Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forestry (MS)

College, School or Department Name

School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


Margaret R Gale


The research presented in this thesis was conducted to further the development of the stress wave method of nondestructively assessing the quality of wood in standing trees. The specific objective of this research was to examine, in the field, use of two stress wave nondestructive assessment techniques.

The first technique examined utilizes a laboratory-built measurement system consisting of commercially available accelerometers and a digital storage oscilloscope. The second technique uses a commercially available tool that incorporates several technologies to determine speed of stress wave propagation in standing trees.

Field measurements using both techniques were conducted on sixty red pine trees in south-central Wisconsin and 115 ponderosa pine trees in western Idaho. After in-situ measurements were taken, thirty tested red pine trees were felled and a 15-foot-long butt log was obtained from each tree, while all tested ponderosa pine trees were felled and an 8 1/2 -foot-long butt log was obtained, respectively. The butt logs were sent to the USDA Forest Products Laboratory and nondestructively tested using a resonance stress wave technique. Strong correlative relationships were observed between stress wave values obtained from both field measurement techniques. Excellent relationships were also observed between standing tree and log speed-of-sound values.