Lecture 4.3 Comparing wood properties of native and non-native trees

Most NNT were introduced to the Alpine region intentionally. They were promoted in forested and urban areas for their various positive characteristics: some NNT have a higher yield, high aesthetic value, stronger root systems, and higher timber value. However, the timber market for a specific NNT species is small, focused on high-value wood with some use cases for specialty applications. For lower value timber the distinction between NNT and native trees is not important e.g., for the use for biomass-for-energy use or for uses as pulpwood.

Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) wood has relatively good strength. It is moderately heavy and durable (similar to larch). The wood of European Douglas-fir cultivars is reddish brown (red fir) in contrast to wood from cultivars of the American native range (yellow fir). It is a high-quality lumber but can also be used as sliced or rotary cut veneer

The economically most relevant NNT sold by volume is the Douglas fir. It is an important tree in value-wood submissions. Due to its compatibility in processing softwood, it can be used as a substitute for traditional Spruce-based value chains.

to discuss the use of wood of non-native trees, it is key to understand the species-specific properties of the non-native species, which often differ from the numbers in the native range of the trees species.


In the following lecture by Martin Braun (BFW), you can learn about a study that compared the wood properties of native and non-native trees.