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Variation in Virginia Pine. Part I: Natural Variation in Wood Properties

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Fifteen trees in each of 13 stands in Kentucky and Tennessee were used in a study to determine variation in wood specific gravity, extractives, and tracheid lengths. Differences among stands in specific gravity were largely due to differences in amounts of extractives, and there were no significant differences among stands for extracted sp. gr. of the wood. Trees with high specific gravity and a high extractive content were found to have extracted specific gravities close to the normal for the species. An apparent clinal variation pattern in tracheid length was observed on the Cumberland Plateau and Mountains. Stands further north had longer average tracheids than those toward the south. For all characteristics a large proportion of the total variation is accounted for by the among-tree variance component. This component was especially large for specific gravity of extracted wood (68 percent). No significant relationship exists between radial growth and specific gravity before extraction. After extraction there is a significant correlation, where radial growth accounts for almost 7 percent of the among-tree variation in specific gravity. Rapid growth rate is associated with larger amounts of extractives in the trees, but does not appear to cause a serious reduction in tracheid length. There is no significant correlation between specific gravity and tracheid length. The effect of extractives in the pulping process is discussed and it is suggested that extractives be incorporated as a factor in a selection program for Virginia pine. Trees with rapid growth rate, low extractives, and high specific gravity are not too difficult to find.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor of Forestry, Agric. Expt. Sta., University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Publication date: 1964-04-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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