Towards a forest inventory that can predict the properties and economic value of forest wood: Tree scale

Producers of hardwood trees and buyers of hardwood products cannot know with accuracy the quantity and quality of timber available in a stand before trees are harvested. This lack of information at the beginning of the wood supply chain can lead to poor decisions because the correspondence between wood attributes and market needs is difficult or impossible to establish. To be effective, this tree characterization must be carried out at the beginning of the chain, i.e. as part of the forest inventory. Moreover, intensive silviculture would be strongly facilitated by improving existing tree classifications. Thus, compared with traditional inventory methods providing information on wood volume only, the new forest tree inventory can be used to predetermine wood product potential in the forest and produce decision-support tools to be used at the beginning of the chain (prior to harvest) to optimize timber value in the forest and the factory by ensuring the sustainability of the harvested stand.


  • To demonstrate that certain hardwood properties can be predicted from traditional inventory data completed with new, non-destructive tree and stand measurements.
  • To establish statistical equations between, on the one hand, dendrometric data, cartographic data and non-destructive measurements of standing trees and, on the other hand, the wood properties (e.g. density and hardness) measured conventionally (i.e. destructively).
  • To establishing statistical equations to predict wood density (since it determines machining properties and the amount of fibre available), knottiness, branchiness, sapwood taper and stem taper as a function of variables selected at the tree and stand scales based on their effectiveness in terms of cost/benefit.


  • Richard Fournier (Université de Sherbrooke)
  • Benoît St-Onge (UQAM)
  • Hans Pretzsch (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
  • Alexis Achim, Jean Bégin, Alain Cloutier (Université Laval)
  • Pierre Bédard (FPinnovations)
  • Guillaume Giroud (ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune du Québec)

Project status

  • On-going