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Value of veneer, wood fibre and posts from improved Eucalyptus bosistoana trees

By Clemens Altaner, June 2020.

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Executive summary

E. bosistoana produces high stiffness veneers, which could be used by New Zealand’s existing LVL industry to produce an internationally competitive product. Entry barriers are low as existing manufacturing facilities can be utilised and an international market for such products exists.

This study has shown that the value of an E. bosistoana tree produced under a 10-20 year rotation exceeded growing costs (including an 8% IRR). Additional value can be added in particular for smaller diameter trees from marketing the peeler core as naturally ground-durable posts for agricultural industries. Like higher stiffness LVL, domestic and international market demand, in particular from the organic sector, exists for such a product.

However, veneer yields were reduced by the release of growth stresses that caused veneers to split and unfavourable stem form that reduced the amount of theoretically peelable veneer. Therefore low growth strain and good stem form are key selection traits for the E. bosistoana breeding programme when considering LVL.

Tree form and wood properties had a larger effect on tree value than product prices. In a case where peeler cores were sold as ground-durable posts, tree value would increase by 50% to 65% depending on size, when average stem properties were improved by one standard deviation. Marketing peeler cores as ground-durable posts or increasing veneer yields with spindle-less lathes were particularly beneficial for smaller diameter logs, raising their value by up to 100%. Therefore durable eucalypts might offer the opportunity to deliver under a shorter rotation than pine.

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