Canadian Forest Service Publications

A wood and fibre quality-deterioration model for mountain pine beetle-killed trees by biogeoclimatic subzone. 2006. Trent, T.; Lawrence, V.; Woo, K. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, B.C. Mountain Pine Beetle Initiative Working Paper 2006-10. 23 p.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 26326

Language: English

Series: Mountain Pine Beetle Working Paper (PFC - Victoria)

Availability: PDF (download)

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Thirty-nine sample sites were established across the Sub-Boreal Spruce and Sub-Boreal Pine–Spruce biogeoclimatic zones, in order to conduct a preliminary wood-quality–based assessment of the shelf life of mountain pine beetle-killed lodgepole pine. A Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification was completed at each site and wood cores were collected from 10 trees. Cores were used to determine average fibre length and fibre coarseness by fibre-quality analysis, and wood density, tracheid (fibre) diameter, cell-wall thickness, fibre coarseness, microfibril angle (MFA), and stiffness (modulus of elasticity; MOE) by SilviScan analyses. Wood extractive contents were measured gravimetrically. Decay content was measured on 291 cores, using a near-infrared method to predict caustic solubility. Moisture content was measured for 69 cores representing 28 sites. All results were compared against time-since-death estimates derived from overview flight data provided by various forest management professionals.

These preliminary assessments suggest that variation in wood and fibre properties, with the exception of moisture content, could not be explained as a function of time since death. However, an exact determination of kill date proved very challenging and may affect these data. While the shelf life of mountain pine beetle lodgepole pine for the sample area may be greater than 5 years, the decreasing moisture content of dead pine adds challenges for industrial use that cannot be explained by the analyses above. Further discussion explores the potential of natural disturbance as a more influential factor in determining shelf life than any intrinsic wood properties. Correlations between measures of potential site productivity and length weighted fibre length are demonstrated and discussed.