This paper presents a new approach to assess wood quality in 1-year-old Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell. Twenty-two seedlings were grown tilted to induce tension wood and acoustic velocity, basic
density, longitudinal shrinkage, and volumetric shrinkage of both opposite wood and tension wood were assessed subsequently. Longitudinal growth strains were also estimated in the leaning stems by sawing along the length through the pith and measuring the bending of the two halves. The derived
longitudinal growth strain, which varied from 708 to 2319 µε, was uncorrelated with stem and wood characteristics. Wood characteristics differed significantly between upper-side wood (predominantly tension wood) and lower-side wood (opposite wood). Tension wood was characterized
by a higher acoustic velocity (high stiffness), basic density, and volumetric shrinkage compared with opposite wood. Tension wood also exhibited significant collapse and dimensional distortion such as twisting. Longitudinal shrinkage exhibited a significant negative relationship with acoustic
velocity in opposite wood and a positive relationship with the basic density in tension wood. This new approach has potential in early selection of breeding material with superior normal wood properties from 1-year-old material by isolating the influence of tension wood. This approach can
also be useful in understanding the variability in propensity of tension wood production in breeding populations.
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