Within-tree variability in wood quality parameters for mature longleaf pineThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Mature longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) trees were harvested from a spacing, thinning, and pruning study on the Palustris Experimental Forest, LA, to assess wood quality parameters of earlywood specific gravity (SG), latewood SG, ring SG, and latewood percent using X-ray densitometry. For each of ten 70-year-old trees used in the study, 2-inch thick disks were cut every 2 feet from the stump cut at 0.5 feet. A strip of wood was cut from bark to bark, and through the pith, to afford “cores” from bark to pith for the northern and southern cardinal directions. This sampling scheme provided the opportunity to compare wood properties determined at breast height to whole-tree area-weighted values. Only a few effects of silvicultural treatment were significant. As expected for spacing, an increase in ring width appeared to accompany wider planting densities. Significant differences were observed in whole-tree values as compared with those at breast height alone, in particular with north-south differences related to ring and latewood SG.