UK Softwood Drying: A best practice guide

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All timber over a period of time will reach a moisture content which is in equilibrium with the temperature and humidity of the surrounding atmosphere. Moisture content measurement is based on the weight of water present in the timber and is expressed as a percentage of the dry weight of timber.

UK Softwood Drying: A best practice guide presents recent advances in softwood timber drying that can be applied to the UK timber industry. 

This document explains the ways in which many of these advances could bring improvement in the time and cost of drying softwoods at conventional and at 'accelerated conventional' temperatures - the recommended 'Next Step' for softwood drying in the UK.


  • Background
  • Best Practice Guide
    • Determination of market requirements
    • Matching kiln specifications with drying requirements
    • Optimisation of kiln drying schedules
    • Sorting timber into specific moisture content groups
    • Pre-steaming timber (start of drying schedule)
    • Stacking and top weighting
    • Monitoring and control
    • Post-drying timber treatments
    • New methods of measuring moisture content
    • Higher temperature drying
    • Other technologies
    • Operator training
  • Concluding remarks

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