Finnish Forest Research Institute  Metla
Press release 12.01.2007


Models on wood and timber properties important when planning the utilization of forest resource

A multi-disciplinary Finnish-Swedish research team has developed and tested models on wood and timber properties applicable for planning the utilization of forest resources. As part of forest planning software (MELA in Finland and Heureka in Sweden ), the models will provide extensive benefits for practical forestry in both countries in the planning of forest management, wood procurement and timber trade.

In sub-project 1, a forestry model was developed based on the MELA software of the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla). A new method was incorporated into the MELA software for calculating total felling potential and reserves. Calculations were made using the new software version and the 10 th national forest inventory data to determine the impact of the renewed silvicultural recommendations of Forestry Development Centre Tapio on the present reserves and future prospects of fellings. The risk and impact of forest damage were modelled for the purpose of analyzing forest management strategies. To assist national analysis of optimal forest resources, global scenarios of wood use and paying capabilities in different fields of forest and wood product industries were also explored. In sub-project 2, a family of models was developed by the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk) as a compatible extension to the Heureka software of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). These models represent wood properties and can be used to optimally deliver the timber cut from the forest to the end-users.

In sub-project 3 a model was developed for strategic planning of timber trade. In this the impacts on the stand value of alternative assignments of timber assortments, log dimension and quality criteria, i.e. bucking instructions, were investigated from the points of view of forest owners and buyers. Simultaneously, sensitivity analyses were performed to determine the response on the stand value, affected by stand factors and assortment unit prices, as well as product prices, by-product credits, log utilization ratio, and manufacturing costs in wood product industries. For training and teaching purposes, empirical model stands were established in two provincial areas, the timber yields and sales values of which were calculated based on this project’s alternative timber assortments and their combinations.

Additionally, data measured from Scots pine, Norway spruce and silver birch were used in statistical models where radial growth distribution on stem was modelled in addition to wood properties (wood density, percentage of early wood, fibre length), which were modelled in relation to radial growth and tree ring age. These wood property models were also used in calculations with a physiological growth and yield model to study the impact of silvicultural procedures on tree growth and various wood properties. The wood property models in Scots pine and Norway spruce were also compared with the property models developed for Swedish timber procurement planning. The latter models were tested with the MELA software in calculations made on present and future timber and pulpwood resources in northern Karelia . In addition, methods for estimating yields of timber assortments either with the chain of models in MELA software or bucking simulation software of stems were tested against each other.

The Value chain analysis for forest management, timber purchasing and timber sale decisions project, as part of the Finnish-Swedish Wood Material Science Research Programme, was carried out by Metla, the University of Joensuu and Skogforsk, Sweden.

Additional information:

Press releases in English are available at:   Metlan RSS-newsfeed
Finnish Forest Research Institute - Metla/Communications
Unioninkatu 40 A, FI-00170 HELSINKI, FINLAND. Phone +358 10 211 2000    E-mail: info @