New potentials using hardwood with small diameters in forestry and timber industry

Identification of potentials to use hardwood with small diameters (SDH) in Austria with the help of the value added chain from the forest's location to the processor. Analysis and evaluation of availability, quality and market potential.

Short Description




Recently, the planting and the natural regeneration of hardwoods was forced by Austrian forestry. Consequently, the amount of accessible hardwoods has been growing in the concerned region. Especially Lower Austria with a hardwood amount of 37% has a high potential for industrial use of this natural resource. Within the Austrian forest, hardwoods account for 24 % of the total forest area. The annual utilisation of hardwoods in Lower Austria amounts approximately 1 Mio. solid cubic metres, which is about 1/3 of the total utilization of Austrian hardwoods. This underlines the regional importance of hardwoods in Lower Austria. Despite the increasing availability of hardwoods, important thinning activities can not be done adequately due to missing utilisation concepts for hardwoods with low diameters.

The potentials apart from energy production and industrial roundwood for pulp, paper and panel industry of hardwoods with low diameters shall be highlighted along the production chain from forest to wood processing industry. On the one hand side, this should lead to enhanced proceeds for the forest owners and consequently to an improved forest cultivation. On the other hand side, innovation in product development and the guaranteed supply of sawn wood and other products from small diameter hardwood timber should be demonstrated and initiated for the wood processing industry. A decision guide for the utilisation and application of small diameter hardwoods for forest owners (quality parameters, guide for utilisation) and for wood manufacturing industry (recommendations for assortments, products and application areas) should be developed by the analysis and evaluation of the availability, the quality and the market potential of hardwoods with low diameters.

Suitable study sites and the timber harvesting were performed together with the partner companies from the Lower Austrian forest industry. The site potentials were analysed on the base of single trees and on stand level. An extensive material characterisation could not reveal any disadvantages for small diameter hardwood. Potential forestry-wood-chains were presented and evaluated. The material utilisation of special wood species and supply chains shows economic advantages compared to other applications. A combined forestry-wood-chain with increased amount of sawn timber due to pruning for quality and thermal recovery of residuals seems to be promising regarding economy and sustainability. For the sustainability impact assessment, a database for the region of Lower Austria has been developed and will be provided for interested actors in the region for application and further development. The database contains all utilized process data for an indicator-based assessment of potential small-diameter hardwood chains in the region.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Dr. Christian Hansmann
Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH

Project or cooperation partner

  • Univ.Prof. DI Dr. nat.techn. Alfred Teischinger
    Department für Materialwissenschaften und Prozesstechnik
    Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
    Peter Jordan Straße 82
    1190 Wien, Österreich
    Tel.: +43-1-47654-4250
  • DI Dr. Bernhard Wolfslehner
    Department für Wald- und Bodenwissenschaften
    Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
    Peter Jordanstrasse 82
    1190 Wien, Österreich
    Tel.: +43-1-47654-4057
  • DI (FH) Hermann Huber
    timberfreaks Holztechnik GmbH
    Aufeld 21
    5301 Eugendorf, Österreich
    Tel.: +43- 6225-28452-11
  • DI Ludwig Köck
    NÖ Landwirtschaftskammer
    Forstabteilung, Holzwerbefonds der NÖ Landwirtschaftskammer
    Wienerstraße 64
    3100 St. Pölten, Österreich
    Tel.: +43- 2742-259-4204
  • DI Dr. Herbert Tiefenbacher
    Forstverwaltung Grafenegg
    Grafenegg 1
    3485 Haitzendorf, Österreich
    Tel.: +43-2735-2205-33
  • Dipl.- Ing. Hubertus FLADL
    Forstbetriebsleiter im Stift Klosterneuburg
    Stiftsplatz 1
    A-3400 Klosterneuburg
    Tel.: +43- 2243-411-222
  • DI Johannes Wimmer
    FB Wienerwald
    Pummergasse 10-12
    3002 Purkersdorf, Österreich
    Tel.: +43- 2231-633 41
  • DI (FH) Rainer HANDL
    Schwarzenbergplatz 4
    1037 Wien, Österreich
    Tel.: +43- 1- 7122601-18
    Fachverband der Holzindustrie Österreichs
  • Johann BERGER
    DendroLight Holzwerkstoffe GmbH
    Windpassing 62
    3323 Neustadtl an der Donau, Österreich
    Tel.: +43-7471-2570

Contact Address

DI Dr. Christian Hansmann
Kompetenzzentrum Holz GmbH
Wood Materials Technology
c/o Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Institut für Holzforschung
Peter Jordan Straße 82
A-1190 Wien, Österreich
Tel.: +43 (1) 47654-4261