Logs and lumber

Casehardening Of Lumber: What It Is And How To Relieve It

By Scott Lyon, WI DNR Forest Products Specialist

Lumber manufactured into interior wood products (e.g., furniture, flooring, millwork, cabinets) typically requires kiln drying to reach a targeted moisture content to minimize dimensional changes. In Wisconsin, this dry-basis moisture content is 6-8%. Not only does kiln drying allow the wood to equalize to desirable and usable moisture content, it kills fungi and insects that might be present in the lumber.

However, drying stress—commonly called casehardening or tension set—occurs during the drying process. Casehardening is a normal part of the drying process of lumber. It is critically important to relieve this stress as it can lead to warping and twisting when lumber is later re-sawn or machined.

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Merchandizing Urban Trees

By Scott Lyon and Alex Anderson, WI DNR Forest Products Specialists

An urban tree is most valuable while it’s living. However, if that tree is killed or damaged, there are ways to recycle it. As the “buy-local” movement continues to gain momentum, urban wood recycling efforts have increased in Wisconsin. Historically, urban trees were utilized by only a few mills in the state. With the increased number of trees killed by invasive insects and disease, though, municipalities and arborists are seeking alternative uses for urban wood materials, and interest has grown among traditional forest products manufacturers (sawmills, bolt and pallet mills, pulp mills, etc.) to procure this ever-growing resource. 

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Wood mission scheduled for China in March

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will lead a trade mission with Wisconsin forestry businesses to northern China from March 20-30, 2018. The mission will include one-on-one matchmaking meetings with potential buyers and trade partners in Beijing, Tianjin, Qingdao, and will end at Asia’s most comprehensive woodworking and machinery trade show Interzum Guangzhou. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to visit wood product manufacturing locations.

This mission will enable participating Wisconsin forestry businesses to forge relationships with potential Chinese buyers and trading partners, gain market intelligence and first-hand knowledge of the Chinese wood import business practices and environment.

Chinese wood products market is the largest in the world for U.S. wood and wood products. Since 2005, China has become the world’s largest exporter of furniture. In recent years, domestic demand for these wood products have grown and more have stayed in China instead of being exported. According to the American Hardwood Export Council, one in five hardwood lumber boards produced in the U.S. is exported to China. The economic outlook for China remains positive with an expected annual growth in 2018.

Wisconsin forestry product businesses interested in building and expanding trade in China are invited to attend. For more, information please see the trade mission flyer.

By DNR Forest Products Specialist Scott Lyon, Scott.Lyon@Wisconsin.gov, 920-662-5184