Raw wood

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As raw timber in which it is forestry harvested and offered for sale Wood called. These are trees that have been felled, de- limbed and de- topped that have not undergone any further processing, with the exception of any debarking, splitting into shorter pieces (→ plywood ) or chipping into wood chips . The defining characteristics of raw wood are: the type of wood , the dimensions, as well as the wood quality and the debarking condition. Raw wood is therefore a raw material for further wood use.


Polter saw logs - long-lasting
Polter saw logs - held out for a short time
Polter industrial wood - preserved as plywood

The majority of the raw wood is round wood . Except for the fact that raw wood also includes split plywood and chopped wood, both terms are largely identical in practice. The term raw wood is mainly used in administrative language and in specialist literature , otherwise round wood is the far more common term: raw wood refers in particular to the customer side, i.e. the raw material wood for wood processing, round wood describes the forestry and transport-related term of wood harvest (wood production).

The forestry differentiation of raw wood into round and laminated wood, i.e. trunks and stacked goods, has historical reasons for sorting out according to wood quality and transport logistics ( wood delivery ), since the latter was piled up in the forest. In particular, the plywood was recycled as firewood .

Due to the increase in the importance of industrial wood, i.e. the processing without considering growth, for example for the paper and pulp industry and for wood chips, as well as the modern harvesting and transport options, the concept of raw wood has changed and expanded: Today, parts can of the tree and trunk can be reused in high quality, which were previously only suitable as firewood, were laboriously collected by hand as reading wood , or remained entirely in the forest as felling waste (residual forest wood ). Therefore one further distinguishes:

  • Barks called raw wood from the forest on storehouses been engaged was ready and located for transport. In the case of trunk wood, long wood is used if it is over 6 m long. The removal is usually carried out by log transporters with a loading crane and trailer . When it comes to industrial wood, we speak of long wood (industrial wood long - IL) if it is over 3 m long.
  • Short timber is round timber in standard lengths (also known as "fixed lengths" or "standard lengths") up to a maximum of 6 meters in length for logs and up to 3 m in length for industrial timber.

While in the past only trees suitable as the best construction timber (for roof trusses, timber block construction , etc.) were transported away as long timber, and plywood was at best carpentry, today even dead wood , windthrow ( storm wood ) or pest wood is sold as long timber in industrial wood processing . In addition, the delivery of unsorted material for wood chips and the like from the forest, which is only measured according to weight or bulk meters (biomass) , is increasingly gaining ground .

Raw wood types

In order to be able to use raw wood economically, it is summarized in raw wood types based on its characteristics. The designation of the raw wood type can either reflect the intended future use or the properties according to which it was classified.

There are a number of names for raw wood types, some of which overlap in their meaning and some of which are only of regional importance. The main raw wood assortments, which in turn are divided into further sub-types, are:

  • Saw logs or logs for producing sawn timber in sawmills
  • Industrial wood (also known as paper, chopping or grinding wood, depending on the region) for chemical and / or mechanical pulping for use in the pulp or wood-based materials industry
  • Energy wood for heat generation. In addition to material recycling, raw wood can also be used thermally.

There are also various edge ranges, such as B. veneer wood (for cutting or peeling) fence wood, poles, mast wood, sleeper wood or pit timber , the amount of which, however, is of minor importance overall, or in some cases - such as pit timber - is not or hardly needed by the market.

Sorting by size and quality feature

Raw wood is divided or classified into trade classes based on its dimensions, quality characteristics and intended use . In Germany, the law on legal trade classes for raw wood was decisive. This law - which was abolished without replacement in 2009 - and its legal predecessors provide a rough framework for the method according to which raw wood is divided into trade classes. In addition, there have always been - mostly regionally limited - specific factory regulations for individual raw wood buyers.

For the division into strength classes , almost only the "middle strength sorting" can be found. Here, the raw wood is divided into strength classes based on the center diameter. Other dimensional grades, such as B. the so-called Heilbronn sorting , in which the trunk length and the plait diameter must be observed, are practically no longer used and are only of historical importance. The basic measurement number assigned to each strength class is also outdated, on the basis of which and the measurement number percentages agreed in the context of pricing it was possible to determine the price without having to agree a separate price for each individual strength class.

When it comes to the division into quality classes , the market is primarily geared towards the requirements of the formerly statutory class of trade for raw wood. The main grades are designated with A, B, C or D, whereby the wood of normal quality that is usually produced is classified in quality class B. But plant-specific grades are also customary in the trade and are becoming increasingly important.

In principle, the type of raw wood sorting (as well as the type of volume determination) must be agreed between the market partners.

More terms

The term raw wood does not include the complete wood mass of a tree, nor is it - strictly speaking - applicable to "standing" wood. In the course of the administrative support of the timber and forestry industry, other terms were and are defined and used in the administrative language in addition to raw wood , which often - due to a lack of comprehensive standardization - cannot be clearly defined and in some cases are only of regional importance.

The entire biomass of a tree consists of rough wood , non-rough wood and cut waste . These terms are used, for example, in the raw timber balance of the Federal Republic of Germany or in scientific publications. In forestry use, for example when harvesting or selling wood, the term rough wood is not used.

Rough wood
the above-ground wood mass from 7 cm in diameter with bark, with the exception of the stock wood remaining on the stick after felling. The rough wood can be divided into: stock wood, branch wood and crown wood.
Non-standing timber ( rice wood )
the aboveground wood mass up to 7 cm in diameter with bark.
is raw wood with the exception of firewood . This term - just like the term Derbholz - was defined, for example, in the wood measurement instructions (Homa) of the German Empire and is hardly used today. Timber was then further divided into Langnutzholz and Schichtnutzholz .
Short timber - long timber
These terms can mean two different situations: In connection with the former German law on legal trade classes for raw wood , short wood is a wood that is measured in cubic meters (usually 1 m and 2 m) and long wood is a wood, which is measured in solid cubic meters (from 3 m). But mostly a wood with a trunk length of about 3 m to 5 m, up to a maximum of 7 m, is called short timber. Long wood starts at about 6 m log length and ends for transport reasons at a maximum of 22 m, the most common length being between 16 m and 21 m. Accordingly, the timber transports on the road are carried out with long timber or short timber transporters.
Bloche - Doppelbloche - long timber
These designations are common in Austria. Blocks are between 3 m and 5 m long, but usually not less than 4 m. Double holes are between 6 m and 10 m. Everything that is longer is called long wood.
Heavy wood - small wood
The terms are inconsistent and sometimes with further gradations such as B. "medium" or "extra strong" wood is used. As a rough rule, long tree trunks with a center diameter of around 30 cm can be described as thick wood and shorter tree sections from around 35 cm. In the forest, a (standing) tree with a diameter of about 50 cm at chest height is considered to be thick wood.
Processing companies usually define the terms according to the possible uses:
Small wood can no longer be processed economically in gang saws , which corresponds to a center diameter of 20 cm. It is also known as billet or thin wood .
Thick wood can no longer be processed in profile chipping plants, which corresponds to a diameter of 45–55 cm at the weak end.
Stick wood
also snag Strunk (stumps and root stock).
Stock wood or stock tree wood
is the total mass of the shaft without branches (stumps).
Erdstamm - Mittelstamm - Zopfstück
The earth trunk is the lowest section of a felled tree. Braid in the sense of raw wood does not mean the actual summit (top) of the (standing) tree, but the topmost piece of the felled and de-tipped tree.
Plait wood, crown wood
Wood from the top of a tree.
Top wood
is the piece of trunk that remains on the trunk beyond the minimum diameter of the class.

Units of measure of raw wood

Mainly, raw wood is measured by volume. Some ranges are sold by weight. Very few ranges are sold by number of items. By far the largest proportion of the raw wood produced in Europe is traded according to the arithmetical volume unit of solid cubic meters (fm, fm).

The type of measurement is based on commercial customs. Since wood was originally measured in the forest with simple instruments, measuring rules were developed which only approximately determine the actual trunk volume, but which lead to clear, reproducible results.

A special feature of the log trade is that the measurement and quality assessment now often takes place at the buyer's, so that the price is only determined afterwards.

Volume units

A distinction is made between fixed dimensions (solid cubic meters with or without bark, FM w. R. / Fm o. R.) and room dimensions (cubic meters, rm). While the pure wood volume is determined for fixed dimensions, the spaces between the wooden parts are also taken into account for room dimensions.

In Germany, according to the Units and Time Act, only the use of legal units is permitted. The units of solid cubic meters and cubic meters used to this day are not legal units. So far it is unclear to what extent this is a violation of the Unit Act, since these units are not actual volume units, but accounting units that are determined on the basis of measurement and calculation rules set out in commercial practice . This is expressed by the designation solid cubic meters and cubic meters .

Solid cubic meters (fm, fm)

The solid cubic meter is the usual unit of measurement for round wood .

Cubic meter (Rm, rm)

Here, it is not the individual piece of wood (trunk, log, wood chips) that is measured, but the entire volume including all empty spaces that comprise the stacked pieces of wood. A further distinction is made between stacked wood ( plywood ) and heaped wood.

  • Layered meter (Rm, rm): The plywood must always be the same length, usually 1 m or 2 m. The former German law on legal trade classes for raw wood stipulated that laminated wood with an oversize of 4% should be used. In Germany, therefore, it is customary to subtract 4% from the volume determined in industrial goods traffic in order to obtain the accounting unit “cubic meters”. A traditional term for cubic meters that is still used today is ster .
  • Loose cubic meter (Srm, srm): This unit of measurement is used for wood chips and sometimes also for short logs . The total volume of the poured material including the spaces in m 3 is measured .

Dimensions in other countries

  • Board Foot (BF, bf) or 1000 Board Feet (MBF, mbf): In North America , these are the predominant Anglo-American accounting units for raw wood (and also for cut goods). In the case of round timber, this unit does not reflect the trunk volume, but the equivalent amount of sawn timber it contains. For this there are - depending on the region - various calculation rules , the so-called log rules . Well-known log rules are the Doyle Rule , the Scribner Rule or the International Rule . The basic dimensions are always the length and the plait diameter without the bark. In addition, other features are included in the calculation of the accounting units, such as B. Wood defects , trunk irregularities, and large end diameter.
  • A conversion of the accounting units between various log rules or to the master volume is only possible roughly approximately. This fact makes price comparisons considerably more difficult and due to the relatively complicated log rules, the forest owner - if no expert - is practically unable to understand the quantity determination.
  • Cubic Foot (ft 3 , cu.ft.): This Anglo-American unit of volume is also used in North America. Here the actual trunk volume is approximated, comparable to the European solid cubic meter . However, the approximate trunk volume is not determined using the Huber formula of length and center diameter, which is customary in Europe , but from the two final diameters and the length (Smalian formula) or additionally including the center diameter (Newton formula).
  • Hoppus Foot: This now historical accounting unit for round wood was introduced in England in 1736 by Edward Hoppus and was the dominant round wood unit in the sphere of influence of the later British Empire . The hoppus foot was used in Asian tropical wood until modern times. Is calculated Hoppus Foot from the center circumference in inches and the length in Foot .
  • Cord : The cord room measure in North America is the equivalent of the European cubic meter . A cord contains roughly a volume of 3.6 m 3 .

Weight units

In order to further simplify the measurement of low-value or such raw wood assortments, the volume of which cannot be precisely determined due to its shape, the quantity is also determined based on the weight in the industrial wood and especially in the energy wood sector.

The wood moisture is usually also taken into account because it has a significant influence on the weight of the wood. It is indicated whether it is fresh wood mass (lutro = air dry) or absolutely dry wood mass (atro). To determine the absolutely dry weight, a chip sample is usually taken, which is dried in an oven for 12 hours and then recalculated to the weighed dry weight.

The weight determination also takes place outside the forest and is carried out by the buyer.

Raw wood supply in Germany

year Total impact Softwood Hardwood
2014 54,356 40.128 14,229
2015 55,613 42,050 13,563
2016 52,494 39,052 13,142
Wood volume in Germany in thousands of sm oR

Laws and Regulations


Measurement and sorting of raw wood

Starting with the ordinance on the maintenance, measurement and variety formation of wood in German forests (HOMA) , also known as Reichshoma , (HOMA is the abbreviation for wood measurement instructions ), there was a uniform legal regulation for the first time in Germany for measurement and sorting from 1936 of raw wood, which was initially still valid in both German states in the post-war period. TGL 15799 / 01-12 was enacted in the GDR in 1965, and in the Federal Republic of Germany the law on legal trade classes for raw wood ( Federal Law Gazette 1969 I p. 149 ), which in turn governs Directive 68/89 / EEC of the Council of the European Communities Had basis. The implementing provisions of this law were laid down in the ordinance on legal trade classes for raw wood of July 31, 1969 ( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1075 ). This regulation is also referred to as forest HKS , HKS or commercial class sorting . In contrast to the previous HOMA (from 1936 to 1969), the general application of the HKS was not mandatory. It was only mandatory that wood, which is designated according to legal trade classes, must also correspond to these.

In the course of the measures to reduce bureaucracy ordered by the EC, the law on statutory trading classes for raw wood was repealed without replacement on January 1, 2009 . Independent of this, the HKS has the status of a trading practice .

Since 2014, the framework agreement for the raw wood trade in Germany (RVR) has formed the basis for raw wood measurement and sorting, the billing measures and conversion factors as well as the terminology in raw wood trade. In contrast to its predecessors, the RVR has no legal character, but is a voluntary agreement between wood producers ( German Forestry Council ) and wood processors (German Wood Economy Council).

Promotion of raw wood

In Germany, for decades there was a legal obligation to pay taxes on raw wood that was suitable for sawing, knives or peeling. With this special levy, the so-called “ wood sales fund contribution ”, the state implemented measures to promote the sale of raw wood. In 2009 the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the Wood Selling Fund Act was unconstitutional and thus ended the state-run promotion of raw wood.


The relevant standards in Austria are defined in the Austrian Timber Trade Customs.


  • Ulf Lohmann u. a .: Wood lexicon . 4th edition. 2 volumes, DRW-Verlag Weinbrenner, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-87181-355-9 .
  • Wolfgang Steuer: From tree to wood . 2nd Edition. DRW-Verlag Weinbrenner, Stuttgart 1997, ISBN 3-87181-311-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Jan-Hinrich Brandt: Assortment on fbg-ibach.de, accessed on January 19, 2017.
  2. Ordinance on the maintenance, measurement and variety formation of wood in German forests (HOMA) of April 1, 1936 (DRAnz. And PrStAnz. No. 89 of April 17, 1936).
  3. Wood fairs. P. 13. (PDF; 1.01 MB), at bfw.ac.at, accessed on June 27, 2011.
  4. Peter Baumeister: Knüppelholz und Astholz - Schnäppchen oder Schrott , In: HandwerkerRatgeber.info, February 16, 2019; accessed in April 2019
  5. Bernd Wittchen, Elmar Josten, Thomas Reiche: Holzfachkunde. 4th edition, Teubner, 2006, ISBN 978-3-519-35911-1 , p. 99.
  6. ^ Frank Freese: A Collection of Log Rules. U.S. Forest Service, 1973, OCLC 1137190 , online (PDF; 1.16 MB), at fpl.fs.fed.us, accessed March 22, 2013.
  7. ^ Economic Commission for Europe: Forest Product Conversion Factors for the UNECE Region. United Nations Publication, 2010, ISBN 978-92-11-17021-4 , online (PDF; 605 kB), at unece.org, accessed on March 22, 2013.
  8. Federal Statistical Office: Logging Statistics 2014, 2015, 2016 Special Series 3 Series 3.3.1; last accessed on May 20, 2017 at https://www.destatis.de
  9. Directive 68/89 / EEC (PDF) of the Council of January 23, 1968 on the approximation of the laws of the member states for the sorting of raw wood.
  10. Framework agreement for the raw wood trade in Germany (RVR) on rvr-deutschland.de, accessed on January 19, 2017.
  11. Österreichische Holzhandelsusanzen (PDF; 99 kB), on wienerborse.at, accessed on October 30, 2016