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Rotary veneering of plantation-grown spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata) and Dunn's white gum (Eucalyptus dunnii)

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Zbonak, A., Bailleres, H., Glencross, K. and Davies, M. (2012) Rotary veneering of plantation-grown spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata) and Dunn's white gum (Eucalyptus dunnii). Technical Report. Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry.

Full text not currently attached. Access may be available via the Publisher's website or OpenAccess link.

Publisher URL: http://www.crcforestry.com.au/publications/technical-reports/index.html
Article URL: http://www.crcforestry.com.au/publications/downloads/TR-223-compiled-for-online.pdf


This report evaluates the wood and veneer properties of plantation-grown spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata, or CCV) and Dunn's white gum (Eucalyptus dunnii), grown at different stockings, in thinning trials near Ellangowan in north-east New South Wales (mean annual rainfall 1050 mm) and Kingaroy in south-east Queensland (mean annual rainfall 873 mm).

Thinning trials were established at age seven years. Both species showed a significant increase in stem diameter growth of the dominant trees in response to thinning. At age 10 years, trees from the unthinned (950–1270 stems ha-1) and 300 stems ha-1 treatments were selected for veneering.

Five dominant trees were felled from each combination of species x sites x thinning treatment. Diameter at breast height over bark of the selected trees ranged from 20 cm to 27 cm at Ellangowan, and 19 cm to 26 cm at Kingaroy. From each tree, 1.5 m long billets were removed at two positions: a butt billet from 0.3–1.8 m above ground and a top billet from approximately 5.5–7.0 m. Log end splitting was assessed 24 hours after harvesting and again after steaming, approximately four days after harvesting. Disks from just above both billets were collected for assessment of wood properties.

Billets were peeled on a spindleless veneer lathe to produce a full veneer ribbon with a target green thickness of 2.8 to 3.0 mm. The 1.55 m wide (tangential dimension) veneer sheets were dried and graded according to AS/NZ Standard 2269:2008, which describes four veneer grades. Veneer samples taken along the length of the veneer ribbon, at regular intervals of 1.55 m, were tested for stiffness, shrinkage and density. Veneer length measurements were used to calculate the radial distance of each sample from the central axis of the billet.

Overall veneer gross recoveries ranged from 50% to 70%. They were significantly lower at the Kingaroy site, for both species. The veneer recoveries achieved were 2–3 times higher than typical green off saw recoveries from small plantation hardwood logs of similar diameter.

Most of the veneer recovered was classified as D-grade. CCV trees from the Ellangowan site yielded up to 38% of the better C-grade and higher grade veneers. The main limiting factors that prevented veneer from meeting higher grades were the presence of kino defects and encased knots. Splits in E. dunnii veneer also contributed to reduced grade quality.

Log end splits were higher for E. dunnii than for CCV, and logs from Ellangowan exhibited more severe splitting. Split index was generally higher for top than for butt billets. Split index was strongly correlated with the average veneer grade from corresponding billets.

The Ellangowan site, where rainfall was higher and trees grew faster, yielded significantly denser and stiffer veneers than did the drier sites near Kingaroy, where tree growth was slower. The difference was more pronounced for E. dunnii than for CCV.

Differences in measured wood properties between thinned and unthinned treatments were generally small and not significant. On average, 10% of billet volume was lost during the peeling rounding-up process. Much of the wood laid down following thinning was removed during rounding-up, meaning the effect of thinning on veneer properties could not be effectively assessed.

CCV was confirmed as having high veneer density and very good veneer stiffness, exceeding 15 GPa, making it very suitable for structural products. E. dunnii also demonstrated good potential as a useful structural plywood resource, achieving stiffness above 10 GPa.

Veneer stiffness and density in CCV increased from pith to bark at both sites, while for E. dunnii there was a radial increase in these properties at the Ellangowan site only. At the drier Kingaroy site, veneer stiffness and density declined from mid-radius to the log periphery. This may be associated with prolonged drought from 2005 to 2009, corresponding to the later years of tree growth at the Kingaroy site. CCV appeared to be less sensitive to drought conditions.

Standing tree acoustic velocity, determined by the Fakopp time-of-flight method, provided a reliable prediction of average veneer stiffness for both species (R2=0.78 for CCV and R2=0.90 for E. dunnii) suggesting that the Fakopp method may be a useful indicator of tree and stand quality, in terms of veneer stiffness in standing trees.

Item Type:Monograph (Technical Report)
Corporate Creators:CRC for Forestry, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland, Southern Cross University, Lismore, Horticulture and Forestry Science
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Additional Information:Cooperative Research Centre for Forestry: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland: Southern Cross University, Lismore.
Keywords:Wood; veneer properties; plantation-grown; stockings, thinning trials; veneer processing, statistical analyses; tree acoustics; site selection.
Live Archive:20 Sep 2012 05:12
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:49

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