Hardwood Research Interest Group (IGLHF)
The forest conversion over the last decades is an answer to climate change which provokes alterations of the growing conditions. Therefore, the number of mixed stands with more deciduous trees has been highly increased, for instance in Lower Saxony. As a consequence, coniferous wood lands decrease. Softwoods like spruce and pine trees have been substituted by hardwoods, mainly beech, in order to develop stable mixed stands in accordance with the habitat. However, deciduous trees, in particular beech, und coniferous trees like spruce differ in their biological, physical and technological properties. Therefore, increasing significance of deciduous trees provokes research work in the field of hardwood. Since spruce and pine wood are more common in construction, for the cellulose and paper industries or in furniture manufacturing, it is necessary to find ways and means to substitute softwood by hardwood.
The initiation, promotion and support of corresponding studies, research projects and development work is a key challenge for the forestry and timber industries. For that reason, the International Association for Technical Issues Related to Wood (iVTH e. V.) together with the Lower Saxony Sustainable Wood Usage Competence Network (NHN e. V.) founded the Hardwood Research Interest Group (IGLHF) in 2011. The IGLHF was started to promote and support technology oriented scientific studies and projects. Its intention is to initiate and support projects which ascertain the potential and composition of hardwood stocks, marketing possibilities from an economic and commercial viewpoint and new products and processes for using hardwood as a raw material. Projects in the hardwood research field assist in the development of new products in this sector. They will enable both a directed dissemination of results into the practical field and a bundling of knowledge from the practical field for further research. The pre-competitive joint industrial research is, therefore, of key importance. The message here is to strengthen high-quality usage of the renewable and environmentally friendly resource that wood is.
Dr. Margitta Uhde