- Barbour, R.J.
FORINTEK Canada Corp., Ottawa,Ontario
Stocking-control treatments add to wood costs. If these costs cannot be recovered through greater merchantable volume or improved quality, the treatments will not be economically viable in eastern Canada, where wood costs are already above the world average. Since it is difficult to predict the characteristics that will be considered valuable at the end of Canada's long rotations, forest managers have emphasized improved volume yields. However, many economists believe the future of the Canadian forest products industry lies with specialty or value-added products, for which quality is of greater importance. To improve the quality of our managed resource, attention should be focused where there is the greatest potential gain. Tremendous quality gains could be made in eastern Canadian softwood stands by improving stem quality. The potential for improvements in stem quality appears to outweigh the potential for either postitive or negative changes in basic wood properties as a result of decreased stand density. Assessments of stem quality should be included in existing silvicultural experiments to determine when stem defects are most likely to develop during a stand's life cycle and whether the proportion of deformed stems can be reduced through improved tending methods.