felled from three different sites comprising three different states of wood decomposition and three diameter classes. The state of decomposition of each standing tree was categorized following Hunter's classification (decay stages 1 & 2, 3 and 4) and the DSW classification developed by the Government of Québec. • Results Large trees (> 20 cm) of the Hunter 4 class have a lower value as a result of inferior quality. • Conclusion Considering the current economic difficulties facing the forest industry and the requirements of ecosystembased management, we recommend leaving in the forest trees that have reached such a state of deterioration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-615
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Forest Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Lumber value
  • Product recovery
  • Recently dead merchantable trees
  • Volume recovery
  • Wood degradation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology


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