Current issue: 54(2)
Under compilation: 54(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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Snow cover and ground frost was studied in 29 forest stands in Southern and Central Finland in 1957–1959. The tree species influenced greatly accumulation of snow on the forest floor. Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) retains snow in its crown. In addition, snow and water falling from the branches compress the snow cover under the trees, and the ground freezes deeper because of the shallow snow cover. In the spring, the dense crown prevents rain and radiation reaching the ground, which remains cold longer. However, ground frost may protect spruce, which has a weak root system, from wind damages.
Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) has similar, but milder, effects on snow cover within the forest. The crowns of pine seedlings and young trees pass snow easily, but later the crowns intercept it considerably. The lower branches are, however, high up and the snow is evenly spread on the ground. The deciduous trees intercept little snow and in the spring the snow smelts and the frozen soil thaws early. The snow conditions of deciduous forests are, however, changed by a spruce undergrowth.
It can be assumed that the unfavourable conditions in spruce forests can be alleviated by thinning. Also, mixture of pine and deciduous trees can transform the conditions more favourable in the spruce stands.
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The aim of the study was to update knowledge of natural range of English oak (Quercus robur L.), European ash (Fraxinus exelsior L.), Norway maple (Acer platanoides L.), small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Miller), wych elm (Ulmus glabra Mill.) and European white elm (Ulmus laevis Pall.) in Finland, and estimate how far north they could be grown as forest trees or as park trees. The study is based on literature and questionnaires sent to cities and towns, District Forestry Boards, districts of Forest Service, Forestry Management Associations and railway stations.
The northern borders in the natural range of the species succeed one another from south to north as follows: English oak, European ash, Norway maple, wych elm, and small-leaved lime. Occurrence of European white elm is sporadic. The English oak forms forests in the southernmost Finland, while the other species grow only as small stands, groups or solitary trees. According to experiences of planted stands or trees, the northern limits of the species succeed one another from south to north as follows: European ash, English oak, Norway maple, European white elm, wych elm and small-leaved lime. All the species are grown in parks fairly generally up to the district of Kuopio-Vaasa (63 °). The northern limits where the species can be grown as park trees reach considerably further north in the western part of the country than in the east.
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