A study of fungal biodeterioration in unseasoned, packaged hem-fir lumber

IRG/WP 2116

P W Perrin, A J Cserjesi

This study was undertaken to determine the extent of biodeterioration that could occur within British Columbia (BC) prior to the export of packaged Canadian Lumber Standard Hem-Fir (Tsuga heterophylla, Abies amabilis and small amounts of Abies grandis). By examining the anti-stain treatments received by the lumber and identifying and characterizing the organisms responsible for the biodeterioration, recommendations can be made to the industry for improved quality control. The majority of unseasoned, packaged Hem-Fir lumber awaiting export from BC is less than 5 months old. During this period of transit and storage, fungal biodeterioration is observed to be slight, in spite of low anti-stain chemical retentions indicated by analysis. However, after eight months in transit, packages show a significantly greater percentage of heavily stained pieces and increased spread of infection by wood-destroying fungi. Of the fungi responsible for the observed biodeterioration, Graphium was found to be the most common staining organism and Fomes pinicola the most abundant wood-destroying fungus. Decay studies of hemlock sapwood showed that Fomes pinicola poses a serious threat to packaged Hem-Fir lumber, with the potential ability to cause rapid and widespread decay. Based on these findings, and the previous work of Roff, Cserjesi and Swann (1974), recommendations are being made to BC lumber manufacturers for improving their anti-stain treating methods. Increased chemical retention on the lumber can be obtained by dipping individual pieces of lumber or otherwise thoroughly drenching with anti-stain solution instead of using the spray systems currently in use. In addition, increasing the concentration of the anti-sapstain solution will result in a surface retention of chemical capable of preventing attack by moulds and staining and wood-destroying fungi. Implementation of these recommendations will result in improved quality of Hem-Fir lumber for the export market and in the long term contribute to the conservation of Canada's lumber resources


Conference: 78-09-18/22 Peebles, Scotland, UK

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