Blog about Logging Equipment and Forestry Canada

Holzindustrie Schweiz calls for cascade use – also for hardwood

The Swiss Wood Industry Association, like the associations in Germany, sees the supply of its hardwood sawmills at risk and therefore insists on compliance with the cascade principle when using hardwood.

Hardwood types such as beech, oak and ash are traditionally used in upscale interior design, as parquet flooring and in furniture production. Because components made of hardwood are not only visually appealing, but also have good static properties, they are also increasingly being used as reinforcing elements in multi-storey timber construction.

Better firewood than sawn wood

In fact, with the progressing climate change, more and more deciduous wood is growing back in the Swiss forest instead of the spruce that is falling out in the lowlands. Despite this, the Swiss sawmills are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain hardwood that can be sawn. Because the energy prices have risen sharply within a few months, and with them the prices for firewood. Many forest owners prefer to sell their deciduous wood as wood chips and firewood instead of making it available as a raw material for the timber industry.

From the point of view of Holzindustrie Schweiz, this development is questionable. According to the cascade principle, wood should first be used as a material and then as an energy source. Wood replaces climate-damaging building materials such as concrete and steel. Climate-damaging CO2 is stored long-term in the wood used and thus withdrawn from the atmosphere.

Sawyers want to pay more for logs

The Swiss wood industry is not fundamentally opposed to the use of wood energy, but it should not get the upper hand at the expense of material use. This tendency is reinforced by the subsidization of wood heating, but also by the current energy crisis. Politicians are called upon to adjust the legal framework accordingly.

The sawmills are also doing their bit to improve the situation by being willing to raise purchase prices. With regard to the coming wood harvesting season, the forest owners are asked to contact the hardwood sawmill in their region and to agree on concrete delivery quantities and prices for high-quality hardwood.

Leave hardwood logs quickly!

HIS points out that hardwood is a seasonal business: Logs that can be sawn should be harvested and processed quickly between September and March. If the deciduous wood is removed too late, damage to the wood is inevitable and only thermal recycling remains.