Effect of Tree Spacing on Tree Level Volume Growth, Morphology, and Wood Properties in a 25-Year-Old Pinus banksiana Plantation in the Boreal Forest of Quebec

François Hébert, Cornelia Krause, Pierre-Yves Plourde, Alexis Achim, Guy Prégent, Jean Ménétrier
2016 Forests  
The number of planted trees per hectare influences individual volume growth, which in turn can affect wood properties. The objective of this study was to assess the effect of six different plantation spacings of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) 25 years following planting on tree growth, morphology, and wood properties. Stem analyses were performed to calculate annual and cumulative diameter, height, and volume growth. For morphological and wood property measurements several parameters were
more » ... parameters were analyzed: diameter of the largest branch, live crown ratio, wood density, and the moduli of elasticity and rupture on small clear samples. The highest volume growth for individual trees was obtained in the 1111 trees/ha plantation, while the lowest was in the 4444 trees/ha plantation. Wood density and the moduli of elasticity and rupture did not change significantly between the six plantation spacings, but the largest branch diameter was significantly higher in the 1111 trees/ha (3.26 cm mean diameter) compared with the 4444 trees/ha spacing (2.03 cm mean diameter). Based on this study, a wide range of spacing induced little negative effect on the measured wood properties, except for the size of knots. Increasing the initial spacing of jack pine plantations appears to be a good choice if producing large, fast-growing stems is the primary goal, but lumber mechanical and visual properties could be decreased due to the larger branch diameter.
doi:10.3390/f7110276 fatcat:w2npnq73vberhopbsxduhpiosy