November 18, 2021

Internal structure of timber

We are so used to looking up at our trees, yet only ever 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. In this course, Jez Ralph will take a more in depth look at wood structure touched upon in his Understanding & Growing Timber Quality course.

Tutor:  Jez Ralph

Time: 11.00 to 13.00

Method: ZOOM online meeting

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

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.