Canadian Forest Service Publications

Within-tree patterns of wood stiffness for white spruce (Picea glauca) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides)

Year: 2013

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40933

Language: English

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Radial patterns of modulus of elasticity (MOE) were examined for white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) and trembling aspen (Populus tremuoides Michx.) from 19 mature, uneven-aged stands in the boreal mixedwood region of northern Alberta, Canada. The main objectives were to (1) evaluate the relationship between pith-to-bark changes in MOE and cambial age or distance from pith; (2) develop species-specific models to predict pith-to-bark changes in MOE; and (3) to test the influences of radial growth, relative vertical height, and tree slenderness (tree height/DBH) on MOE. For both species, cambial age was selected as the best explanatory variable with which to build pith-to-bark models of MOE. For white spruce and trembling aspen, the final nonlinear mixed-effect models indicated that an augmented rate of increase in MOE occurred with increasing vertical position within the tree. For white spruce trees, radial growth and slenderness were found to positively influence maximum estimated MOE. For trembling aspen, there was no apparent effect of vertical position or radial growth on maximum MOE. The results shed light on potential drivers of radial patterns of MOE and will be useful in guiding silvicultural prescriptions.