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Canadian Campus Newswire

Source: University of Northern British Columbia

BC Government Invests in World Class Forest Research Centre

October 16, 2006

UNBC is a key
player in one of the world’s most advanced forest research laboratories.
EvaluTree is a partnership involving UNBC, UVic, and the Pulp and Paper
Research Institute of Canada (PAPRICAN), which is based in Vancouver.

Click here to access the BC Government News Release

EvaluTree has received $2.5 million in funding from the BC Government’s
Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), matching an earlier contribution from
the Canada Foundation for Innovation. It is the largest grant for research
infrastructure that UNBC has ever received from BCKDF. While some of the
research equipment is located in Vancouver and Victoria, the following
state-of-the-art technology is being used at UNBC in Prince George:

X-Ray Densitometer
Located in the I.K. Barber Enhanced Forestry Lab, this equipment uses X-rays
to gain insight into the wood fibre properties of entire trees, just by
analyzing cores from standing trees. It is the only equipment of its kind in
Northern BC, providing information on tree growth rates, fibre density, and
wood quality. The equipment will be used in the short term for research on
how water affects wood. This will involve research on trees that are
particularly dry (killed by the mountain pine beetle) as well as those that
are unusually wet (submerged in reservoirs behind hydroelectric dams).

Portable Acoustic Tree Assessment Tool
This equipment is used for assessing timber quality of standing trees.
Forestry professor Ian Hartley is shown using the equipment in the photo at
left. It is a portable device that uses sound waves between two probes. The
speed that the sound wave takes to travel from one probe to the other is
used to detect internal cracks and/or rot and measure properties such as
wood strength. This information is transmitted via Bluetooth technology to a
portable handheld device (PDA) for further analysis on a computer. Research
applications include the shelf life of trees infected by the mountain pine
beetle, routine inspection of utility poles, and in-the-field identification
of trees most suitable for secondary manufacturing products ranging from
furniture to musical instruments.

Both of these tools are non-destructive to standing timber.

Ian D. Hartley, Forestry professor, UNBC – 250.960.6054
Rob van Adrichem, Director of Media and Public Relations, UNBC -



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