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Forests 2014, 5(7), 1717-1736; doi:10.3390/f5071717

Effects of Silviculture and Genetics on Branch/Knot Attributes of Coastal Pacific Northwest Douglas-Fir and Implications for Wood Quality—A Synthesis

1
USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, 620 SW Main Street, Portland, OR 97205, USA
2
Forest Engineering, Resources and Management, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
3
School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
4
Forest Ecosystems and Society, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
5
Timberland Appraisal, Inc., 5855 NW Vineyard Drive, Corvallis, OR 97330, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 March 2014 / Revised: 31 May 2014 / Accepted: 27 June 2014 / Published: 22 July 2014
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [22141 KB, 24 July 2014; original version 22 July 2014]   |  

Abstract

Douglas-fir is the most commercially important timber species in the US Pacific Northwest due to its ecological prevalence and its superior wood attributes, especially strength and stiffness properties that make it highly prized for structural applications. Its economic significance has led to extensive establishment and management of plantations over the last few decades. Cultural treatments and genetic improvement designed to increase production of utilizable wood volume also impact tree morphology and wood properties. Many of these impacts are mediated by crown development, particularly the amount and distribution of foliage and size and geometry of branches. Natural selection for branch architecture that optimizes reproductive fitness may not necessarily be optimal for stem volume growth rate or for wood properties controlling the quality of manufactured solid wood products. Furthermore, Douglas-fir does not self-prune within the rotation lengths currently practiced. This paper synthesizes extensive Douglas-fir research in the Pacific Northwest addressing: (1) the effects of silviculture and genetics on branch structure and associated consequences for wood quality and the product value chain; and (2) methods to measure, monitor, modify, and model branch attributes to assist managers in selecting appropriate silvicultural techniques to achieve wood quality objectives and improve the value of their Douglas-fir resource. View Full-Text
Keywords: Douglas-fir; wood quality; silviculture; branch; genetics Douglas-fir; wood quality; silviculture; branch; genetics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lowell, E.C.; Maguire, D.A.; Briggs, D.G.; Turnblom, E.C.; Jayawickrama, K.J.S.; Bryce, J. Effects of Silviculture and Genetics on Branch/Knot Attributes of Coastal Pacific Northwest Douglas-Fir and Implications for Wood Quality—A Synthesis. Forests 2014, 5, 1717-1736.

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