Late 2020 saw Segezha Group, a Sistema company, launch its domestic plywood product Segezha ClearPly across a wide range of international markets. The product’s quality and usability have already been noted by customers in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Segezha ClearPly is offered in two coating options: transparent and semi-transparent. The second option features […]
They may seem harmless at first glance but the North American red-eared slider turtle is spreading across Sydney's water basins and threatens the biosecurity of our native turtle populations.
New research from the University of Aberdeen could pave the way for the development of drugs and vaccines to treat a disease that is rapidly emerging in wild and farmed fish in the UK, Europe and North America, as a result of climate change.
Younger, smaller trees that comprise much of North America's eastern forests have increased their seed production under climate change, but older, larger trees that dominate forests in much of the West have been less responsive, a new Duke University-led study finds.
Owners of the Batlow based Gould’s nursery are happy to report that natural regeneration from Bago State Forest has been successfully propagated for a new Sugar Pine planting. The Sugar Pine Walk was sadly destroyed in Dunns Road fire. Gould’s Nursery is working with Forestry Corporation to grow the next generation of Sugar Pines. Source: Timberbiz Nursery owner Jamie Gould said there was a scattering of pine seedlings under a patch of 1930s Sugar Pine close to the famous Laurel Hill attraction. “Forestry Corporation’s Ben Wielinga dropped in one day with a photo of recently germinated seedlings on Central Logging Road,” Mr Gould said. “It was only three months since the fire — the seedlings were still coming up and no taller than your index finger. “At that stage we were not sure if they would transplant well or even if they were definitely Sugar Pine.” Sugar Pine seeds can’t be bought in Australia. The species is threatened in its native North America and biosecurity prevents seed from being imported. Locally, the hefty cones are a favourite food source for cockatoos. Forestry Corporation was keen to establish another Sugar Pine planting as the original had been so popular with locals and tourists. Ben Wielinga from Forestry Corporation said the Sugar Pine Walk was an iconic local destination. “We ran a photography competition to commemorate it after the fires and over 300 people sent in their favourite photographic memories of the site.” “Finalists were collated into a coffee table book and the Sugar Pine Walk Memories book is available on the website.” The Gould’s were enthusiastic to help create a new Sugar Pine Walk. Jamie and his two children Riley and Rayleigh rescued around 1700 seedlings from the site in March 2020 in partnership with Forestry Corporation. “It was a family effort over a couple of weekends to collect the seedlings from the under the burnt trees,” he said. “Growing the seedlings in the nursery has been an interesting challenge. “It is also nice to be involved in renewal following the fires. I won’t be alive to see these sugar pine mature as they take tens of years to reach maturity, but hopefully future generations will.” The bulk of the seedlings will be replanted as a replacement to the former Sugar Pine Walk, with 192 also donated to the National Arboretum in Canberra for their botanical collection. While planning for the replacement walk is well underway, the former site is still having an impact on the local community. Forestry Corporation donated some of the salvaged sugar pine wood to community groups around the region to support their fundraising activities.
The millions of people affected by 2020's record-breaking and deadly fires can attest to the fact that wildfire hazards are increasing across western North America.
The ruddy duck, originally from North America, was introduced to Britain as an ornamental wildfowl in the 1940s and soon spread throughout the country. Only after a decade or more of expensive culling, has this non-native duck been largely removed.
Wintering bird communities track climate change faster than breeding communities in Europe and North America
A study recently completed in Europe and North America indicates that the composition of wintering and breeding bird communities changes in line with global warming. However, wintering bird communities are considerably faster at tracking the changing climate compared to breeding communities.
An international team led by researchers at the Centre for Palaeogenetics in Stockholm has sequenced DNA recovered from mammoth remains that are up to 1.2 million years old. The analyses show that the Columbian mammoth that inhabited North America during the last ice age was a hybrid between the woolly mammoth and a previously unknown genetic lineage of mammoth.
A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that the extinction of North America's largest mammals was not driven by overhunting by rapidly expanding human populations following their entrance into the Americas.
A new study published in Nature Communications suggests that the extinction of North America's largest mammals was not driven by overhunting by rapidly expanding human populations following their entrance into the Americas.
Downhill skiing could become an increasingly exotic proposition in a warming world. By midcentury, the U.S. could see 90 fewer days below freezing each year, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Climate and based on data from the federally funded North American Regional Climate Change Assessment Program. Nearly all ski areas in the U.S. are projected to have at least a 50% shorter season by 2050, according to a 2017 study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and published in the Global Environmental Change journal.
Gerald Koch hurries through a narrow corridor and into his testing laboratory. Inside, employees are squinting through microscopes and peering into screens showing cells and vessels. Source: International Forest Industries Magazine Part of Hamburg’s Thuenen Institute, the boldly named Centre of Competence on the Origin of Timber is in an unassuming brick building in the city’s northeast. Only its garden of trees from around the world hint at what is going on inside — one of Europe’s most sophisticated operations in the fight to stop the illegal wood trade. “We have already tested large quantities of garden furniture and wooden Easter bunnies,” says Koch. “Now we are expecting the usual flood of wooden toys for Christmas in spring — after all, we test anti-cyclically.” The global wood trade is bigger than ever. Despite our digital age and allegedly paperless society, twice as much wood is harvested and sold worldwide as 50 years ago. This growth in demand has been accompanied by a surge in illegal logging. According to a study by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 16 to 19 percent of wood imports to the European Union come from illegal sources. The effects are insidious — deforested jungles, destroyed habitats — and consumers are unknowingly complicit. In 2016, the U.S. flooring giant Lumber Liquidators paid $13 million in fines for selling Chinese-made products made from illegally logged Russian wood. This is where Koch comes in. He’s seen it all. Fruit knives with fine mahogany handles. A fish sculpture carved from teak. Guitar fingerboards made of protected rosewood. Tables constructed of 20 types of tropical timber. “The Asian manufacturer had declared eucalyptus,” scoffs Koch, for whom spotting phony certificates and forged customs declarations is all in a day’s work. Since 2013, the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) has banned illegally felled timber from the European market. Customs officers can confiscate it, and carpenters, hardware stores and manufacturers must prove the origin of their timber before selling it. Even private citizens are obliged to make sure their wood is legally sourced. Selling grandma’s antique writing desk could be against the law if it was constructed from a species of wood that’s protected today. The problem is that wood is difficult to distinguish and even harder to source. It’s no easy task even for the scientists at the Centre of Competence, which Koch directs. Together with a 15-member team, Koch is responsible for ensuring that timber products imported not only through Hamburg are what they claim to be. The samples in the lab that day illustrate the enormity of their task: glasses with chipboard crumbs, crushed cardboard coffee cups, colourful bamboo children’s crockery, bags of charcoal and walnut parquet boards – all of it supposedly legally sourced, but is it? Koch takes a cube-sized block of plywood between his thumb and forefinger. “Laminated wood boards contain up to 10 different types of wood, often from the same number of countries,” he says. Before 2013, most of these products would have been sold unchecked. Today, if their origin is questionable, most end up here at the Centre of Competence, a critical checkpoint that helps save forests around the world. With solid wood, an employee saws the sample into cubes and boils them until soft, then planes it into 0.02 millimetre slices so it can examined under a microscope. The scientists identify the wood’s anatomical features, comparing them with the institute’s 50,000 microscopic samples, all of them logged in a digital database. The database calls up the most important of the 100 defined anatomical features, reducing the number of possible species of the sample down to a handful. Usually, the process takes less than an hour. “But sometimes the determination takes several hours, or in rare cases, even days,” says Koch. In those cases, he and his team turn to larger, international databases or the Centre’s in-house wood collection. There are about 35,000 samples of 12,000 species of wood stored here. Many of them still bear the inscription of the predecessor institute founded in 1939. The Centre of Competence has also developed new methods using gene markers to determine where a piece of wood originally grew, accurate to within a few hundred meters. For this, they need reference samples from the region in question. The process of building out complete collections of these samples will take years, but they’ve already covered the entire region of origin of white oak from North America, Europe and Asia, as well as European and Siberian larch, all of which are among the most traded woods of recent years. Meanwhile, they’ve scored more than a few coups. In 2018 Koch and his team detected illegal tropical wood in barbecue charcoal briquettes. The principal was the WWF which investigated 60 charcoal brands. With the help of Koch, they found out that fully one-third of the contents of the briquettes were improperly declared. The result shook the industry, and one of the largest charcoal producers was stripped of their sustainable forestry accreditation. The charcoal scandal was revelatory not only for its reach, but the way it was unearthed. Brittle charcoal briquets can’t be sliced, so the scientists broke it into pieces. They placed the broken edges under a 3D microscope that was developed only a few years ago, scanning the different heights of the fractured planes and assembling them into an image. Within a few seconds, a high-quality reproduction had been produced, showing pores, storage cells and other distinguishing features, which were used to determine the species of wood, even though it was burnt to a crisp. The wood detectives also developed new methods for examining paper, which allowed them to work with Greenpeace to detect ramin wood in the paper of a Chinese manufacturer in Indonesia. Ramin, a threatened species that’s been targeted by illegal traders for years, is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The swamp forests of ramin in Borneo and Sumatra provide a critical habitat for Indonesia’s orangutans, […]
In the summer of 2019, Desert Research Institute (DRI) scientist Rosemary Carroll, Ph.D., waited for the arrival of the North American Monsoon, which normally brings a needed dose of summer moisture to the area where she lives in Crested Butte, Colo. - but for the fourth year in a row, the rains never really came.
In the midst of cascading crises from climate change to biodiversity loss and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Earth Leadership Program - the global successor to the renowned Leopold Leadership Program, now in partnership with Future Earth - has announced its 2021-22 North American cohort.
Here’s something you probably didn’t know: the construction business accounts for an estimated 23% of the world’s carbon-dioxide emissions—5.7 billion tons, according to the most recent estimates. Much of this comes from the use of concrete and steel, the two biggest contributors to emissions in the building sector. As the BBC has reported, if the concrete industry were a country, it would be the third-largest emissions producer, behind China and the United States. And there’s no end in sight: The United Nations Environment Program predicts that humans will put up the equivalent of a new Paris every week for the next 40 years. In the US, an architectural publication predicted that some 1.9 billion square feet of new structures will be built in the next three decades. If only there was a sturdy and renewable building material, one that could actually help curb climate change while giving us more calming and aesthetically pleasing spaces in which to live, work, and play. Such a miracle substance exists, of course. It’s wood. As you are no doubt aware, trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the atmosphere during photosynthesis. The carbon is sequestered in the tree while it’s standing and remains locked inside wood products after it’s harvested for lumber. (Large amounts of CO2 are released only when wood decays or is burned.) America’s oldest standing wooden home, the Fairbanks House, built in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1637, is still holding onto 400-year-old carbon today. That’s a major reason why environmentalists fight so hard to preserve existing forests and plant new ones, studies suggest that it’s the most useful thing we can do to mitigate climate change. Cutting down a tree for lumber, of course, ends its carbon-inhaling days. And even within well-managed woodlands, reforestation takes a significant amount of time, especially when you’re waiting on the large specimens that are traditionally used in construction. Still, over the long term, forests managed for timber sequester carbon nearly as well as wilderness woodlands do. And in the US, we’re currently adding more trees to our working forests than we’re cutting down, there’s as much forest today as there was in 1910, according to the Forest Service. We can add a lot more if we develop construction methods that make use of smaller trees, which can be propagated in a few decades, rather than giant ones that can take centuries to grow. Enter mass timber, a term for a category of innovative products made from smaller pieces of wood such as two-by-fours and two-by-sixes that are either glued together or cross-laminated to create beams, structural walls, ceilings, and floors. These pieces can be prefabricated to make building highly efficient. And with the latest milling machinery coming to market, even small-diameter trees like black spruce can be used. The Nature Conservancy is so bullish on mass timber’s potential to drive reforestation that it commissioned an exhaustive study, involving 16 institutions across Europe and in North and South America, investigating how new practices might move the planet toward the organization’s goal of expanding forests by 500 million acres by 2030. “That would mean 200 billion more trees,” Mark Wishnie, the Nature Conservancy’s director of global forestry and wood products said. “Mass timber isn’t a silver bullet for growing more forest, but we’re hoping that it’s part of the silver buckshot.” Mass-produced cross-laminated timber (CLT, in industry parlance) was first conceived in central Europe. Austrian foresters, looking to make better use of smaller trees for traditional building techniques that favoured large, exposed beams – think Bavarian chalets – created the first mass-timber presses more than 30 years ago. Scandinavia followed suit, but the US was slow to embrace the idea. That finally started to change in 2013, after the Forest Service initiated studies of CLT technologies. Around the same time, a few forward-thinking Americans and Canadians began incorporating Austrian-made CLT into one-off buildings. Even so, as recently as 2016, organizers of the Forest Business Network’s annual mass-timber conference could point to only a handful of domestic projects. Since then, mass timber has taken off. This spring, Woodworks, an advocacy group for wood construction, counted 549 active CLT projects, and analysts expect that to rise into the thousands in short order. Interest in mass timber has been boosted by high-profile buildings like Carbon12 (a mixed-use luxury showpiece in Portland, Oregon, that at eight stories is the tallest CLT building in the country), Minneapolis’s seven-story T3 building, and a hip new hotel in downtown Bozeman, Montana, called the Lark. Sidewalk Labs, owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has proposed creating 3.2 million square feet of new mass-timber buildings in Toronto, some up to 30 stories high, as well as a CLT factory in Ontario. Then there’s Walmart, which in May announced that it will build its new corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, using mass-timber materials. “Mass timber isn’t a silver bullet for growing more forest,” Mr Wishnie said. “But we’re hoping that it’s part of the silver buckshot.” The Department of Defense is also keen on wood. In collaboration with the Forest Service and Woodworks, the Pentagon conducted blast simulations on an assortment of mass-timber buildings; it’s now planning to erect wood-construction hotels on military bases considered to be at high risk for a terrorist attack. Other research suggests that CLT is resistant to earthquakes and get this – fire. The outer layers tend to char, insulating the wood from the flames, and the lack of oxygen in the highly compressed material offers minimal fuel to burn. “We’ll never look back,” Ben Kaiser, the architect and developer behind Carbon12 said. “We’ll only build using mass-timber products going forward. We’ve seen firsthand that this methodology is approaching a panacea.” Many experts believe that the real growth opportunity in North America involves buildings between four and 12 stories (which mainly means office parks and apartment buildings). Rosy guesstimates from some analysts have mass timber amounting to as much as 10% of US construction within the next 30 years. Part of […]
Join us this summer from June 28 to July 2, 2021 for the North American Association for Temperate Agroforestry Virtual Conference: Scaling up Agroforestry for Carbon Drawdown. AFTA is teaming up with the Savanna Institute to host the conference virtually. For updates, sign up for our newsletter and watch for emails in February for the Call for Abstracts and in March for Early Registration. We hope you will join us!
CASE Construction Equipment has earned a 2020 Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and Metropolitan Arts Press for “Project Zeus”: the CASE 580 EV (electric vehicle) backhoe loader — the world’s first electric backhoe. The award recognizes “the most innovative and cutting-edge industrial, product, and graphic designs produced around the world”. Source: Timberbiz This is the third CASE design to win in four years. CASE G Series wheel loaders were honoured in 2017, and the methane-powered concept wheel loader, Project Tetra, won in 2019. “Project Zeus” was noted for its innovative lighting/backlighting design elements; its rugged and clean lines and contouring; and a modern and intuitive user experience that combines traditional backhoe operation with specialization related to electrification. “The theme is born from combining the essence of CASE heritage and the mission of sustainability into a clean and simple design,” says David Wilkie, head of the CNH Industrial Design Centre. “It is extremely practical and built around function while delivering distinctive design elements that communicate strength and progress. From the lighting to the colour and the way that the operator interacts with the machine. Project Zeus represents the sustainability and forward-thinking of our industry.” According to Leandro Lecheta, head of construction North America, CNH Industrial the electrification of equipment, and the focus on sustainable power sources and machine ownership/operation, are all driving forces for public and private fleet owners around the world. From an operational perspective: the power and performance of the CASE 580 EV is equivalent to diesel-powered backhoes in the CASE product line and provides considerably lower daily operating costs while also producing zero emissions.
China has notified the World Trade Organisation that it will introduce new regulations covering anti-pest measures for timber imports, including those from Australia. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz The chief executive of Tasmania’s Tree Alliance, Penny Wells, said it was understood the new regulations would govern how its customs manages phytosanitary requirements for all countries’ timber imports. Tree Alliance is the representative body for private forestry in Tasmania. “The new requirements appear likely to apply to logs and sawn timber, excluding wood packaging materials, processed wood products and bamboo products,” she said. Ms Wells said the bans on Australian timber imports, including from Tasmania, were due to concerns about a number of beetle detections – Bark beetle (lps grandicollis). “This beetle originates from North America and arrived in Australia in the 1940s and is now in every state except Tasmania. They can cause significant damage, through tree mortality, to pine plantations,” she said. All softwood exports from Tasmania had the phytosanitary requirement to fumigate for the Bark beetle and the Sirex wood wasp. “While the Bark beetle has not been detected (here), the Sirex wasp is in Tasmania.” Ms Wells said the situation had created significant uncertainty. Some exporters of Tasmanian logs had cancelled or postponed shipments. “A number of Tasmanian forestry companies are known to be impacted and this has had flow-on effects through the supply chain including harvest and haulage contractors,” she said. “How long this issue will continue for is unknown.” Ms Wells said industry was working with the Commonwealth’s Department of Agriculture to ensure the new phytosanitary measures would allow timber exports to China to resume. “However, to date there has been no clarity provided from the Chinese Government in relation to the required phytosanitary treatments,” she said.
The 6th Annual 2021 International Mass Timber Conference will be 100% virtual held from 30 March 30 – 1 April, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual platform should drive even greater global attendance, more than 900 attendees from 15 countries are already. Although 2021 will be virtual only, a hybrid in-person and virtual conference is expected in 2022 and beyond. Source: Timberbiz The Mass Timber Conference covers the latest information and innovative thinking on the entire supply chain for mass timber, from forest seedling to finished building. The event takes an in-depth look at mass timber products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber, glulam beams, mass plywood panels, dowel-laminated timber, and laminated veneer lumber. The 2021 conference will feature more than 40 industry presenters, offering real-world information necessary for mass timber businesses and projects. A best-in-class keynote presentation from highly sought-after housing and construction research analyst, Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates, will provide insights into what 2021 brings for construction and demand and the impacts to the mass timber sector. In addition, Antony Wood, CEO of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, will discuss mass timber’s role in super skyscrapers and in the increasingly vertical cities of the future. Registrants will be able to connect with the worldwide audience via the virtual platform and a mobile app. Virtual mass timber building tours will provide a unique opportunity to look inside innovative buildings from around the world. The event’s virtual exhibit hall will also give attendees access to over 100 exhibitors and offer one-on-one appointments and virtual booth presentations. In addition, registrants will each receive a complimentary PDF of the 2021 International Mass Timber Report, a useful tool for proceeding with and selling mass timber projects with greater confidence. A special 30% early bird discount is available on general attendee passes until 3 February. The Mass Timber Conference is produced by Forest Business Network in cooperation with the wood design experts at WoodWorks-Wood Products Council. The conference is supported by Premier Sponsors: Hexion, Swinerton Mass Timber, Katerra, and Kallesoe Machinery. Major Sponsors include: Think Wood, Freres Lumber Company MPP, D.R. Johnson Wood Innovations, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Seagate Mass Timber, Sansin, Hilti North America, Nordic Structures, Weyerhaeuser, Sterling, Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and USNR.