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Branch Occlusion and Discoloration under the Natural Pruning of Mytilaria laosensis

1
Research Institute of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Guangzhou 510520, China
2
Institute of Forestry, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
3
Experimental Center of Tropical Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Pingxiang, Guangxi 536000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2019, 10(10), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10100892
Received: 29 August 2019 / Revised: 3 October 2019 / Accepted: 6 October 2019 / Published: 9 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
The production of knot-free and high-quality wood can be a vital issue in silviculture and forest management. In this study, knot properties, branch occlusion, and wood discoloration were investigated in an 11-year-old Mytilaria laosensis plantation in Guangxi, China, to examine the effectiveness of natural pruning in reducing knot-related defects. A total of 1513 occluded branches from 20 trees were sampled and dissected. Occluded branches were most common at heights of 2–6 m, and the mean diameter of the occluded branches gradually increased with height from the base to 6 m. Linear and generalized linear mixed-effect models were developed to reveal the relationship between branch occlusion and discoloration. The mortality of branches was highest in the third and fourth year and it took roughly three to six years to occlude. The mixed-models indicated that the branch occlusion time was positively correlated with the occluded branch diameter and dead branch stub length, and negatively correlated with the stem radial increment during branch occlusion. Branch discoloration was positively correlated with the occluded branch diameter and branch occlusion time, and was negatively correlated with the branch angle. The probability of wood discoloration also increased with the branch occlusion time. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the spatiotemporal allocation and internal characteristics of occluded branches, and provide a reference for growing high-quality M. laosensis wood. View Full-Text
Keywords: knot properties; wood defects; clear wood; mixed model knot properties; wood defects; clear wood; mixed model
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MDPI and ACS Style

Qin, G.; Hao, J.; Yang, J.; Li, R.; Yin, G. Branch Occlusion and Discoloration under the Natural Pruning of Mytilaria laosensis. Forests 2019, 10, 892.

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