Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 301–313 | Cite as

Wood properties of juvenile and mature heartwood in Robinia pseudoacacia L.

  • Oliver Dünisch
  • Hans-Georg Richter
  • Gerald Koch


The aim of this study is to characterise the properties of juvenile and mature heartwood of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.). Content, composition and the subcellular distribution of heartwood extractives were studied in 14 old-growth trees from forest sites in Germany and Hungary as well as in 16 younger trees of four clone types. Heartwood extractives (methanol and acetone extraction) were analysed by HPLC-chromatography. UV microspectrophotometry was used to topochemically localise the extractives in the cell walls. The natural durability of the juvenile and mature heartwood was analysed according to the European standard EN 350-1. Growth as well as chemical analyses showed that, based on extractives content, the formation of juvenile wood in black locust is restricted to the first 10–20 years of cambial growth. In mature heartwood, high contents of phenolic compounds and flavonoids were present, localised in high concentrations in the cell walls and cell lumen of axial parenchyma and vessels. In juvenile wood, the content of these extractives is significantly lower. Juvenile wood had a correspondingly lower resistance to decay by Coniophora puteana (brown rot fungus) and Coriolus versicolor (white rot fungus) than mature heartwood.


Tree Ring Black Locust Juvenile Wood Mature Wood Robinia Pseudoacacia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge the financial support by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Holzforschung, Munich (DGfH/AiF 14276 BG/1N). We are indebted to A. Knöpfle for performing the chemical analyses and to M. Lenz for conducting the natural durability tests. The provision of the experimental trees by K. Dreiner, V. Schneck, and I. Mayer is especially appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oliver Dünisch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hans-Georg Richter
    • 2
  • Gerald Koch
    • 2
  1. 1.Master School for CarpentryEbernGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Wood Technology and Wood BiologyFederal Research Institute of Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries (VTI)HamburgGermany

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