Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 193–204 | Cite as

How Useful are Small Stands of Low Quality Timber?

  • Jack Baynes
  • John Herbohn
  • Nestor Gregorio
  • Jufamar Fernandez
Research Paper


Creating sustainable livelihoods is a common goal of plantation-based community forestry. Tree and stand characteristics such as stand stocking density and tree size, form and wood quality are thus important determinants of the success of community forestry in creating sustainable livelihoods. Together with the socio-economic circumstances which govern harvesting and processing, they determine the best end-use of the trees for the communities they are intended to benefit. This study of five adjacent stands of mature timber originally established under community forestry programs on Biliran Island in the Philippines found that lack of early-age silvicultural management, illegal logging and slash-and-burn agriculture had resulted in a patchwork of mature plantation forest with high variation in stand stocking, tree diameter and log length. Damage to tree branches and boles from previous typhoons was also evident. On-site conversion of trees into lumber using community labour and a contracted chainsaw operator was found to be more profitable than selling the trees to external processors. A key advantage of directly supervising the chainsaw operator was a higher than expected lumber recovery rate of 37 %. However, this high recovery rate was only possible by accepting boards with defects (decay or bark) in 58 % of chain-sawn boards. Lumber was eagerly sought by community members for house construction, and waste wood was quickly scavenged for firewood. Processing chain-sawn lumber into boards suitable for furniture manufacture would have been impracticable because of shrinkage, wane, decay and end-splitting. The lumber would also have been unsuitable for furniture production because of imprecise sawing. The implications of this study for small-scale community forests in developing countries are that high variation in log size and quality in silviculturally unmanaged stands mitigates against processing lumber into high-value products. Sustainable management of plantation forest resources will be encouraged if communities directly benefit from community-controlled harvesting which processes logs into products for which there is high local demand.


Lumber Value-adding Silviculture Community forestry 


  1. Alpor J, Manlapaz D, Nanlapaz J (2008) Legally operating without a license. In Forest faces: Hopes and regrets in Philippine forestry. RAP publication 2008/04, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Regional office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, pp 177–181Google Scholar
  2. Baral N, Stern MJ, Heinen JT (2007) Integrated conservation and development project life cycles in the Annapurna conservation area, Nepal: is development overpowering conservation? Biodivers Conserv 16(10):2903–2917CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker JE (2007) Fishes and forestry. In: Northcote TG, Hartman GF (eds) Worldwide watershed interactions and management. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, pp 216–240Google Scholar
  4. Baskerville GL (1962) Production in forests. Production in forests, Department of Forestry, Quebec, pp 13–43Google Scholar
  5. Baynes J, Herbohn J, Russell I (2010) The influence of farmers’ mental models on an agroforestry extension program in the Philippines. Small Scale For 10(3):377–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bui HB, Harrison SR, Lamb D, Brown S (2005) An evaluation of the small-scale sawmilling and timber processing industry in northern Vietnam and the need for planting particular indigenous species. Small Scale For Econ Manag Policy 4(1):85–100Google Scholar
  7. Calderon MM, Nawir AA (2006) An evaluation of the feasibility and benefits of forest partnerships to develop tree plantations: case studies in the Philippines. CIFOR working paper no. 27, Centre for International Forestry Research, Bogor, IndonesiaGoogle Scholar
  8. Cedamon E, Harrison S, Herbohn J (2013) Comparative analysis of on-site free-hand chainsaw milling and fixed site mini-bandsaw milling of smallholder timber. Small Scale For 12(3):389–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) (2008) Compendium of basic environment and natural resources (SNR) statistics for operations and management (Second Edition). Accessed 15 March 2014
  10. DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) (2013) Guidelines and procedure for plantation development for the National Greening Program with area coverage of 100 hectares and above within public forestlands through engagement of services of private sector, society organisations, non-government organisations, people’s organisations, and other government entities. DENR Memorandum Circular 2013–06, Quezon City, PhilippinesGoogle Scholar
  11. Fisher RJ (2014) Lessons Learned from Community Forestry in Asia and Their Relevance for REDD + . USAID-supported Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities (FCMC) Program. Washington, DC, USAGoogle Scholar
  12. Giudice R, Soares-Filho BS, Merry F, Rodrigues HO, Bowman M (2012) Timber concessions in Madre de Dios: are they a good deal? Ecol Econ 77(5):158–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grisley L (1998) The production of lumber using chainsaws in Guyana. Int J Sustain Dev World Ecol 5(4):238–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Herbohn JL, Vanclay J, Nguyen H, Le HD, Baynes J, Harrison SR, Cedamon E, Smith C, Firn J, Gregorio NO, Mangaoang E, Lamarre E (2014) Inventory procedures and community woodlots in the Philippines: methods, initial findings and insights. Small Scale For 13(1):79–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Krisnawati H, Kallio M, Kanninen M (2011) Acacia mangium Willd. Ecology, silviculture and productivity. CIFOR, BogorGoogle Scholar
  16. Lasco RD (2005) The restoration value chain for the Philippine. In: The future of the Sierra Madre: Responding to social and ecological changes. van der Ploeg J, Masipiqueña AB (eds) In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on environment and development, CVPRD, Golden Press, Tuguegarao, pp 27–31Google Scholar
  17. Le DH, Smith C, Herbohn J, Harrison SR (2012) More than just trees: assessing reforestation success in tropical developing countries. J Rural Stud 28(1):5–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Le DH, Smith C, Herbohn JL (2014) What drives the success of reforestation projects in tropical developing countries? The case of the Philippines. Glob Environ Change 24:334–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mangaoang E (2013) Economic analysis of community based timber harvesting. Report to GIZ EnRD Program Philippines, CBFM Component. Visayas State University, ViscaGoogle Scholar
  20. Nguyen H, Lamb D, Herbohn J, Firn J (2014) Designing mixed species tree plantations for the tropics: balancing ecological attributes of species with landholder Preferences in the Philippines. PLoS ONE 9(4):e95267. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095267 PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Pandit BH, Albano A, Kumar C (2009) Community-based forest enterprises in Nepal: an analysis of their role in increasing income benefits to the poor. Small Scale For 8(4):447–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Paudel D (2012) In search of alternatives: pro-poor entrepreneurship in community forestry. J Dev Stud 48(11):1649–1664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Scherr SJ, White A, Kaimowitz D (2004) A new agenda for forest conservation and poverty reduction: making markets work for low-income producers. Forest Trends, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  24. Weber JG, Sills EO, Bauch S, Pattanayak SK (2011) Do ICDPs work? An empirical evaluation of forest-based microenterprises in the Brazilian Amazon. Land Econ 87(4):661–681Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Baynes
    • 1
  • John Herbohn
    • 1
  • Nestor Gregorio
    • 2
  • Jufamar Fernandez
    • 2
  1. 1.Forest Industries Research CentreUniversity of the Sunshine CoastMaroochydoreAustralia
  2. 2.ACIAR Smallholder Forestry ProjectVisayas State UniversityLeytePhilippines

Personalised recommendations