Canadian Forest Service Publications

Temporal change in wood quality attributes in standing dead beetle-killed lodgepole pine. 2008. Magnussen, S.; Harrison, D. The Forestry Chronicle 84(3): 392-400.

Year: 2008

Available from: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28867

Language: English

CFS Availability: PDF (download)


The number and size of checks, wood moisture content, extent of blue-stain, rot and decay was examined by stem analysis in 360 mature standing beetle-killed lodgepole pines. Trees came from three areas (Burns Lake, Quesnel, and Vander-hoof) in Central British Columbia. Each area was represented by 14 to 16 sampling areas (stands) distributed evenly across three soil moisture regimes (dry, mesic, wet). Year of death was estimated from tree ring-analysis, local knowledge and insect and disease survey maps. An approximately equal number of trees had been dead for one or two years, three or four years, or for five or more years. During the first five years since death by beetle attack the number of checks per tree increased from 2.5 to 10.2 and the average depth of checks increased from 4.3 cm to 5.1 cm. Checks were deeper, wider, and longer on the drier sites than on mesic and wet sites. Moisture content of sapwood and heartwood was near the fibre saturation point (ca 30%) one year after death and continued to decrease at a rate of approximately 1.7% per year. Both the incidence and the extent (relative to basal area) of rot and decay increased significantly with time since death. All trees had an extensive blue-stain discoloration. Deterioration of wood quality was fastest during the first two years after a beetle attack.

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