Investigation on biomass and timber assortments from beech coppices in Piemonte

Antonio Nosenzo, Roberta Berretti, Fabio Meloni


Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) coppices in Piemonte Region (North-Western Italy) currently cover about 100.000 ha (corresponding to the 90% of the overall beech forests). These stands are often older than the usual rotation periods; consequently the timber assortments that could be derived are different from those traditionally produced in the past.
The main aim of this study is to set up a methodology to assess the amount of saw timber products. Ordinary dendrometic surveys were realized within 20 sites that were on purpose selected within the regional territory. Two forest stands were chosen to carry out a specific and detailed analysis on log quality.
A first assessment was accomplished to identify those stems presenting defects impeding their workability; goodquality stems where then accurately measured.
Analysing these data and following a commercial assortment classification, the assortment production was afterwards defined.
The methodology here presented aims at enhancing timber production, since it allows to identify a percentage of
higher quality products in comparison with the traditional assortments. It was in fact possible to identify up to 20% of higher quality assortments.
Moreover it must be underlined that the recorded data refer to the actual situation, which is characterized by a
complete lack of silvicultural tendings and management.
The definition of qualitative assortment characteristics is useful to provide information on the objectives that could be achieved with a proper silvicultural management.


Fagus sylvatica; Piemonte Region; timber assortments; coppice stand.

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