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RE: [pct-l] Clearcuts - a bit long winded.

Brick writes >>My original thread was that hemp could replace a good bit of
the products that are currently using wood. I know that large trees are
being cut, then chipped, rather than cut into boards. The trees that were
being logged when Craig Giffen was arrested while trying to video were all

The largest value for prime trees is for dimensional lumber or for the outer
layer of plywood. I believe the plywood has a slightly greater value. So the
only reason to chip whole trees is if the grade quality of the trees isn't
sufficient to make lumber or plywood. Grade is based upon the number of
knots in the wood and also the wood density (number of growth rings per
inch). As I was illustrating to a couple of hiking mates this last weekend
on a cut log laying on the trail, in good conditions, a tree can grow as
much as a half inch per year. However, at this grow rate the wood strength
is too weak to be used for lumber. The optimum growth rate for lumber is 8
rings per inch. That's 8 years growth per inch of tree. If these trees were
chipped it's probably because of this or they weren't a prime species tree.

Brick writes >>Hemp based particleboard, MDF, OSB, and other building and
insulation materials are all available. While there will not be a one-to-one
correspondence between wood chip products and hemp products, many of the
product types overlap, so use of industrial hemp would lower the price for
wood chips, and therefore would reduce economic pressures for logging.<<

I agree, there are many potential substitutions of materials for raw lumber.
Many forest products labs around the country are actively looking at
replacements of traditional forest products. These include metal or recycled
plastic studs, laminating different products together etc. Hemp makes a
great substitute fiber in many applications, as attested to the hemp ropes
made and used during WWII. It has gotten a bad rep because of drugs.
However, commercial hemp grown for fiber has too little active ingredient to
cause much effect when smoked.

Ron "Fallingwater" Moak
Fallingwater Journals - www.fallingwater.com
Pacific Crest Trail Assoc. - www.pcta.org
American Long Distance Hikers Association - West -

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