Processing Wood The Wood Processors Tool Kit supports the expansion of the wood processing industry in PNG. We're creating a one-stop source of information for the public and private sectors.    

Wood processing techniques

The Wood Processors Tool Kit supports the expansion of the value added wood processing industry in PNG. We're creating a one-stop source of information for the public and private sectors. Have a look at the wood processing resources that are currently available for viewing and downloading (see below). Then, click on the "Read More" buttons to find out more.


Until recently, there have been limited opportunities to efficiently process small-diameter trees into high-value wood products, because conventional processing methods generally have very low recovery of products from small-diameter trees. As a consequence, large areas of forests including plantations are underutilised and often regarded as low quality. Production of veneer products has been part of the wood processing sector in many countries, but the capital investment required and the necessary scale of operation was a barrier to adoption in the pacific islands. The following resources present new technologies for veneer processing operations that can utilise small-diameter trees grown by farmers:

  • Introductory videos showing selection of veneer processing techniques
  • Technical guide to manufacturing rotary veneer and products from small logs


CocowoodCocowood fibre has properties similar to many hardwood timbers. High density cocowood can be used for flooring, furniture, joinery, panelling, pallets, plywood and veneers, utility poles (preservative-treated) and feature posts. Lower density material can be used for turnery, insulation, handicrafts and charcoal, firewood and a potting substrate for plants. Cocowood has good environmental credentials. Extensive areas of coconut plantations are grown throughout the Pacific Region in 60-80 year rotations. Large areas of now senile palms yield only small coconut crops, and replanting is economically sustainable when coconut stems are sold for cocowood processing. The emerging cocowood harvesting and processing sector provides income for smallholders and employment for regional communities.  There are currently 2 cocowood processing resources available:

  • Cocowood pamphlet
  • Cocowood processing manual

Wood WasteSawmilling industries all around the world produce large volumes of wood waste in the form of chip, sawdust, wood shavings, bark, sander dust and offcuts. Only around 1/3 of a tree felled actually becomes usable timber, with the remainder ending up as residues either in the forest or after sawmilling operations. Sawmill wood waste utilisation strategies should not only limit the environmental impacts of waste generation, but also consider the economic benefits that can be achieved. The unplanned accumulation of wood waste can  'clog' the mill leading to serious production constraints, as well as cause safety hazards such as tripping, air quality and fire. The following wood waste utilisation resources are currently available:

  • Technical factsheets with tips and techniques for using wood waste in PNG
  • Video, booklet and news article about using wood offcuts for classroom furniture


DryingHigh-value wood products will only be successful if the material used in the their production is of a high quality and meets the performance requirements expected under a wide range of service conditions. Wood drying is a key component of the wood processing value-chain; it not only consumes the largest amount of time and energy but in terms of value adding it also controls a high proportion of the potential profit or loss. In PNG, wood is also commonly attacked by borer beetles and termites that degrade dry timber in storage, as well as timber products in service. Careful consideration of the gluing characteristics of timbers for specific wood product applications is also critical. The following timber drying and preservation resources are currently available:

  • Technical factsheets for drying and protecting wood in PNG
  • Best practice manuals for drying, gluing and protecting wood in PNG
  • Technical reports on wood processing research undertaken in PNG