Effect of Seasoning on Sawn Timber and Its Implications on Marketing in Bo and Kenema Cities (South and Eastern Sierra Leone)
Keywords:Moisture content, Wood defects, seasoning, Storage.
Wood seasoning is the process of inducing reduction of the moisture contained in wood; a type of hydrothermic treatment of wood. This process of removing moisture from the wood minimizes structural problems such as dimensional stability, deterioration etc when the wood is used in construction, furniture production or to reduce smoke and ensure more uniform combustion when wood is used as fire wood. This research investigated the effect of seasoning on sawn timber and its implications on their marketing in Bo and Kenema cities. The following seasoning parameters were investigated: current wood seasoning methods, prevailing wood storage and seasoning conditions, potential loss in income, seasoning defects and impact on wood quality. The methodology entailed administration of questionnaires to 41 respondents (20 timber sales agent in Bo and 21 in Kenema). In Bo and Kenema cities 45% and 19% had knowledge of wood seasoning while 55% and 81% had no idea of wood seasoning respectively. Also 75% of respondents in Bo city and 42% in Kenema owned timber stores. Wood seasoning is more prevalent in Bo city than in Kenema city. More timber sellers in Bo had their own stores than in Kenema. Majority of merchants stack timber by dimension. Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security to provide resource person for training timber sales agents.