Original Articles

Estimation of taper rates and volume of smaller-sized logs in spotted gum saw timber plantations in Southeast Queensland, Australia


Spotted gum (Corymbia citriodora subsp. variegata) is a popular tree species for hardwood saw timber plantations in Southeast Queensland (SEQ), Australia. In many parts of the world, logs up to 10cm top diameter are considered to be merchantable logs and acceptable at sawmills. However, due to the higher handling costs of smaller-sized logs, sawmills in SEQ are only buying logs with a top diameter of 25cm and larger. This necessitates the determination of the volume of logs with top diameters between 10 and 25cm. This paper compares the taper rates of different sizes of spotted gum logs and estimates the stem volume of spotted gum logs between 10 and 24.94cm diameter. Analysis showed that there is a statistically significant difference between the mean taper rates of bottom (30.5–64.2cm diameter) and top parts of stems (10–24.94cm diameter) at harvesting age. Using only the average taper rate of large diameter logs would underestimate the log volume of smaller-diameter logs. The average length of spotted gum logs between 10 and 24.94cm was found to be 19.27 m. Therefore, by the sawmill declining to use 10–24.94cm diameter logs, approximately 0.55m3 of log volume per tree at harvesting age would be lost.

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