Current Status of Hardwood Sawmills to Produce Structural Grade Hardwood Lumber

  • Sailesh Adhikari, Dr. Virginia Tech
  • Henry Quesada, Dr. Virginia Tech
  • Brian Bond, Dr. Virginia Tech
  • Tom Hammett, Dr. Virginia Tech
Keywords: Hardwood CLTs, Hardwood Sawmills, Survey, Cross Laminated Timbers (CLTs), Structural Grade Hardwood Lumber


Hardwood lumber could be used in Cross-laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing for structural application if the lumber were produced to meet the minimum raw material requirements. However, hardwood sawmills do not currently produce lumber that satisfies CLT requirements, so it is necessary to determine if they have the ability and capacity to produce such lumber. Thus, the objective of this study was to measure the current capability of sawmills to produce structural grade hardwood lumber and, if not, what changes they must make to be able to do so.  A survey of hardwood sawmills in the United States was used to collect the sawmill data. It was delivered to sawmills by paper mail and the internet whenever possible. A total of 2040 sawmills were contacted, and 6.4% of responses were collected. The results indicate that about 10% of the responding sawmills could produce structural grade lumber without additional investment in necessary resources that assume softwood lumber graders can grade hardwood lumber for structural use. The sawmills that were not ready to begin producing structural grade hardwood lumber (SGHL) additional resources were necessary, such as a four-side planer, a certified lumber grader, and adequate kiln capacity.

How to Cite
Adhikari, S., Quesada, H., Bond, B., & Hammett, T. (2021). Current Status of Hardwood Sawmills to Produce Structural Grade Hardwood Lumber. Mass Timber Construction Journal, 4(1), 10-18. Retrieved from