UMD and NRRI Researcher Matt Aro on Thermally-Modified Wood

Jan 12, 2021

The Star Tribune recently reported on new uses for dead ash, fir and tamarack trees.  Larch beetles, caterpillars and other invasive insects have killed more than 200,000 acres of balsam fir in Minnesota and half of the state’s tamarack trees.

The dead trees left behind don’t currently have a use – and could be a fire hazard. 

Researchers at UMD and the NRRI – Natural Resources Research Institute have been studying ways to use this wood.  Here to tell us more is NRRI Researcher Matt Aro.

Matt tells us about the USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program grant the NRRI received for a project to design and build a demonstration boardwalk using thermally-modified tamarack lumber.  This 200-foot section of boardwalk is located at the Sax-Zim Bog in Meadowlands.  Matt explains the process of thermally –modifying wood to get the desired properties needed to use tamarack for lumber and he describes the finished lumbers characteristics.

Listen here to learn more about thermally-modified lumber and find more information at nrri.umn.edu.