So far, few studies have considered the impacts of seed sources transfer on jack pine (Pinus banksiana
Lamb.) wood quality, although wood quality attributes (WQA) in general and the differences between juvenile and mature wood in particular will determine suitability of the produced wood for end-uses. The main objective of this study was to examine the possibility of selecting superior jack pine provenances based on selected WQA. Twenty-two provenances of jack pine were planted in 1964 in Petawawa Research Forest, ON, Canada, as part of a provenance test. The plantation location offers conditions close to optimum for jack pine growth. Transition ages at breast height, determined with tracheids length, were computed with a piecewise model. Measurements at age 42 from seed were subjected to analyses of variance. Radial variations from pith to bark, as well as trends with seed sources origin of the selected WQA were also considered. A ranking was made based on a selection index built with four WQA. The provenances matured between 8 and 14 years, corresponding to 17%–48% of juvenile wood proportion. Significant differences among provenances were observed for ring width, ring density, tracheid length, and diameter at breast height but not for tracheid diameter, tree height, transition age, and juvenile wood proportion. None of the provenances ranked the best with all the selected WQA, but it was possible to find provenances exhibiting both high growth rate and good wood quality. A surprising result of this study was that tracheid diameter initially enlarged for 8 years, before declining toward the bark. It is possible to select provenances for a higher growth rate and for good physical (i.e., related to wood density) and anatomical (i.e., related to tracheid dimensions) wood quality attributes.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited