Current issue: 56(4)
The objective of the investigation was to determine the differences between faultless timber grown on a peatland before and after draining, in respect of compressive strength to the grain, volume weight, and shrinkage. In addition, the influence of the boundary zone between the close-ringed wood formed before draining and the wide-ringed wood produced after draining on strength of the timber was studied. The material consisted of 15 sample trees of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.), white birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) and silver birch (B. Pendula Roth).
The volume weight of wood of the tree species in ascending order is; spruce, pine, white birch, silver birch. The volume weight of Scots pine seems to decrease from the butt end upwards, while no trend was revealed for spruce. In the coniferous trees, the wide-ringed wood formed subsequent to draining was slightly lighter than the close-ringed wood produced prior draining. No distinct trend was seen in the birch species. The volume weight of pine and spruce increased with decreasing width of the growth rings up to a certain limit, after which the conditions inverted.
The compressive strength of the different kinds of wood seems to increase from the butt end upwards, but after height of two meters it begins to decrease considerably. In birch, this point of inversion is in somewhat greater height. In spruce timber, the compressive strength parallel to the grain is lowest for wood which contains exclusively wide-ringed wood formed after draining. The boundary zone between the woods formed before and after draining is very distinguishable, but has no remarkable influence on the compressive strength parallel to the grain. Shrinkage of close-ringed wood is higher in all three principal directions than that of wide-ringed wood. This can be explained by the variations in volume weight and fibrillar orientation of the tracheid walls.
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