Impact KPI-4 Speciality wood product value chains

IO2: Solid wood processing

By 2019 Scion and its partners will have provided tools, new product options and plant material that will have supported the aspirations of growers and manufacturers to invest in new manufacturing facilities and expand plantings of Douglas-fir, eucalypts, cypresses and indigenous species. This investment will reflect increased confidence in being able to secure the highest possible value for their products along the entire seed-to-market value chain.

Leading indicator
By 2016 Scion and iwi and other partners will have identified the current and future economic opportunity for using some indigenous species, and have external investment supporting realisation of the commercial opportunity associated with those species. Particular focus will be given to support the economic and social development of Northland, East Coast/Hawkes Bay and central North Island.

Scion, Northland Tōtara Working Group, Te Tai Tokerau Forestry Cluster, MPI and Northland Inc worked together to develop the concept of an indigenous wood products industry based around tōtara. The group is working to secure additional investment to de-risk key areas, particularly timber grade recovery in the mill and customer acceptance and willingness to pay.

Ngāti Whare Holdings Ltd committed to building an indigenous nursery at Minginui with Scion’s guidance and expertise in plant propagation. The new nursery will grow indigenous forestry species and indigenous plants for restoration or riparian plantings next year. 
By 2017 Scion’s technical outcomes will be used in the development of at least one market ready product from Douglas-fir or a eucalypt. This product will have international market potential.
Economic comparisons confirmed the superior results of using Optimised Engineered Lumber (OEL) technology in converting 18-year-old production thinning Douglas-fir logs into SG8 structural lumber (glulam) compared with a sawn log from full 30-year rotation radiata pine.
By 2017 Scion will have demonstrated to pre-commercial stage the potential to first extract chemicals and second, formulate valuable compounds using a whole-of-tree approach for three species.

Extracts from leaves, needles, bark and wood from tōtara, Eucalyptus nitens and Douglas-fir were analysed and a chemical profile defined for each.
By 2019 Scion will have provided tools, new plant material (e.g. germplasm) and competitive niche wood products that will increase the confidence of growers of Douglas-fir, eucalypts, cypresses, redwoods and indigenous species to increase plantings of these species by at least 5% over 2014 plantings.
The Specialty Wood Products Research Partnership was launched (March 2016), funded by MBIE and the forestry industry, and is a collaboration between Scion, the University of Canterbury and the Marlborough Research Centre.
Investigation of gene flow in a Eucalyptus fastigata seed orchard has started.
By 2019 solutions for novel pre-drying/drying for three difficult to dry species have been identified then trialled at full-dimension material scale to produce dry, check/collapse-free full-size timber. Processing costs have been estimated. The information is being used by a partner company to establish the commercial feasibility of this new approach to drying.
A novel approach to pre-drying using freeze drying was attempted, and testing completed. None of the treatments showed differences in drying rate compared to the controls. Indications are timber supplied was abnormally good, hence the trials are to be extended and enlarged.