Enhancing the Viability of Red and Silver Beech Production Through Improved Kiln Drying, Steaming and Colouring Technology

Status: Current

Dates: 2007 - 2009

Māori Relevant Content: No


  • Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Sustainable Farming Fund)

Project Abstract

New Zealand’s indigenous beech species are perceived to be difficult to kiln dry and process on a commercial basis. However, similar hardwood species abroad are successfully kiln dried and marketed worldwide. This is primarily due to better drying methods and advanced drying technologies, such as warehouse pre-dryers, conventional hardwood kilns and vacuum kilns. In this project, various drying methods and technologies were investigated to determine their potential for the New Zealand setting. The incentive of adopting these drying methods and technologies is a reduction in degrade losses, which is currently unacceptably high at approximately 15%, and faster and more uniform drying of the timber. Any improvement in efficiency is necessary to maintain and build an indigenous forestry sector that is currently struggling commercially due to competition from imported timbers and furniture.

Researchers - UC Staff

Researchers - Non-UC Staff

  • Jon Dronfield: Associate Investigator; Forever Beech
  • Alfred Herritsch: Post-Doctoral Fellow; Canterbury University

Subject Area: Disciplines