New Forests

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 153–164 | Cite as

How dense is my blue gum? prediction of whole-tree basic density of Eucalyptus globulus

  • A. N. CallisterEmail author
  • N. F. England


Accurate prediction of whole-tree wood basic density (BD) from indirect density measures is important for estimating Eucalytpus globulus breeding values and genetic gain. We measured 100 E. globulus trees at 6.5 years of age on each of a high productivity site (Albany) and a low productivity site (Esperance), sampling 16 full-sib families and seven open-pollinated ‘check’ seedlots. On each tree we assessed pilodyn penetration at 1.3 m and BD of: (a) the outer 10 mm which was penetrated by the pilodyn pin of a bark-bark core, (b) a whole bark-bark core at 1.3 m, (c) a cross-sectional disk at 1.3 m and (d) the whole tree, represented by cross-sectional disks at five heights. Site effects and genetic values for families and checks were determined by mixed model analysis. A trend of increasing BD from pith to bark was more pronounced at Albany, where wood formed before age 3.5 years was 12 kg/m3 less dense than at Esperance (P = 0.01) and wood formed from 3.5 to 6.5 years was 27 kg/m3 denser than at Esperance (P < 0.001). Mean whole-tree BD was 19 kg/m3 greater at Albany (P < 0.001). Pilodyn penetration was well-correlated with BD of the 10 mm sample of penetrated wood and this relationship was not greatly affected by site variation. Genetic values for pilodyn penetration formed precise relationships with BD of breast-height discs and whole-tree BD although they were site-specific. Pilodyn penetration was a better predictor for genetic values of whole-tree BD than were bark-bark cores.


Eucalyptus globulus Genetic improvement Pilodyn Tree breeding Wood density 



The authors are grateful for the helpful remarks of two anonymous reviewers which have improved this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ITC LimitedAlbanyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Forest and Ecosystem ScienceThe University of MelbourneCreswickAustralia
  3. 3.Treehouse ConsultingDenmarkAustralia

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