Bark occurrence in U.S. and Canadian wooden pallets

Charles D. Ray, Edgar Deomano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication No. 15 (ISPM 15) describes phytosanitary measures to reduce the risk of introduction and/or spread of quarantine pests associated with wood packing materials, including pallets, containers, and dunnage. In 2002, the International Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (ICPM) published ISPM 15, and implementation of the standard began to go into force around the world. However, in October 2004, the European Commission issued Directive 2004/102/EC that, among other things, introduced the concept of requiring wood packaging materials to be "debarked." In order to establish an empirical baseline of potential impact of this requirement on North American pallet production, 10 pallet production facilities and three exporting customer facilities were visited in three geographic regions. Based on an inspection of 5,584 pallets in this study, about one in five exhibited at least one occurrence of bark or a bark-like defect, even though 88 percent of the pallets examined were produced from raw material that had been debarked prior to pallet manufacture. Additionally, the study suggests that an appropriate set of inspection criteria and procedures for bark-free wood pallets and crates will be extremely difficult to implement and verify over time in different cultural settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
JournalForest Products Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Plant Science


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