An Acoustics Operations Study for Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Standing Saw Timber with Different Thinning History

Charles Essien, Qingzheng Cheng, Brian K. Via, Edward F. Loewenstein, Xiping Wang

Abstract


There is currently a request from landowners in southeastern USA to provide a nondestructive tool that can differentiate the quality between stands of 25 and 30 years of age subjected to different thinning treatments. A typical site with various thinning regimes was used to vary the wood quality and to determine whether acoustics had the ability to separate for stiffness differences at a given age and local geography. A stand at age 29 with three different spacing (prior thinning) levels was chosen. Three hundred trees (100 per treatment) were randomly selected and acoustically tested for sound velocity using the Time-of-Flight (ToF) method for unthinned, thinned, and twice-thinned stands, respectively. The key finding of the study was that the estimated stiffness of the previously thinned treatments was actually greater than that of the unthinned group, despite having diameters as much as 28% larger. During a forest cruise, knowing that a higher-diameter stand is similar or higher in stiffness could raise the dollar value and harvest priority.

Keywords


Acoustic velocity; Stiffness; Thinning regimes; Loblolly pine

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