Small-Diameter Round Timber Connections

by Ron Wolfe,
Marshall Begel,
Chris Qualle,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structures 2001: A Structural Engineering Odyssey


An over stocking of trees having diameters less than 20 cm, as measured 1.52 m off the ground presents a major fire hazard to over 54 million acres of National Forest land. Improving the commercial value of this small diameter timber appears to be the most cost effective way to encourage the harvesting needed to alleviate the problem. US Forest Service research is exploring several options for the development of value-added markets for this material. One of these involves the design and use of round-timber structural components. An evaluation of small-diameter timber mechanical properties shows them to be of a quality acceptable for use in engineered structural components. The bending and axial strength of this timber is, in fact, superior to most sawn lumber. The primary barrier to structural use is the lack of commodity-market round-timber connections.

Subject Headings: Wood and wood products | Connections (structural) | Forests | Structural members | Trees | Wild fires | Disasters and hazards | Benefit cost ratios | United States

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