Current issue: 53(2)
Under compilation: 53(3)
Compression wood of the tree species studied in this investigation, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and common juniper (Juniperus communis L.), was found to be characterized in its cross section by the thick walls and rounded shape of its tracheids and the profuse occurence of spaces. Tension wood of aspen (Populus tremula L.) and alder (Alnus incana (L.) Moench) was found in microscopic examination to be characterized by the gelatinous appearance of the wood fibres, by its small cell cavities and by the thickness and buckling of the inner layer of the cecondary wall. Tracheids of the compression wood were found to have shorter length than normal on an average, while the tension wood fibres were found to be longer.
The microchemical studies suggest a higher than normal lignin content in compression wood and lower than normal lignin content in tension wood, as compared to normal wood. The reverse would be true for the cellulose contents. Volume weight of absolute dry reaction wood was distinctly higher than that of normal wood. The longitudinal shrinkage of reaction wood, particularly of compression wood, is several times that of normal wood. Transversal shrinkage of compression wood is much less than normal wood. Swelling tests revealed pushing effect of compression wood on elongation and pulling effect on tension wood on constraction. Volume shrinkage of compression wood is less than that of normal wood, in contrast to tension wood. The strength of compression wood in absolutely dry condition was nearly same as that of normal wood.
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The resistance of Finnish softwood timbers to Macrotermitinae termites was tentatively tested under tropical conditions in Zambia using a field microtest method. Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. and Larix sibirica L. sapwood and heartwood, as well as Pinus sylvestris L. sapwood, and the sapwood of the locally grown Pinus kesiya, exhibited no natural termite resistance. On the other hand, Juniperus communis heartwood appeared to be virtually immune and the heartwood of P. Sylvestris had some resistance. There were also some differences in the resistance of the heartwood of the different P. Sylvestris individuals tested, which was correlated with the width of the annual rings in the wood samples. The termite species involved were Microtermes sp. and Odontotermes sp. The possibilities of using different types of Finnish softwood timber in the regions in the tropics where there is a risk of termite damage is discussed.
The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.