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Salvage Time for Wood Product

Fungi and insects require time to degrade the quality of timber. Expedient harvest of damaged timber is the most effective method to prevent the degrading of the wood by these organisms. The extent of damage, weather conditions, species, size of timber and contact with the ground all determine the length of time for timber degradation to take place. The times given below are approximate.

Table 1. Times within which timber to be salvaged to prevent degredation
Product Harvest within Comments
Pine and hardwood veneer and appearance lumber 4-6 weeks Blue stain prohibits use if left longer
Pine framing lumber 3-4 months Should be kiln dried to prevent emergence of secondary insects
Pine posts 4-6 weeks Blue stain will affect toughness and preservative treatment
Pine poles and piling Not recommended  
Pine and hardwood pulp, fiberboard, particle board and OSB 8-12 months As wood begins to decay, pulping process will be affected. Storm damaged wood should be mixed with sound wood
Pine and hardwood firewood 8-12 months As wood dries out the heat values increase prior to the decay process

Trees which are bent, broken or splintered, probably have wind shake (internal tearing) and may not be suitable for lumber, but could be used for pulp or particle board. Uprooted and leaning trees are more likely to be suitable for lumber. Badly splintered trees present problems in debarking and chipping prior to conversion to a fiber product.

Table 2. Sequence of invasion of damaging organisms in storm damaged timber
Species Year one Year two
Pine Bark beetles, ambrosia beetles, sawyers, blue stain fungi, soft rot fungi Decay fungi
Oak and hickory Wood borers, ambrosia beetles, stains, soft rot fungi Sapwood decay fungi
This page updated: Thursday, November 10, 2016 16:26

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