Stem form and compression wood formation in young Pinus radiata trees Public Deposited

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  • The crooked stems of some individuals of radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) can hinder volume recovery and wood quality. To infer causes of crookedness and to learn how angle affects compression wood (CW) formation we studied 4+1-year old trees in southern Chile. Eight initially straight and 8 initially crooked trees were tethered to 15° or 30° or were left untethered for 131 days (48 trees total). There were no significant differences between straight and crooked trees in the extent of CW in pre-treatment wood or in the relationship between stem angle and CW extent. Crooked trees, however, righted themselves more quickly than did straight trees at angles <15°, which supports the overcompensation hypothesis for the development of crooked stems. Stem angle had a complex effect on CW extent. In 2-3 year-old wood there was no meaningful effect of angle on CW extent. One year-old wood produced less CW at stem angles <10° than >10°, but above or below that threshold, there was no meaningful effect of angle on CW extent. The inter-tree differences in CW extent as well as the correlation of leader CW extent with bole CW in the best individuals suggests that CW assays could be used for early screening for wood quality.
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  • Lachenbruch, B., F. Droppelmann, C. Balocchi, M. Peredo, and E. Perez. 2010. Stem form and compression wood formation in young Pinus radiata trees. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 40: 26-36.
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