Hardwood lumber grading standards in Canada are published and overseen by the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA).  Industry standards for the hardwood lumber industry were created in 1898 by the establishment of the National Hardwood Lumber Association and its subsequent “Rules for the Measurement & Inspection of Hardwood & Cypress.”

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Canadian Hardwood Bureau 

The Rules for the inspection of lumber are uniform in construction and application but also carry with them the element of stability. The NHLA Hardwood Grading Rules are the product of the process of evolutionary development and that process is still in operation. It is a process of growth and expansion to meet the necessities of varying conditions and markets and will continue as long as the trade endures.  To order a copy of the most recent NHLA Rules Book, please visit the NHLA at Insert link. 

The NHLA grading rules provide buyers and sellers with consistent language to use in specifying hardwood lumber transactions.  Hardwood lumber is usually graded on the basis of the size and number of cuttings (pieces) that can be obtained from a board when it is cut up and used in the manufacture of a hardwood product.  Hardwood grading is based on appearance, not structural properties like softwood lumber grading.  

The Canadian Hardwood Bureau hosts NHLA grading courses from time to time.  Please check our events section for future hardwood lumber grading courses available in Canada.   The Canadian Hardwood Bureau and the National Hardwood Lumber Association were pleased recently to jointly offer interested individuals and companies the opportunity to participate in a unique, seven week Accelerated Lumber Inspection Program in Canada.  The first two weeks also served as Block 1 of the Online Progressive Program.  On May 14, 2022 fourteen students graduated from the program that was jointly held at Haliburton Forest Products and Quality Hardwoods in Ontario.