Wood Science and Technology

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 469–489 | Cite as

Mechanical properties of Japanese black pine (Pinus thunbergii Parl.) planted on coastal sand dunes: resistance to uprooting and stem breakage by tsunamis

  • Kazuki NankoEmail author
  • Satoru Suzuki
  • Hironori Noguchi
  • Yoji Ishida
  • Delphis F. Levia
  • Akira Ogura
  • Hiroaki Hagino
  • Hiroshi Matsumoto
  • Hiromi Takimoto
  • Tomoki Sakamoto


Given that Japanese black pine trees (Pinus thunbergii Parl.) are predominant in the coastal forests of Japan and are part of the defence structure against tsunamis, the quantification of their resistance to tree damage is necessary. The resistance of Japanese black pine to uprooting and stem breakage and its bending properties were estimated by a tree-pulling test and bending test of green logs in conjunction with the published literature. A general equation to estimate the critical turning moment for uprooting was developed using diameter at breast height and tree height as predictor variables. For moduli of elasticity and rupture of stems (MOE and MOR), medians [5th and 95th percentile values] were 5.41 [3.78, 6.82] GPa and 35.0 [28.7, 41.8] MPa, respectively. With the obtained critical turning moment and MOR, the critical tsunami water depth was estimated by numerical simulations using modelled trees. The numerical simulations revealed that Japanese black pine trees on coastal sand dunes tended to be more vulnerable to uprooting than stem breakage, with taller and more slender trees showing less resistance to stem breakage. The results on the mechanical properties of Japanese black pine are of use to those in the wood science community as well as coastal managers who need to know the mechanical strength of Japanese black pine to help evaluate their resistance against tsunamis.



We would like to thank the Ishikawa District Forest Office, Forest Agency, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan. This study was partially supported by “Science and technology research promotion program for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food industry” of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council, research Grant #201412 of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (FFPRI) and FFPRI Encouragement Model in Support of Researchers with Family Responsibilities. We gratefully acknowledge a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellowship for Research in Japan (S16088: invitation of D.F. Levia by Dr. Kazuki Nanko) that aided the preparation of this manuscript. We are grateful to Dr. Takayuki Ito (FFPRI) for his assistance with the pulling test and Mr. Noboru Yamada (Ishikawa Agricultural and Forestry Research Center) for assistance with the bending test. We are grateful to Dr. Kana Kamimura (Shinshu University, Japan) for information on previous and related studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuki Nanko
    • 1
    Email author
  • Satoru Suzuki
    • 1
  • Hironori Noguchi
    • 2
  • Yoji Ishida
    • 3
  • Delphis F. Levia
    • 4
    • 5
  • Akira Ogura
    • 6
  • Hiroaki Hagino
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Matsumoto
    • 3
  • Hiromi Takimoto
    • 7
  • Tomoki Sakamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Disaster Prevention, Meteorology and HydrologyForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteTsukubaJapan
  2. 2.Tohoku Research CenterForestry and Forest Products Research InstituteMoriokaJapan
  3. 3.Ishikawa Agricultural and Forestry Research CenterHakusanJapan
  4. 4.Department of GeographyUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Plant and Soil SciencesUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  6. 6.Kenou General Agriculture Forestry Office Ishikawa PrefectureKanazawaJapan
  7. 7.Minamikaga General Agriculture Forestry Office Ishikawa PrefectureKomatsuJapan

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