Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 335–351 | Cite as

Dendrochronological investigation of wood extractives

  • Samuli Helama
  • Matti Vartiainen
  • Taneli Kolström
  • Jouko Meriläinen


X-ray microdensitometry was applied to a set of Scots pinewood (i.e. low extractive content). Earlywood and latewood properties were determined as minimum and maximum densities of each tree ring and the potential influence of acetone-soluble extractives (i.e. non-structural and secondary constituents of wood) was estimated using tree-ring statistics. The occurrence of extractives in different portions of wood was determined using dendrochronological methods, by comparing the densities of unextracted and extracted wood. It was not only found that unextracted samples exhibited inflated earlywood and latewood density values, but the growth trends were also altered. Extractives flattened the inter-annual growth variability, both in earlywood and latewood, and influenced the estimation of intra-annual radial growth variations. Characterizing the varying amount of extractives is of inter-disciplinary importance. The results in this study describe their occurrence and show that the radial variations in extractives could be highly detailed by simply using densitometry-based dendrochronology.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuli Helama
    • 1
    • 2
  • Matti Vartiainen
    • 3
  • Taneli Kolström
    • 4
  • Jouko Meriläinen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GeologyUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Arctic CentreUniversity of LaplandRovaniemiFinland
  3. 3.SAIMA Unit of the Savonlinna Department of Teacher EducationUniversity of JoensuuSavonlinnaFinland
  4. 4.Mekrijärvi Research StationUniversity of JoensuuIlomantsiFinland

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