Elspeth currently leads the wood properties research team, focusing on projects investigating and quantifying the impacts of tree growth, environment and genetics on wood properties that are crucial to both the survival of forests and the sustainable production of forest products.
Elspeth has 30 years of experience working in the forestry sector and is a Professional member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters. After several years working for the Forestry Commission in north Scotland, she joined Forest Research in 1997 to help develop a programme of research into the influence of silviculture on timber quality. She has led a range of projects relating to the assessment and prediction of wood and timber properties of tree species grown in the UK, and to the use of timber in construction. Between 2014 and 2021 she worked as a lecturer at the Scottish School of Forestry, Inverness College UHI, before re-joining FR to take up her current role.
Conference paper on the development of a timber quality model for British-grown Sitka spruce. Related pages Tree and Wood Properties Compression Wood Cell wall macromolecules and reaction wood (CEMARE)
Stem straightness is important in determining tree and log value. The ability to make an effective assessment before harvesting is useful for forest managers and practitioners to improve forecasting, planning, marketing and resource use. This Technical Note describes three methods for assessing stem straightness in standing trees: visual assessment, photogrammetric measurement and terrestrial lidar. It […]
Timber production from Scots pine forests in Great Britain is forecast to increase over the next 15 years. This Research Note presents the results of a project to develop and test methods for assessing the quality of Scots pine timber from measurements on trees and logs. Six stands of Scots pine growing in the north […]
Report on Scottish Forestry Trust-funded project to investigate implications for timber quality of transformation of uniform forests to irregular structures. Related pages Tree and Wood Properties Compression Wood Cell wall macromolecules and reaction wood (CEMARE)
Report on a survey of stem straightness. Related pages Tree and Wood Properties Compression Wood Cell wall macromolecules and reaction wood (CEMARE)
Bowditch E.A.D. and Macdonald, E. (2021). The elm is dead! Long live the elm! New developments for elm conservation in Scotland. Scottish Forestry. 75(2) 29-38.
Auty, D., Achim, A., Macdonald, E., Cameron, A.D. and Gardiner, B.A. (2016). Models for predicting clearwood mechanical properties of Scots pine. For.Sci.62(4):403-413 http://dx.doi.org/10.5849/forsci.15-092
Auty, D., Achim, A., Macdonald, E., Cameron, A.D. and Gardiner, B.A. 2014. Models for predicting wood density variation in Scots pine. Forestry, 87(3), 449–458.
Fonweban, J, Mavrou, I, Gardiner, B, & Macdonald, E. (2013). Modelling the effect of spacing and site exposure on spiral grain angle on Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) in Northern Britain. Forestry, 86(3), 331–342. doi:10.1093/forestry/cpt002
Fonweban, J., Gardiner, B., Macdonald, E. and Auty, D. (2011). Taper functions for Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris, L.) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) in Northern Britain. Forestry, 84 (1), 49-60. doi:10.1093/forestry/cpq043.
Macdonald, E., Gardiner, B.A. and Mason, W.L. (2010). The Effects of Transformation of Even-Aged Stands to Continuous Cover Silviculture on Conifer Log Quality and Wood Properties in the UK. Forestry, 83 (1) 1-16. doi: 10.1093/forestry/cpp023.
Macdonald, E., Mochan, S. and Connolly, T. (2009). Validation of a stem straightness scoring system for Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.). Forestry, 82 (4) 419-429. doi:10.1093/forestry/cpp011.
Macdonald, E., Cooper, G., Davies, I. and Freke, B. (2008). Scots pine timber: current utilisation and future market prospects in Scotland. Scottish Forestry. 62(4) 12-21.
Macdonald, E. and Hubert, J. (2002). A Review of the Effects of Silviculture on the Timber Quality of Sitka Spruce. Forestry, 75 (2) 107-138.
Price, A, Hapca, A, Gardiner, B, Macdonald, E & McLean, P 2017, Assessing the stem straightness of trees: Technical Note. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
Macdonald, E., Moore, J., Connolly, T. and Gardiner, B. (2009). Developing methods for assessing Scots pine timber quality. Forestry Commission Research Note (FCRN005). Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.