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Variation of Specific Gravity, Extractive Content, and Tracheid Length in Redwood Trees

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The variation of certain wood characteristics was studied with respect to position in a number of old- and young-growth redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.) trees. Old growth differed from young timber by having lower specific gravity, percentage of latewood and ring width, but slightly higher extractive content and significantly longer tracheids. Density of old growth was highly correlated with percent of latewood. It increased slightly with height, and decreased in the outer growth rings toward the bark as the rings narrowed. Such trends in density were not pronounced and were even reversed in young growth. The maximum amount of extractives was found in heartwood portions immediately adjacent to sapwood in butt sections. Extractive content decreased somewhat with height and appreciably toward the pith. Young trees contained much smaller tracheids because fibers of maximum length developed only after 300 to 350 years of tree growth. In mature timber, tracheids had elongated more as growth rings narrowed.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Specialist, Univ. Calif. Forest Products Laboratory, Richmond

Publication date: 1968-06-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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