European Journal of Forest Research

, Volume 127, Issue 3, pp 235–245 | Cite as

Seasonal dynamics of wood formation: a comparison between pinning, microcoring and dendrometer measurements

  • Harri MäkinenEmail author
  • Jeong-Wook Seo
  • Pekka Nöjd
  • Uwe Schmitt
  • Risto Jalkanen
Original Paper


Three different methods were evaluated for analysing wood formation of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) in Finland. During two growing seasons, wood formation dynamics were determined both by wounding the cambium with a needle followed by localisation of the wound-associated tissue modification after the growing season (pinning), and by extracting small increment cores during the growing season (microcoring). Stem radius was additionally monitored with band dendrometers. For Norway spruce, pinning and microcoring yielded similar dates for the onset of wood formation. The timing of wood production during the growing season was also similar for pinning and microcoring. For Scots pine, the onset of wood formation was recorded from microcores almost 2 weeks later than from pinning samples. In Scots pine, microcore measurements also produced somewhat later cessation dates for tracheid formation than the pinning samples. For both tree species, the total number of tracheids formed during the growing season was, however, about the same for pinning and microcoring. Dendrometer results clearly differed from those of pinning and microcoring. In particular, the dendrometers showed an increase of stem radius considerably earlier in spring, when the other methods did not detect wood formation. Thus, pinning and microcoring currently represent the most reliable techniques for detailed monitoring of wood formation.


Picea abies Pinus sylvestris Radial increment Tracheid formation 



We are greatly indebted to Tarmo Aalto, Tapio Huttunen, Laura Kärki and Tanja Potsch for their skilful technical assistance, and the staff of the Kivalo research area for their careful field sampling.


  1. Antonova G, Stasova V (1993) Effects of environmental factors on wood formation in Scots pine stems. Trees 7:214–219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bäucker E, Bues C-T, Vogel M (1998) Radial growth dynamics of spruce (Picea abies) measured by micro-cores. IAWA J 19:301–309Google Scholar
  3. Brix H, Mitchell K (1980) Effects of thinning and nitrogen fertilization on xylem development in Douglas-fir. Can J For Res 10:121–128Google Scholar
  4. Cajander AK (1949) Forest types and their significance. Acta For Fenn 56:1–71Google Scholar
  5. Creber GT, Chaloner WO (1984) Influence of environmental factors on the wood structure of living and fossil trees. Bot Rev 50:357–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Deslauriers A, Morin H (2005) Intra-annual tracheid production in balsam fir stems and the effect of meteorological variables. Trees 19:402–408CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deslauriers A, Morin H, Begin Y (2003a) Cellular phenology of annual ring formation of Abies balsamea in the Quebec boreal forest (Canada). Can J For Res 33:190–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Deslauriers A, Morin H, Urbinati C, Carrer M (2003b) Daily weather response of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) stem radius increment from dendrometer analysis in the boreal forests of Québec (Canada). Trees 17:477–484Google Scholar
  9. Downes G, Beadle C, Worledge D (1999) Daily stem growth patterns in irrigated Eucalyptus globulus and E. nitens in relation to climate. Trees 14:102–111Google Scholar
  10. Dünisch O, Bauch J, Gasparotto L (2002) Formation of increment zones and intraannual growth dynamics in the xylem of Swietenia macrophylla, Carapa guianensis, and Cedrela odorata (Meliaceae). IAWA J 23:101–119Google Scholar
  11. Forster T, Schweingruber HF, Denneler B (2000) Increment puncher. A tool for extracting small cores of wood and bark from living trees. IAWA J 21:169–180Google Scholar
  12. Herzog KM, Häsler R, Thum R (1995) Diurnal changes in the radius of a subalpine Norway spruce stem: their relation to sap flow and their use to estimate transpiration. Trees 10:94–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hunt R (1982) Plant growth curves: the functional approach to plant growth analysis. Edward Arnold, LondonGoogle Scholar
  14. Kozlowski TT, Winget CH (1964) Diurnal and seasonal variations in radii of tree stems. Ecology 45:149–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kuroda K (1986) Wound effects on cytodifferentation in the secondary xylem of woody plants. Wood Res 72:67–117Google Scholar
  16. Kuroda K, Kiyono Y (1997) Seasonal rhythms of xylem growth measured by the wounding method and with a band-dendrometer: an instance of Chamaecyparis obtusa. IAWA J 18:291–299Google Scholar
  17. Liese W, Dadswell HE (1959) Űber den Einfluß der Himmelsrichtung auf die Länge von Holzfäsern unf Tracheiden. Holz Roh Werkst 17:421–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Loris K (1981) Dickenwachstum von Zirbe, Fichte, und Lärche an der alpinen Waldgrenze/Patscherkofel. Ergebnisse der Dendrometermessungen 1976/79. Mitteilungen der forstlichen Bundesversuchsanstalt. Wien 142:417–441Google Scholar
  19. Mahmood A (1971) Number of initial-cell divisions as a measure of activity in the yearly cambial growth pattern in Pinus. Pak J For 21:27–42Google Scholar
  20. Mäkinen H, Nöjd P, Saranpää P (2003) Seasonal changes in stem radius and production of new tracheids in Norway spruce. Tree Physiol 23:959–968PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Nobuchi T, Ogata Y, Siripatanadilok S (1995) Seasonal characteristiis of wood formation in Hopea odorata and Shorea henryana. IAWA J 16:361–369Google Scholar
  22. Nöjd P, Henttonen H, Mäkinen H (2008) Increment cores from the Finnish national forest inventory as a source of information for studying intra-annual wood formation. Dendrochronologia (in press)Google Scholar
  23. Ohashi Y, Sahri MH, Yoshizawa N, Itoh T (2001) Annual rhythm of xylem growth in rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) trees grown in Malaysia. Holzforschung 55:151–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pesonen E, Mielikäinen K, Mäkinen H (2004) A new girth band for measuring stem diameter changes. Forestry 77:431–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rossi S, Deslauriers A, Anfodillo T, Morin H, Saracino A, Motta R, Borghetti M (2006a) Conifers in cold environments synchronize maximum growth rate of tree-ring formation with day length. New Phytol 170:301–310PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rossi S, Anfodillo T, Menardi R (2006b) Trephor: a new tool for sampling microcores from tree stems. IAWA J 27:89–97Google Scholar
  27. SAS Institute Inc. (2004) SAS/STAT® User’s Guide. Cary, NC, USAGoogle Scholar
  28. Sass U, Killmann W, Eckstein D (1995) Wood formation in two species of Dipterocarpaceae in Peninsular Malaysia. IAWA J 16:371–384Google Scholar
  29. Savidge RA (1996) Xylogenesis, genetic and environmental regulation (review). IAWA J 17:269–310Google Scholar
  30. Schmitt U, Möller R, Eckstein D (2000) Seasonal wood formation dynamics of beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) as determined by the “pinning” technique. J Appl Bot 74:10–16Google Scholar
  31. Schmitt U, Jalkanen R, Eckstein D (2004) Cambium dynamics of Pinus sylvestris and Betula spp. in the northern boreal forest in Finland. Silva Fenn 38:167–178Google Scholar
  32. Seo J-W, Eckstein D, Schmitt U (2007) The pinning method—from pinning to data preparation. Dendrochronologia 25:79–86CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Shiokura T (1989) A method to measure radial increment in tropical trees. IAWA Bull 10:147–154Google Scholar
  34. Tardif J, Flannigan M, Bergeron Y (2001) An analysis of the daily radial activity of 7 boreal tree species, northwestern Quebec. Environ Monit Assess 67:141–160PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vogel M (1995) Estimation of increment stairs step curves from values of radial increment measurements. Allg Forst- u J-Ztg 166:211–215Google Scholar
  36. Wodzicki TJ (1971) Mechanism of xylem differentiation in Pinus silvestris L. J Exp Bot 22:670–687CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wolter KE (1968) A new method for marking xylem growth. For Sci 14:102–104Google Scholar
  38. Worbes M (1995) How to measure growth dynamics in tropical trees: a review. IAWA J 16:337–351Google Scholar
  39. Yamashita K, Okada N, Kamo K (2006) Application of the wire dendrometer for monitoring the radial growth of trees: a comparison with the conventional band dendrometer and the pinning method (in Japanese with English abstract and legends). Mokuzai Gakkaishi 52:8–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Yoda K, Suzuki M, Suzuki H (2000) Development and evaluation of a new type of opto-electronic dendrometer. IAWA J 21:425–434Google Scholar
  41. Yoshimura K, Hayashi S, Itoh T, Shimaji K (1981) Studies on the improvement of the pinning method for marking xylem growth. I. Minute examination of pin marks in taeda pine and other species. Wood Res 67:1–16Google Scholar
  42. Źumer M (1969) Annual ring formation on Norway spruce in mountain forest. Reports of the Norwegian Forest Research Institute 97, XXVII 2:161–184 (in Norwegian with English summary)Google Scholar
  43. Zweifel R, Häsler R (2000) Frost-induced reversible shrinkage of bark of mature subalpine conifers. Agric For Meteorol 102:213–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Zweifel R, Item H, Häsler R (2001) Link between diurnal stem radius changes and tree water relations. Tree Physiol 21:869–877PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harri Mäkinen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeong-Wook Seo
    • 2
  • Pekka Nöjd
    • 1
  • Uwe Schmitt
    • 2
  • Risto Jalkanen
    • 3
  1. 1.Finnish Forest Research InstituteVantaaFinland
  2. 2.Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, University of HamburgHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Finnish Forest Research InstituteRovaniemiFinland

Personalised recommendations