, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 203-215

Nondestructive sampling of Eucalyptus globulus and E. nitens for wood properties. III. Predicted pulp yield using Near Infrared Reflectance Analysis

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  Within-tree variation in kraft pulp yield, predicted using near infrared reflectance analysis, was studied in thirty trees of E. globulus and fifty trees of E. nitens to develop a non-destructive sampling strategy. Trees, aged 5 to 9 years, were sampled across a range of sites in southern Australia. Simulated core samples were removed at six fixed heights easily accessible from the ground (0.5, 0.7, ... 1.5 m) and at seven percentage heights (0, 20, 30, ... 70%). Whole-tree values, calculated from percentage height data, were correlated with the core data to determine the optimal sampling height. Core samples were found to be good predictors of whole-tree pulp yield for E. globulus, with simulated cores taken from the recommended sampling height (1.1 m) explaining more than 50% of variation in whole-tree pulp yield. Results for E. nitens were variable with large site differences apparent. On high quality sites, core samples from the recommended sampling height (0.9 m) were good predictors of whole-tree pulp yield, explaining around 60% of the variation. On poor quality sites, cores were poor predictors of whole-tree pulp yield. Radial orientation of cores was not important and predicted pulp yield was not related to tree size, basic density or fibre length. To estimate stand mean pulp yield to an accuracy of ±1% would require sampling 6 trees of E. globulus and 4 trees for E. nitens using either multiple discs or core samples. A single sampling height (1.1 m) is recommended for sampling for basic density, fibre length, fibre coarseness and predicted pulp yield in E. globulus. For E. nitens the recommended sampling height for basic density and fibre length is 0.7 m and 0.9 m is recommended for predicted pulp yield on good quality sites.