October 21, 2021 - 12:30 pm

Understanding & growing quality timber – module 1

With Jez Ralph

Two modules – Thursday 21 October and Thursday 28 October 2021

The RFS is delighted to offer a repeat of these sessions first run very successfully in February 2021.  Book early to avoid disappointment!

Time: 11.00am to 12.30pm

Method: ZOOM online meeting

Price: RFS members £20.00 / non-RFS members £30.00 (for both sessions)

Maximum number of delegates: 30

Session 1:  Thursday 21 October

Timber properties and products from the user’s point of view

Jez will start by considering how features we know such as species, form, knottiness, speed of growth affect the quality of timber, then will look into less familiar but critical properties such as density, stiffness and strength. To understand these properties fully he will start from a microscopic level, coming out to look at the whole tree.

He will consider how these properties translate into the timber products being bought and used every day, and how the growth of a tree affects what market it can end up in.

Finally he will discuss how we can use modern technologies to get around some of the limitations we have come up against, and how engineering and modifying timber gives us access to a much greater range of markets.

This will be followed a week later by:

Session 2:  Thursday 28 October

Adapting silviculture to produce better timber for modern timber users

Following on from the first session Jez will delve deeper into how we can adapt silvicultural techniques to produce better timber for the end-user.

He will discuss species selection; how silvicultural prescriptions affect timber properties and end uses.  We will talk about how management can be used to create higher quality and higher value timber (and how silviculture can sometimes have a detrimental effect on timber properties).

Finally we fit timber into the broader picture of soil-health; natural capital and ecological diversity to consider how we put a value on timber growing against the other values we our woodlands needs to deliver.

Jez Ralph

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.