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Exploitation And Realisation of Thinnings from Hardwoods (E.A.R.T.H.)
Thinning involves the removal of competitors of selected high quality trees, diseased trees and trees removed for extraction racks, all to favour the growth of the selected trees, maintain stand health and vigour, and to provide access for future management. Many felled trees are small-diameter or of lower quality. In Ireland, hardwood thinnings are mainly used for energy production. Other uses are in chipped form for use in the manufacture of wood-based panels or in the pulp/paper industry.
There is commercial value in seeking to use it in higher value-added end uses as structural components within the construction industry and to develop its volume use in local rural industry.
E.A.R.T.H. project aims to investigate novel and potential added-value uses of Irish hardwood thinnings and develop grading system for sorting thinnings into different end-use classes.
Main objectives of E.A.R.T.H. Project are:
- Quantify the available resource and quality (from 1st and 2nd thinnings from Alder, Ash, Birch and Sycamore).
- Determine physical and structural properties of the material, through experimental testing (NDT and mechanical tests).
- Study issues related to drying and durability.
- Identify potential end-uses of the material (round timber and wood products, in addition to wood energy products).
The project partners, NUI Galway and Teagasc bring expertise in characterisation of wood products and broadleaf silviculture, respectively, to the project.
ECC Teoranta, Cornamona, Co. Galway (It is one of the leading sawmills in Ireland and the UK processing over 350,000 m3 per annum)
Lonza, Spiddal, Co. Galway (It is a leading name in industrial pretreatment and surface protection of wood)
The EARTH project results were presented in the 8th Hardwood Conference in Sopron, Hungary. The event was attended by 106 participants from 50 institutions and 25 countries.
Pictured: Dr. Daniel F. Llana presentation
Pictured: Dr. Ian Short presentation by skype
Pictured: 8th Hardwood Conference attendees
The EARTH Project was presented to the Department of Agriculture Food and Marine (DAFM) members (Brian Clifford, Cormac Fitzpatrick, Niamh Hennessy, Fergus Moore, Tony Quinn and Vincent Upton) when visiting the Timber Engineering Research Group (TERG) in NUI Galway.Pictured: Dr. Daniel F. Llana EARTH project presentation
Pictured: Dr. Daniel F. Llana demonstrating moisture meter used at NUI Galway laboratory
Pictured: Members of DAFM and TERG in NUI Galway Engineering Building
Dr. Ian Short and Dr. Daniel F. Llana presented EARTH project in a lecture at the Masters of Architecture in the module Irish Timber & Sustainability coordinated by Dr. Elizabeth Shotton at University College Dublin.
Talking Hardwoods - Hardwood Marketing Event in Mitchelstown, Co. Cork. Dr. Ian Short from Teagasc presented about hardwood management and EARTH project.
Pictured: Dr. Ian Short hardwoods presentation
Talking Timber – Timber Marketing Event in Ballyhaise College, Ballyhaise, Co. Cavan.
Three researchers from Timber Engineering Research Group, NUI Galway attended this meeting organised by Teagasc with forest owners, timber buyers, harvesting contractors and foresters, focused on thinnings.
Researchers from the Timber Engineering Research Group at the National University of Ireland, Galway attended the National Forestry Conference on the 31st of May 2017 in Enfield, Co. Meath.
- Llana D. F., Short I, O’Ceallaigh C, Harte A.M. (2018) Mechanical Properties Estimation by Non-destructive testing of Irish Hardwood Round Timber from Thinnings for Construction Purposes. In: Proceedings of the 8th Hardwood Conference, Sopron, Hungary, October 25-26 2018. Oral Presentation Download
Llana, D.F.; Short, I.; Harte, A.M. (2018). Project overview for the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine visit to NUIG. 28th August 2018, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland. Oral Presentation
- Llana, D.F.; Short, I.; Harte, A.M. (2018). Project overview for the Ryan Institute Research Day. 23rd February 2018, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland. Poster Presentation
- Llana, D.F.; Short, I.; Harte, A.M. (2018). Project overview for the Master of Architecture class in University College Dublin. 13th February 2018, Dublin, Ireland. Oral Presentation
- Harte, A.M.; Short, I.; Llana, D.F. (2017). Project overview for the National Forestry Conference. 31st May 2017, Enfield, Co. Meath, Ireland. Poster Presentation
- Short, I. (2017). Project overview for Teagasc Researcher’s Conference. 17th May 2017, Teagasc, Ashtown, Dublin, Ireland. Poster Presentation
- Harte, A.M.; Short, I.; Llana, D.F. (2017). Project overview for Ministerial Announcement: Funding for Wood Properties for Ireland. Poster. 16th May 2017, NUI Galway, Ireland.
- Harte, A.M.; Short, I. (2017). Project overview for Forestry Show 2017. 5th and 6th May 2017, Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland. Poster Presentation