AbstractEffects of drying temperature and artificial UV irradiation on the pH of veneer surfaces, water absorption, thickness swelling, as well as shear strength of plywood manufactured from untreated and treated veneer sheets were evaluated. Rotary cut veneer sheets from beech (Fagus orientalis Lipsky) log were selected. The veneer sheets were dried at either 100°C or 180°C after peeling. Then the surfaces were exposed to artificial UV irradiation in an UV chamber for 1, 2, and 3 days representing a natural sun irradiation of 2, 4, and 6 months, respectively. Tests by UV microspectrophotometry showed that after high temperature drying and UV irradiation treatment, lignin condensation occurs. Also with increasing drying temperature and UV irradiation duration phenolic extractives are mainly concentrated in parenchyma cells and vessel lumens. HPLC analysis of the treated tissue showed distinct signals of catechin and 2,6-dimethoxybenzoquinon, which are two chromophoric compounds in discolored red hearted beech wood. Increasing drying temperature up to 180°C improved water absorption, thickness swelling, and shear strength of plywood samples. Especially, when veneers were exposed to UV irradiation (6 months), increased water absorption and thickness swelling and decreased the shear strength of plywood samples were observed.