When the North American Lodgepole pine was planted in Sweden in the early 1970s, the goal was clear. To restore balance in the forest stock as quickly as possible and secure the sawmills' access to timber over time. Today, more than 50 years earlier than usual, SCA is ready to start producing sawn wood products from the fast-growing pine on a larger scale for the first time.

– It feels exciting. Thanks to its vigor, the Lodgepole pine bind much more carbon dioxide than many other tree species and by being able to produce sawn timber out of these, which in turn can be used in long lasting wood products, we ensure that the climate benefit of each individual tree is as high as possible, says Jerry Larsson, business area manager at SCA Wood.

Today, the Lodgepole pine is planted on 600,000 hectares of land in Sweden of which half are owned and maintained by SCA. In 2022, SCA's ambition is to begin its production of timber from the Logepole pine at its sawmill in Gällö and, as a first step, produce approximately 20,000 cubic meters of sawn goods.

– We have been sawing the Lodgepole pine for a relatively long time now and have worked hard to find the product segments where we believe we can maximize the value of each tree. Some of those segments, in which the properties of the Logepole pine come in handy, include sound knot products such as glue joints and carpentry, as well as knot free and finger-jointed products for moldings and furniture, says Alexander Åhréus, project manager for the Logepole pine sawing at Gällö Sågverk, and concludes.

– Because the Logepole pine grows so much faster than ordinary Swedish pine, the distance between the knot turns is often more than twice as large, which in turn means that we can extract much more knot free material than before.

Facts about the Lodgepole pine

  • The Lodgepole pine is one of the most common tree species in North America
  • In Sweden, the Logdepole pine is planted on 600,000 hectares of land of which about 300,000 is owned and maintained by SCA. This corresponds to approximately 15 percent of SCA's productive forest land.
  • The total potential in the Lodgepole pine stock that exists in Sweden is about 400,000 - 500,000 cubic meters of sawn goods
  • The Lodgepole pine grows about 40 percent faster than ordinary Swedish pine, which also means that it binds more carbon dioxide. On SCA's land alone, the Lodgepole pine contributes to an extra uptake of  of 800,000 tonnes carbon dioxide each year.
  • The density and strength of the Lodgepole pine is still being investigated but indicates that it is lower, which in turn creates product opportunities for the packaging industry as well.
  • High amount of sound knots, nice performance!
  • Possible lower weight gives lighter products like packaging and lower transport costs
  • Uniform quality, no large amount of unsorted (U/S) makes special cuttings (customer-cut) of dimensions possible
  • Lengths is target as for now up to 4,2 m, but with margins to able module lengths for packaging
  • Kiln drying, in principal 16-18%, but trials will be done on 12-14% as well to target edge glue markets and interior applications