Growth strain in Eucalyptus nitens at different stages of development
Eucalypts are renowned for their high growth stress levels. These stresses cause splitting, warping and dimensional instability when cutting, processing and drying the wood. In Chile, large Eucalyptus nitens plantations can be found, which, due to these problems, are scarcely utilised for solid wood products (veneer, sawn wood). This study aims to determine the factors influencing growth stress at different stages of tree’s development, and to identify whether the factors influencing growth stress change over time. In five stands of different ages, growth strain, as an indicator of growth stress, was measured at different tree heights with the single hole drilling method. The tree variables DBH, tree height, slenderness (height/diameter ratio) and crown parameters also were measured. A correlation analysis of tree variables and growth strains was undertaken. The results obtained indicate a high variability in growth strain values. It was concluded that growth strain is not correlated with a single growth parameter, but with a combination of factors that variously influence it at different ages and tree heights.
Received 21 January 2009 Accepted 6 July 2009 Published 31 December 2009