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Special Issue "Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments"

A special issue of Forests (ISSN 1999-4907). This special issue belongs to the section "Forest Ecophysiology and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 April 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Laurence Schimleck

College of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nondestructive testing of wood, NIR spectroscopy, wood property responses to silvicultural treatments, wood Anatomy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To meet its fiber needs, society is becoming increasingly dependent on plantation forests. Internationally, there are ongoing efforts to improve the growth and yield of plantation grown trees through the application of advanced genetics and silvicultural practices. As a result, plantations are harvested at an increasingly young age; however, the quality of the wood is diminished. An understanding of the effects of improved genetics and advanced silviculture on wood properties is critical and this Special Issue of Forests aims to explore the current status of research in this area.

Dr. Laurence Schimleck
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Keywords

  • genetics
  • growth
  • plantations
  • silviculture
  • wood properties
  • wood quality

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Impact of Tree Growth Rate on the Mechanical Properties of Douglas Fir Lumber in Belgium
Forests 2018, 9(6), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060342
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 9 June 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the context of questioning the relevance of making Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) silviculture more dynamic in Wallonia, we evaluated the influence of growth rate on the potential of Douglas-fir lumber for structural uses. Therefore, six trees 120 to 180 cm [...] Read more.
In the context of questioning the relevance of making Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) silviculture more dynamic in Wallonia, we evaluated the influence of growth rate on the potential of Douglas-fir lumber for structural uses. Therefore, six trees 120 to 180 cm in circumference at 1.5 m were felled in 11 stands whose age varied from 40 to 69 years (mean circumference of the trees ≈150 cm; initial planting density from ≈2200 to 4400 seedlings/ha). In total, 706 boards (38 × 100 mm² and 70 × 180 mm² in cross section) were cut from these trees, whose average ring width ranged between 3 and 7 mm. The density of the wood (ρ) always appeared compatible with the mechanical class C30, regardless of the growth rate of the trees from which the lumber originated. The modulus of elasticity (E) and the modulus of rupture (fm) displayed by the 38 × 100 mm² boards cut from corewood were respectively 30% and 41% lower than those observed in outerwood. The latter did not seem affected by growth rate: E and fm characteristic values remained compatible with structural use, regardless of the mean ring width. Growth rate considerably affects the characteristic values of these mechanical properties when boards are made from corewood. Juvenile growth should therefore be limited. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Effects of Vegetation Management on Wood Properties and Plant Water Relations of Four Conifer Species in the Pacific Northwest of the USA
Forests 2018, 9(6), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060323
Received: 5 May 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 4 June 2018
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Abstract
In plantation forests, competition from unwanted vegetation may reduce survival and negatively impact tree growth. The goal of this study was to examine the influence of vegetation management treatments on plant water relations and wood properties. Control trees (no treatment) were compared to [...] Read more.
In plantation forests, competition from unwanted vegetation may reduce survival and negatively impact tree growth. The goal of this study was to examine the influence of vegetation management treatments on plant water relations and wood properties. Control trees (no treatment) were compared to trees subjected to post-planting competing vegetation control for five consecutive years after planting. Four conifer species (Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western redcedar, and grand fir) were studied on two different sites in western Oregon, USA. Carbon isotope (13C) analysis was used to study intrinsic water use efficiency (iWUE) and X-ray densitometry was used to measure specific gravity, ring width, and latewood percent. We found a significant interaction between vegetation management treatment and wood ring (growing season) in iWUE for Douglas-fir. There was little effect of vegetation management treatment on ring specific gravity for all species. Only western redcedar growing at a central Coast Range site showed increased ring specific gravity under sustained competing vegetation control. When growing under conditions of sustained control of competing vegetation, western redcedar at a central Coast Range site had a significant increase in earlywood specific gravity, while Douglas-fir at a Cascade Foothills site had a significant decrease in latewood specific gravity. Western redcedar and grand fir had a significant interaction-effect on its latewood percentage, with treatment trees having a higher latewood percentage than control trees after ring 8. Further, Douglas-fir and western hemlock had a significant increase in ring, earlywood, and latewood area with treatment, and grand fir had a significant interaction-effect of treatment × ring for ring, earlywood, and latewood area. This study indicates that, for conifer trees growing under sustained vegetation control, growth gains could be achieved without compromising wood properties. However, if harvested at a target diameter, these trees will have a larger proportion of low quality corewood compared to trees from conventionally managed stands. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Models for Predicting Specific Gravity and Ring Width for Loblolly Pine from Intensively Managed Plantations, and Implications for Wood Utilization
Forests 2018, 9(6), 292; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060292
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 15 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is increasingly grown on intensively managed plantations that yield high growth rates. Wood properties, including specific gravity (SG), change with cambial age, and thus intensively managed trees contain a high proportion of low density corewood when harvested [...] Read more.
Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is increasingly grown on intensively managed plantations that yield high growth rates. Wood properties, including specific gravity (SG), change with cambial age, and thus intensively managed trees contain a high proportion of low density corewood when harvested because of reduced rotation lengths. This study was undertaken to develop models of ring-level properties (SG and width) in intensively managed loblolly pine plantations. Ninety-three trees from five stands aged from 24 to 33 years were harvested, and 490 disks were obtained from in between the 5.2-m logs that were cut, and at the merchantable top. The disks were cut into pith-to-bark radial strips that were scanned on an X-ray densitometer, and the resultant data analyzed using non-linear mixed-effects models. The fixed effects of the models, which included cambial age and for some models disk height and ring width, were able to explain 56, 46, 54, 16, and 46 percent of the within-tree variation for ring SG, ring width, latewood SG, earlywood SG, and latewood percent, respectively. To assess implications for wood utilization, a modeled tree was built by using height, diameter, and taper equations and these models were linked with the developed ring SG model to produce a tree properties map. The linked information was also used to generate tree and log SG and proportion of corewood values for different rotation ages. The results from this study are a step towards integrating wood quality models into growth-and-yield modeling systems that are important for loblolly pine plantation management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Comparison of Whole-Tree Wood Property Maps for 13- and 22-Year-Old Loblolly Pine
Forests 2018, 9(6), 287; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060287
Received: 20 April 2018 / Revised: 18 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 24 May 2018
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Abstract
Maps developed using Akima’s interpolation method were used to compare patterns of within-tree variation for Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) wood properties in plantation-grown trees aged 13 and 22 years. Air-dry density, microfibril angle (MFA) and modulus of elasticity (MOE) maps represented the [...] Read more.
Maps developed using Akima’s interpolation method were used to compare patterns of within-tree variation for Pinus taeda L. (loblolly pine) wood properties in plantation-grown trees aged 13 and 22 years. Air-dry density, microfibril angle (MFA) and modulus of elasticity (MOE) maps represented the average of 18 sampled trees in each age class. Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy models calibrated using SilviScan provided data for the analysis. Zones of high density, low MFA and high MOE wood increased markedly in size in maps of the older trees. The proportion of wood meeting the visually graded No. 1 (11 GPa) and No. 2 (9.7 GPa) MOE design values for southern pine lumber increased from 44 to 74% and from 58 to 83% respectively demonstrating the impact of age on end-product quality. Air-dry density increased from pith to bark at all heights but lacked a significant trend vertically, while radial and longitudinal trends were observed for MFA and MOE. Changes were consistent with the asymptotic progression of properties associated with full maturity in older trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Open AccessArticle Solid Wood Properties Assessed by Non-Destructive Measurements of Standing European Larch (Larix decidua Mill.): Environmental Effects on Variation within and among Trees and Forest Stands
Forests 2018, 9(5), 276; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050276
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 18 May 2018 / Published: 18 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1109 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To avoid unintentional loss of wood quality when selecting for higher productivity in tree breeding programs, non-destructive methods for fast and reliable assessment of wood quality on standing trees are required. In this study, we tested and applied Pilodyn penetration (PP) and measures [...] Read more.
To avoid unintentional loss of wood quality when selecting for higher productivity in tree breeding programs, non-destructive methods for fast and reliable assessment of wood quality on standing trees are required. In this study, we tested and applied Pilodyn penetration (PP) and measures of stress wave velocity (SWV) in trees within a European larch (Larix decidua Mill.) breeding program. Through testing PP in 4267 trees on 21 afforestation sites across a broad climatic spectrum, we analysed the effects of climate, tree age, and site conditions on PP. Moreover, detailed measures within two selected stands allowed us to estimate measurement variation within and among trees in relation to the measurement angle and individual tree characteristics. We found significant variation of PP and SWV among forests stands, single trees, and even within trees, if measured on opposite sides in mountainous terrain. Both measurements exhibited a high degree of genetic determination, i.e., repeatability was 0.32–0.61 for PP and 0.56 for SWV, respectively. The obtained estimates for wood stiffness were comparable to measures on harvested wood samples of European or hybrid larch. Our results demonstrate that the integration of wood quality parameters into larch breeding programs is highly recommended, and reliable tools are available. Results are discussed in relation to environmental and measurement variation and methods to optimize field measurements are suggested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Open AccessArticle Phenotypic and Genotypic Correlations for Wood Properties of Hybrid Poplar Clones of Southern Quebec
Forests 2018, 9(3), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9030140
Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
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Abstract
This study aims to understand the phenotypic and genotypic correlations among wood anatomical, physical, and mechanical properties of hybrid poplar clones. Samples were taken from seven clones grown on three sites in Southern Quebec, Canada. Five trees per clone were randomly sampled from [...] Read more.
This study aims to understand the phenotypic and genotypic correlations among wood anatomical, physical, and mechanical properties of hybrid poplar clones. Samples were taken from seven clones grown on three sites in Southern Quebec, Canada. Five trees per clone were randomly sampled from each site to measure anatomical (fiber length, fiber proportion, vessel proportion, fiber wall thickness, tension wood), physical (basic density, volumetric, longitudinal, tangential, and radial shrinkage), and mechanical wood properties (flexural modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), ultimate crushing strength parallel to the grain). The observed phenotypic and genotypic correlations between these wood properties were moderate to strong, except for fiber length and vessel proportion. Genotypic correlations for all wood properties were higher than for corresponding phenotypic correlations. Furthermore, fiber length showed weak correlations, whereas, vessel proportion showed strongly negative correlations with all other properties. Strong correlations were also found among fiber proportion, fiber wall thickness, basic density, and mechanical properties. Furthermore, results from this study show close genotypic and phenotypic correlations between fiber proportion, fiber wall thickness, and wood density, which consequently affect the mechanical performance of wood products. These findings indicate that there is a substantial opportunity to improve wood quality by selecting several wood properties for different end uses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Open AccessArticle Do Common Silvicultural Treatments Affect Wood Density of Mediterranean Montane Pines?
Forests 2018, 9(2), 80; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9020080
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 3 February 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6072 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Wood density is one of the most important and well documented wood quality attributes. However, studies focusing on the effects of thinning combined with pruning on wood density in Mediterranean areas are scarce, even though both are recommended practices in forests managed for [...] Read more.
Wood density is one of the most important and well documented wood quality attributes. However, studies focusing on the effects of thinning combined with pruning on wood density in Mediterranean areas are scarce, even though both are recommended practices in forests managed for the production of high-quality timber. We assess the effects of both silvicultural interventions on wood density traits (tree-ring, earlywood, and latewood) and on the percentage of latewood, on an annual scale, for the main timber species Pinus sylvestris L. and Pinus nigra Arnold (subsp. nigra and subsp. salzmannii) in Mediterranean mountains. To this end, three trials (one species per trial) were established in monospecific reforestations in the 1990s. Three silvicultural treatments were applied: thinning, thinning combined with pruning, and a control. At the time of installation, stand ages ranged from 26 to 37 years. Small differences were found among treatments in regard to the wood density attributes, with no significant effects of thinning and pruning on the studied wood traits in either timber species. The two subspecies of P. nigra presented comparatively denser wood than P. sylvestris. Our results suggest that thinning and pruning treatments can be applied without causing unfavourable changes to wood density. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Adverse Genetic Correlations and Impacts of Silviculture Involving Wood Properties: Analysis of Issues for Radiata Pine
Forests 2018, 9(6), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060308
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 26 May 2018 / Published: 1 June 2018
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Abstract
Plantation forestry is now an imperative to meet wood requirements efficiently on the finite land available for wood production. Three main determinants of profitability are productivity, price per unit of wood harvested, and harvest age (the sooner the better). The first two are [...] Read more.
Plantation forestry is now an imperative to meet wood requirements efficiently on the finite land available for wood production. Three main determinants of profitability are productivity, price per unit of wood harvested, and harvest age (the sooner the better). The first two are largely self-evident, while reducing harvest age lowers the effective cost of growing wood. Among these determinants, however, are strong interplays which include trade-offs. Key trade-offs involve adverse genetic correlations between various wood properties and growth-rate variables, and adverse effects on the wood quality of silvicultural interventions that raise site productivity and/or reduce harvest age. Moreover, the adverse effects of silviculture on wood properties tend to be accompanied by heightened expressions of genetic variation in wood properties. The trade-offs involve both increasing the percentage of corewood (‘juvenile wood’) and some more direct effects on wood quality. The pervasiveness of the trade-offs, and the heightened genetic expression, accentuate the call for genetic selection to defend wood quality. Such selection, however, will entail some costs in the appropriate emphasis on breeding for productivity. In this paper we review these issues, identify gaps in research information and offer guidance for tree breeders and silviculturists. While radiata pine is the special case, the applicability to some other species is briefly discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
Open AccessReview Wood and Fiber Quality of Plantation-Grown Conifers: A Summary of Research with an Emphasis on Loblolly and Radiata Pine
Forests 2018, 9(6), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9060298
Received: 28 April 2018 / Revised: 20 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 26 May 2018
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Abstract
With conifer plantations having an increasingly important role in meeting the fiber needs of society, an understanding of the effect of silvicultural practices on wood quality is critical. The perception of wood quality varies, making it hard to define in a single statement; [...] Read more.
With conifer plantations having an increasingly important role in meeting the fiber needs of society, an understanding of the effect of silvicultural practices on wood quality is critical. The perception of wood quality varies, making it hard to define in a single statement; however, possibly the most succinct definition is “a measure of the aptness of wood for a given use”. In general, properties that have a positive influence on a specific product assist in defining changes in wood quality. Since wood properties exhibit large variability within annual rings, within trees, and among trees in a stand, and have both genetic and environmental components (i.e., vary with different physiographical regions), it is imperative to have an understanding of wood properties at multiple levels. In this paper, we review the typical variation patterns in wood properties of conifers, with specific emphasis on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), and radiata pine (Pinus radiata D.Don), two of the most common conifer plantation species globally. We also describe the impact of conventional silvicultural treatments on wood quality. Modeling efforts to predict variation in wood properties within trees, and in response to silvicultural treatments are also summarized. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wood Property Responses to Silvicultural Treatments)
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