, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 363-375

Differences in wood properties between juvenile wood and mature wood in 10 species grown in China

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Abstract

 This study examined the intrinsic differences in various wood properties between juvenile wood and mature wood in 10 major reforestation species in China. Comparisons between juvenile wood and mature wood were made in both plantation- and naturally-grown trees. Considerable differences in most wood properties were found both between plantation-grown juvenile wood and mature wood, and between naturally-grown juvenile wood and mature wood. This suggests that wood properties of plantation-grown trees, to a large extent, depends on their juvenile wood contents, and can thus be manipulated effectively through rotation age. In general, the longer the rotation age, the lower the juvenile wood content, and the stronger the mechanical properties of the plantation-grown woods. However, the differences between juvenile wood and mature wood vary with wood properties and species. In general, juvenile wood and mature wood have less difference in chemical composition than in anatomical and physico-mechanical properties. Compared to the softwoods studied, the hardwoods appear to have less difference between juvenile wood and mature wood.

Received 25 June 1999