The impact of Sitka spruce log dimensions on recovery.

  • Ian Browne GreenKing Composting, Coolbeg, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
  • Traolach Layton Palfab Ltd. Sawmill, Lissarda, Co. Cork, Ireland.
  • Maarten Nieuwenhuis UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Keywords: Sitka spruce, input/output modelling, wood volume recovery, wood value recovery.


The successful running of a sawmill is dependent on the ability to achieve the most profitable combination of throughput and value recovery. Analysis of log type in terms of volume/value recovery and product out-turn are important aspects of the development of optimisation techniques in the sawmill. Typically the breakdown of a stem into sawn products consists of a three-dimensional optimisation process. In the shortwood (or cut-to-length) system, this decision process is spatially and temporally divided into two stages. Based on batch data from 244 daily production runs of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) logs, highly significant relationships were found between dependent variables output volume and output value and independent variables mean batch diameter, mean batch diameter squared, number of logs in the batch and log length of the batch, for some of the length classes but not for others. The mean batch log diameter had no significant influence on recovery rate, probably indicating that the mix of individual log diameters in the batch, combined with the sawing pattern selection, determines recovery, not the mean batch log diameter value. Further study should focus on an investigation into the relationship between sawing patterns, log size, and product volume and value recovery.
How to Cite
Browne, I., Layton, T. and Nieuwenhuis, M. (2007) “The impact of Sitka spruce log dimensions on recovery.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 28June2022).