High quality data is a necessity for solid results. This is relevant not only for the measurements itself, but also in its preparation and continuation, and in all types of studies: for applications in forest and industry, for research, for sawn products and paper, for genetics, effects of climate change and sustainabiliy.
Based on experiences from numerous projects with different objectives on many tree species, streamlined routines have been developed. When planning a new project, it is often useful to start with these standard routines and adapt them to the objectives of the project and the local conditions.
The routines include strategies of sampling for different purposes, collection of background data on trees and stands, how to lable, handle and prepare samples, etc. Redundancy is built in to allow correction of mistakes, which are hard to avoid. The routines also form a basis for compatibility and common data structures matching previously developed tools for evaluation and presentation.
Properties of the samples are measured with instruments in the Wood and Fibre Measurement Centre, where a large number of properties of wood, fibres and vessel elements may be analysed at different levels of detail. Complementary measurements are often made by research partners of the project.
The ambition is to compile data from each project into common formats, forming compatible measurement databases, which may be merged for synergies, if the funding partners allow. Too small data sets may be combined to become large enough, for instance to compare tree species or effects of various growth conditions. This has also proven very useful in the comparison of species.
These databases are also a basis for development of models for properties and their variations, which is normally a more powerful description of properties than data, statistics and graphs, and opens up for simulations and applications.