Annals of Forest Science

, Volume 70, Issue 4, pp 439–449 | Cite as

Methods for the very early selection of Pinus radiata D. Don. for solid wood products

  • Shakti S. Chauhan
  • Monika Sharma
  • Jimmy Thomas
  • Luis A. Apiolaza
  • David A. Collings
  • John C. F. Walker
Original Paper



There has been an increasing interest in very early selection of radiata pine to reduce the breeding cycle for solid wood products. For such selection, new approaches are required to assess wood quality in wood from very young stems.


Nursery seedlings of clones of radiata pine were grown in leant condition using two leaning strategies for 18–20 months. Opposite wood and compression wood were isolated from the leaning stems and tested for dynamic modulus of elasticity, density, longitudinal shrinkage, volumetric shrinkage and compression wood area using new methods evolved for testing small size samples quickly and reliably. The methods were tested for their efficiency in differentiating clones by their wood properties.


Leaning of stems provided distinct opposite and compression wood for testing. Automated image analysis method used for compression wood area assessment was found to be a quick and effective method for processing large number of samples from young stems. Compression wood was characterised by high basic density, high longitudinal shrinkage and low volumetric shrinkage than that of opposite wood. Acoustic velocity in opposite wood had a strong negative association with longitudinal shrinkage. The study signifies the importance of preventing mixing of opposite wood with compression wood while assessing wood quality in young stems thus making leaning a critical strategy. The comparison of wood properties of opposite wood revealed significant differences between clones. Opposite wood of the clone with the lowest dynamic modulus of elasticity exhibited the highest longitudinal shrinkage.


Significant differences in measurable wood properties between clones suggest the prospects of early selection for solid wood products.


Early selection Leaning Radiata pine Tree clones Wood properties 



Authors are thankful to Nigel Pink and Lachlan Kirk for helping in fabrication of micro-saw, shrinkage jig and processing samples. This work is a part of the Compromised Wood Programme (P2080) funded by Foundation for Research Science and Technology (FRST), New Zealand. Jimmy Thomas gratefully acknowledges funding for his PhD scholarship generously provided by Scion Ltd, Rotorua, New Zealand.


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Copyright information

© INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shakti S. Chauhan
    • 1
  • Monika Sharma
    • 2
  • Jimmy Thomas
    • 3
    • 4
  • Luis A. Apiolaza
    • 2
  • David A. Collings
    • 3
  • John C. F. Walker
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Wood Science and TechnologyBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.School of ForestryUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.School of Biological ScienceUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  4. 4.Central Wood Testing LaboratoryThe Rubber BoardKottayamIndia

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