Donovan and Nicholls (2003) reported that distinctive character marks on Alaska birch cabinet doors could command a price premium and possibly may appeal to a smaller proportion of the population than would doors having fewer or less distinctive character marks.
Consumer preferences and willingness to pay for character-marked cabinets from Alaska birch. Forest Prod.
This study follows previous work in which consumer preferences for cabinets from Alaska birch
were evaluated using survey techniques.
The Alaska birch trees harvested to produce these flitches were located approximately 60 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska, and trees averaged about 60 to 80 years of age.
The development of new grading rules for Alaska birch lumber could actually benefit cut-stock production and value, particularly if rustic grades were established.
To better determine this potential for Alaska birch, a study was recently conducted to evaluate consumer preferences for Alaska birch kitchen cabinet doors containing various types of character marks.
One of the study objectives was to evaluate as many distinct looks as possible from Alaska birch. In this study "character" was defined as the presence of any feature that could be distinguished from clear wood, including grain variations, knots, bark pockets and heart stain patterns.
Several outlets in the Fair-banks and Anchorage areas sell random-width Alaska birch lumber to retail customers, although this is a relatively small proportion of their total hardwood lumber sales.
Alaska birch lumber is often characterized by small knots and other character defects (including bark pockets, bird pecks, and worm holes) that can reduce its value when graded according to conventional (NHLA) hardwood lumber grading rules.
"There seems to be a general agreement that small-scale logging is beneficial," says Zachel, owner of Alaska Birch
In Fairbanks, Bob Zachel, owner of Alaska Birch
Works, has harvested birch and aspen for the last four years for his own sawmill as well as for local shops.
lumber has a higher occurrence of defects (knots, bark pockets, flecks, spalting, etc.) when compared to competing hardwoods.
Tapping Alaska's birch trees provides the Original Alaska Birch
With three other birch syrup producers, the Camerons formed the Alaska Birch
Sugarmakers Association to promote research and marketing and to help other producers get started.
Montana debuted with a co-champion western latch, while Alaska now lays claim to both co-champion Alaska birches
as well as the biggest Kenai birch.