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Pattern of Deterioration and Recovery of Wood from Dead Yellow-Cedar in Southeast Alaska

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Live yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) trees and five classes of snags dead up to 81 yr were contrasted based on the following: the retention of bark and sapwood; the penetration of stain, decay, and weather checks; and the volume and grade of lumber recovered. Of 138 sample trees, most bark was retained on the boles of trees dead <14 yr but thereafter sloughed away and was generally missing by 51 yr after death. Stain, decay, and weather checks were limited to the narrow sapwood on snags 26 yr after tree death (n = 280 log end surfaces). Weather checking, the most serious deterioration defect in snags, did not encroach on heartwood until the sapwood was missing some 51 yr after death. Checking penetration averaged 1.3 in. for the last two snag classes. Cubic volume recovery from 305 mill-length logs did not differ significantly by classes of live trees or snags dead up to 26 yr, and the significant reduction in recovery from snags dead 51 and 81 yr was less than 15%. Grades of lumber were generally similar among the classes of trees, but no clear lumber was recovered from the oldest snag class. These results indicate little to no measurable difference of recovered wood from live trees and the first three snag classes, dead up to 26 yr, and a modest reduction in volume and grade in snags dead up to 81 yr. West. J. Appl. For. 15(2):49-58.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Wood Utilization Center, Sitka, AK

Publication date: 2000-04-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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