Corewood (Juvenile Wood) and Its Impact on Wood Utilisation

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Corewood (‘juvenile wood’) is found within the first 10–20 annual rings adjacent to the pith. This review focuses on describing the characteristics of corewood, the factors affecting its occurrence within a tree and the implications for wood utilisation.

Recent Findings

Corewood has been extensively researched across a wide range of commercial trees species, with a large focus on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) and radiata pine (Pinus radiata D. Don). Recent studies have focussed on understanding the degree to which corewood extent and properties are affected by environmental, silvicultural and genetic factors. The impacts of corewood on dimension lumber, panel products and pulp and paper are generally well known, and recent research has examined the impact of corewood on the performance of newer products.

Summary

An increase in the proportion of corewood in the planted forest resource is inevitable due to an intensification of forestry practises and a drive for more cost-effective raw material production. The implications for wood processing can be positive or negative depending on the end product in question. Solving the problems posed by corewood may depend heavily on wood processors adapting their systems to accommodate the increased proportion of corewood in the future resource or changing the performance specifications for their products.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Drs Doug Maguire (Oregon State University) and Joseph Dahlen (University of Georgia) for assistance with obtaining information on North American studies. Dr. Rowland Burdon (Scion) provided helpful feedback and suggestions on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to John R. Moore.

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Drs Moore and Cown declare no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Wood Structure and Function

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Moore, J.R., Cown, D.J. Corewood (Juvenile Wood) and Its Impact on Wood Utilisation. Curr Forestry Rep 3, 107–118 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40725-017-0055-2

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Keywords

  • Wood quality
  • Wood products
  • Corewood
  • Juvenile wood
  • Radial variation
  • Plantation forestry