November 18, 2021

Internal structure of timber

With Jez Ralph

Tutor:  Jez Ralph

Time: 11.00 to 13.00

Method: ZOOM online meeting

Price: £16.00 for RFS members / £20.00 for non-members

We are so used to looking up at our trees, yet only every take a skin deep view of them.  The internal structure of a tree is incredible and complex, much of which we are only just beginning to understand. This course will take a more in depth look at wood structure than the recent Timber Quality course.

This seminar will start at the macro scale and delve deep down to the cellular level revealing factors we should consider whilst growing timber:

  • How the structures that help trees stand up to environmental stresses cross over to their uses as timber.
  • Macro features of wood: growth rings, early wood/late wood juvenile core, heartwood, sapwood, grain/spiral grain/fork grain.
  • The microscopic structure of wood at a cellular level: density, cell wall structure.
  • Water in trees and its relationship to moisture content of timber.
  • Chemical constituents of wood.
  • Appearance and hapticity.

Jez Ralph

Timber Strategies

Jez Ralph has been working in the forestry and timber industries for 20 years. From a Masters degree in Forest management his interest grew in timber use and timber quality. In 2011 Jez was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to investigate increasing the value of timber for small-scale forest owners around the world. This led to working with the Architectural Association School of Architecture, managing their forest campus and part of the team developing digital solutions & robotic applications for using lower-grade wood. In 2015 Jez set up Timber Strategies which is sits in the underdeveloped area between forestry and timber use. Timber Strategies is involved in developing value-chains and integrated supply-chains that maximise quality & value of timber. The business works with forest-owners, sawmills, timber-users and policy-makers equally as well as teaching at schools of forestry and architecture.

This background has given Jez a unique insight into silvicultural practices such as thinning and how a demand-led approach to silviculture can help us grow better, more resilient forests.