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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'wood properties'.

Category: Research article

article id 10545, category Research article
Karol Tomczak, Tomczak Arkadiusz, Bartłomiej Naskrent, Tomasz Jelonek. (2021). The radial gradient of moisture content of silver birch wood in different seasons. Silva Fennica vol. 55 no. 3 article id 10545.
Highlights: Seasonal variation in moisture content is significant, the greatest moisture content of wood was recorded in winter, and the lowest in summer; The greatest moisture content on cross-section was observed near to the pith, and lower values near to the bark; From environmental perspective results of this study may have an impact for log transport planning, weight-scaling systems, lumber drying.

Silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is classified in diffuse-porous wood category. In this case structure of wood tissue is quite similar across whole cross-sectional area. The aim of this study was to analyse cross-section variability of moisture content (MC) of growing silver birch wood, significant hardwood species in Polish forests. Investigations were performed on 120 model trees. In the trunk of each model tree, an increment core was collected at breast height. Samples were collected of 30 different trees in four different seasons. The greatest MC was observed during winter, lowest MC in summer. Differences in MC were statistically significant only between winter versus spring, summer, and autumn. Distribution of MC on cross-section was similar in each season. The greatest average value was observed close to pith, then it was decreasing in bark direction. The greatest difference between observed in spring – 19.51% (p < 0.05) and lowest in autumn – 4.66%. Distribution of green density (GD) on cross section was inverse proportional to MC value. Variations in GD and MC are relevant for log transport planning, weight-scaling systems, lumber drying and dynamic assessment of stiffness. Therefore, from an environmental loss perspective, it is important to determine changes in MC and GD across the year.

  • Tomczak, Department of Forest Utilization, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71A, 60-625 Poznań, Poland ORCID ID: E-mail: (email)
  • Arkadiusz, Department of Forest Utilization, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71A, 60-625 Poznań, Poland ORCID ID: E-mail:
  • Naskrent, Department of Forest Utilization, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71A, 60-625 Poznań, Poland ORCID ID: E-mail:
  • Jelonek, Department of Forest Utilization, Faculty of Forestry and Wood Technology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71A, 60-625 Poznań, Poland ORCID ID: E-mail:
article id 7728, category Research article
Liam Donnelly, Sven-Olof Lundqvist, Conor O’Reilly. (2017). Inter- and intra-annual wood property variation in juvenile wood between six Sitka spruce clones. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 4 article id 7728.
Highlights: Wood property differences resulted primarily from variation in the proportions of early- and latewood in each annual ring; Width of early- and latewood bands in each ring was found to be a more important determinant of juvenile wood quality than the characteristics of the cells within each band; Wood properties differed greatly between clones, suggesting that there is potential to improve juvenile wood properties through selective breeding.

Increased growth rates have reduced rotation lengths, increasing the proportion of juvenile wood relative to mature wood, which may negatively affect mechanical performance of sawn timber. However, there is limited information available on the potential impact of breeding for vigour on juvenile wood in Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carrière). In this study, the relationship between vigour (based on total height) and wood properties was investigated in six-year-old Sitka spruce clones grown in two replicated field trials in Ireland. Six clones were evaluated, two clones from each of three vigour (high, intermediate and low) classes. Discs were cut from the base of one ramet per replication for each clone to assess wood quality attributes. Radial tracheid width was significantly and positively correlated with ring width and height, and was negatively correlated with density. The wood of the most vigorous clone had significantly larger ring width with thinner cell walls and wider tracheids than all clones in the two other vigour classes, resulting in lower mean wood density. Latewood properties for all wood attributes measured differed significantly between the two sites. Wood property differences resulted primarily from variation in the proportions of early- and latewood in each annual ring. Additionally, the width of early- and latewood bands in each ring was found to be a more important determinant of juvenile wood quality than the characteristics of the cells within each band. Wood properties differed greatly between clones, suggesting that there is potential to improve juvenile wood properties through selective breeding.

  • Donnelly, UCD Forestry, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Lundqvist, Innventia Ab, Drottning Kristinas väg 61, SE-114 86 Stockholm, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • O’Reilly, UCD Forestry, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 191, category Research article
Katri Luostarinen, Noora Huotari, Eila Tillman-Sutela. (2009). Effect of regeneration method on growth, wood density and fibre properties of downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.). Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 3 article id 191.
Short rotation tree stands, established by coppicing, are nowadays used mainly for energy purposes in Fennoscandia, but their usage for pulp raw material may increase in the future. Downy birch (Betula pubescens), which is commonly used for pulp production in boreal zone, has good sprouting capacity. However, it is not known if the fibre properties of sprout-originated downy birches differ from those of seed-originated ones. Therefore, fibre length and width of sprout- and seed-originated downy birches grown on fertile soil were measured at a stand age of 25 years. Additionally annual ring width, stem height and diameter, and wood density were studied to compare the growth and wood properties of sprout- and seed-originated birches. Annual rings were slightly wider in sprout- than in seed-originated birches, whereas no differences were observed in wood density. Fibres, too, were slightly longer and wider in sprout- than in seed-originated trees. Still these minor differences observed here are hardly significant for the industries using birch wood. Consequently downy birch wood from coppiced stands is well suited for pulp. The advantages of coppice, i.e. rapidity and low costs of establishment, productivity, and the ability of downy birch to grow on untypical forest sites, may even increase the importance of the wood coming from coppiced birch stands in the future.
  • Luostarinen, Faculty of Forest Sciences, University of Joensuu, P.O. Box 111, FI-80101, Joensuu, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)
  • Huotari, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Muhos Research Unit, Kirkkosaarentie, FI-91500 Muhos, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Tillman-Sutela, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Muhos Research Unit, Kirkkosaarentie, FI-91500 Muhos, Finland ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 212, category Research article
Sandhya Samarasinghe. (2009). Exploration of fracture dynamics properties and predicting fracture toughness of individual wood beams using neural networks. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 2 article id 212.
In this study, the time to crack initiation (Tinit), duration of crack propagation (Tfrac), crack initiation stress, peak stress as well as crack speed and fracture toughness were investigated for three Rates of Loading (ROL) and four sizes of notched wood beams using high-speed video imaging and neural networks. Tinit was consistent for all volumes and the average Tinit was nonlinearly related to volume and ROL. For the smallest ROL, there was a distinct volume effect on Tinit and the effect was negligble at the largest ROL. However, the stress at crack initiation was not consistent. Contrasting these, Tfrac for all volumes appeared to be highly variable but the peak stress carried prior to catastrophic failure was consistent. The crack propagation was a wave phenomenon with positive and negative (crack closure) speeds that varied with the ROL. As accurate estimation of crack initiation load (or stress) and its relationship to peak load (or stress) is important for determining fracture toughness, Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) models were developed for predicting them from volume, Young’s modulus, face and grain angles, density, moisture content and ROL. Models for crack initiation load and peak load showed much higher predictive power than those for the stresses with correlation coefficients of 0.85 and 0.97, respectively, between the actual and predicted loads. Neural networks were also developed for predicting fracture toughness of individual wood specimens and the best model produced a statistically significant correlation of 0.813 between the predicted and actual fracture toughness on a validation dataset. The inputs captured 62% of variability of fracture toughness. Volume and Young’s modulus were the top two contributing variables with others providing lesser contributions.
  • Samarasinghe, Centre for Advanced Computational Solutions (C-fACS), Lincoln University, Canterbury, New Zealand ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)

Category: Review article

article id 693, category Review article
Erik G. Ståhl. (1998). Changes in wood and stem properties of Pinus sylvestris caused by provenance transfer. Silva Fennica vol. 32 no. 2 article id 693.
Wood properties focused in forest tree breeding should be of economic importance, have a large total variation and a high heritability. The properties of interest are those that influence the strength and durability of sawn products or the amount and properties of pulp produced. The following wood properties are treated: width of the annual ring, juvenile wood, late wood content, heart wood, tracheid dimensions, basic density, stem straightness and branch diameter. The provenance variation in wood properties can be related to differences in growth phenology. In the northern part of distribution P. sylvestris (L.) provenances transferred a few degrees southwards have a high survival and yield but stem wood production is low. Trees from these provenances will be straight and with few spike knots or other injuries. The shoot elongation period will be short and the temperature sum required for wood formation sufficient. Provenances transferred southwards will form thin annual rings, few and thin branches, little early wood, high basic density and slender tracheids with thick cell walls in comparison to local provenances. An example of the effect of alternative transfers on the yield and wood properties is evaluated. In regions with deviating climatic patterns alternative provenance transfer patterns may be better. The objectives of the land owner should influence the provenance choice. The importance of integrating tree improvement with silvicultural management is discussed with reference to spacing.
  • Ståhl, College of Dalarna, CITU Centre for Industrial Technology and Development, S-781 88 Borlänge, Sweden ORCID ID:E-mail: (email)

Category: Article

article id 5540, category Article
Anders Persson. (1994). How genotype and silviculture interact in forming timber properties. Silva Fennica vol. 28 no. 4 article id 5540.

Independent of genotype, increased spacing results in increased branch diameter of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.), but on different levels for different genotypes. Frequency of defects like spike knots and crooked stems are under stronger genetic than silvicultural control. Simultaneous improvement of rate of growth and timber properties is feasible. Deteriorating of both factors can happen rapidly at a negative selection. A defect like stem cracking of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) only manifests itself under drought stress when certain genetic and environmental prerequisites are present, like high fertility and wide spacing. This emphasize the fact that new silvicultural methods may reveal genetic weaknesses.

  • Persson, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5483, category Article
Erkki Verkasalo. (1992). Relationships of the modulus of elasticity and the structure of Finnish Scots pine wood. Silva Fennica vol. 26 no. 3 article id 5483.

The paper presents preliminary results on the relationships of the longitudinal modulus of elasticity (E) in bending, based on ISO Standard 3349 tests on small, clear specimens, and some basic characteristics of Finnish Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) wood. A manual image analysis method – quantitative stereological counting – was introduced and applied for the investigations of wood structure.

The main results were consistent with those from the prior research. The range of E was 9.7 to 19.1 GPa. Increase in especially fibre density index (R2 = 0.95), weight density and specific gravity (R2 = 0.90), Runkel’s ratio, coefficient of cell rigidity and number of growth rings per cross-sectional unit area, but also in latewood percentage (R2 = 0.58) resulted in an increase in E. Increase in growth ring width, particularly in the width of the late wood section within a ring (R2 = 0.63 to 0.90) had a reverse effect. Cell wall thickness did not show any clear effect. Except for tracheid diameter, the relationships were stronger for the variables determined in the tangential than in the radial wood direction.

Quantitative stereological counting has been used to some degree in the Finnish wood research. The procedure is technically feasible and easy to use. A large sample of counting areas is frequently needed to obtain accurate mean results for the size and distribution of the features. Because the actual analysis points are located at a fixed distance from each other, the method is not in principle well suited for wood with a regular and simple structure, as Scots pine. However, the good correlations between E and some characteristics obtained with stereological counting did not support this misgiving.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.

  • Verkasalo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5371, category Article
Riitta Laurila. (1989). Pieniläpimittaisen männyn kuituominaisuudet. Silva Fennica vol. 23 no. 1 article id 5371.
English title: Fibre properties in Pinus sylvestris pulpwood.

Properties of fibres in pulpwood, especially length, width and the thickness of walls in tracheids, are essential for strength properties of pulp and paper. Length and width of tracheids increase from pith to surface in radial direction. Young and small-sized stems have also smaller fibres. Small-sized Pinus sylvestris L. test trees had tracheids that were shorter both in stems and knot wood than those in normal sized trees. However, cell walls in test trees were as thick as in normal sized trees. It seems that especially the L/T -ratio (length/thickness) in small stems is worse than in normal sized pulp wood.

The PDF includes an abstract in English.

  • Laurila, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5277, category Article
Kirsi Maasalo. (1986). Pihlajan puuaineen ominaisuuksia. Silva Fennica vol. 20 no. 3 article id 5277.
English title: Properties of the wood of the rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia).

The basic density of the wood of the rowan tree (Sorbus aucuparia L.) is almost the same along the stem but that of the bark is increasing along the stem. The moisture content of the wood and of the bark is increasing along the stem. Its strength in the bending and in the compression is high. The volume shrinkage is high.

The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish

  • Maasalo, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5238, category Article
Matti Kärkkäinen. (1985). Suomalaisen kuusen puuaineen vertailua Keski-Euroopassa kasvaneiden kuusi- ja jalokuusilajien puuaineeseen. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 2 article id 5238.
English title: Norway spruce wood grown in Finland compared with spruce and fir wood grown in Central Europe.

The aim of this literature review was to compare Finnish Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) sawn goods to Central European spruce sawn goods which contain fir in some amount. However, it was found that no statistically valid comparisons have been made. Therefore, conclusions have been based mainly on the relationship between various properties and growth rate. According to this analysis, most properties of Finnish spruce are better, although small in practice.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Kärkkäinen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5231, category Article
Matti Kärkkäinen, Michel Marcus. (1985). Shrinkage properties of Norway spruce wood. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 1 article id 5231.

Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) boards sawn from outer layers of logs were sampled from a sawmill in Northern Finland and another in Southern Finland. Test pieces 20 mm x 20 mm x 20 mm were selected according to maximum variation in growth ring width. Volumetric and longitudinal shrinkage from a soaked to a dry condition were measured. It was found that wood density correlated positively with the volumetric shrinkage but negatively with the longitudinal shrinkage. Dry density was a better predictor than basic density. With constant density and an increase in growth ring width, there was increased shrinkage, especially in samples from Northern Finland. Besides this, when density was kept constant, the shrinkage was higher in the spruce wood from Southern Finland than from Northern Finland.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Kärkkäinen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Marcus, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5228, category Article
Pekka Saranpää. (1985). Kontortamännyn runkopuun trakeidien pituuden, halkaisijan ja soluseinän paksuuden vaihtelu. Silva Fennica vol. 19 no. 1 article id 5228.
English title: Length, diameter and cell wall thickness of tracheids in mature lodgepole pine bole wood.

Variation in tracheid morphology were examined for the bole wood of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Douglas ex Loudon) grown in Southern and Central Finland. Tracheid lengths were examined in a fast-grown and in slow-grown trees from three stands. Tracheid length increased with increasing height to 4–8 metres and decreased after that, and increased also with increasing age from the pith. The variation between stems was high. The shortest tracheids were about 1.11 mm near the piths and the longest about 4.10 mm near the bark.

Tracheid diameter and cell wall thickness were measured for the total number of 16 stems from Southern and Central Finland. Tracheid diameter increased with increasing distance from pith and the largest tracheids were at a height of 4–8 metres. Cell wall thickness varied independently of height in the stem. Summerwood cell wall thickness was twice that of springwood. There was a difference of 0.6 μm in springwood and 1.0 μm in summerwood double cell wall thickness between the two stands. Cell wall percentage was 29±4.7 in springwood and 69±7.3 in summerwood.

The PDF includes a summary in English.

  • Saranpää, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 5097, category Article
K. M. Bhat, Ari Ferm, Matti Kärkkäinen. (1981). On the properties of one-year shoots of Betula pubescens Ehrh. and Salix spp. Silva Fennica vol. 15 no. 1 article id 5097.

Downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) trees growing on a drained peatland were cut during dormancy. The properties of the one-year old shoots produced by the stumps were measured in the autumn after one growing season. The one-year old willow shoots (a mixture of Salix phylicifolia L., S. pentandra L. and S. caprea L.) were collected from an abandoned field.

The basic density of unbarked shoots was 443 kg/m3 for birch and 346 kg/m3 for willow. The basic density of the bark was much higher than that of the wood. The effect of shoot length on the properties was small with the exception of cellular proportions. The fibre percentage increased and vessel percentage decreased with increasing shoot length.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Bhat, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Ferm, ORCID ID:E-mail:
  • Kärkkäinen, ORCID ID:E-mail:
article id 7511, category Article
Jukka Tyrväinen. (1995). Wood and fiber properties of Norway spruce and its suitability for thermomechanical pulping. Acta Forestalia Fennica no. 249 article id 7511.

In the first part of the study, the selected wood and fiber properties were investigated in terms of their occurrence and variation in wood, as well as their relevance for thermomechanical pulping process and related end-products. It was concluded that the most important factors were the fiber dimensions, juvenile wood content, and in some cases, the content of heartwood being associated with extremely dry wood with low permeability in spruce. The following pulpwood assortments of which pulping potential was assumed to vary were formed: wood from regeneration cuttings, first-thinnings wood, and sawmill chips.

In the experimental part of the study, the average wood and fibre characteristics and their variation were determined for the raw material groups. Subsequently, each assortment – equalling about 1,500 m3 roundwood – was pulped separately for 24 h period. The properties of obtained newsgrade thermomechanical pulps were then determined.

Thermomechanical pulping (TMP) from sawmill chips had the highest proportion of long fibres, smallest proportion of fines, and had generally the coarsest and longest fibers. TMP from first-thinned wood was the opposite, whereas that from regeneration cuttings fell in between these two. High proportion of dry heartwood in wood originating from regeneration cuttings produced a slightly elevated shives content. However, no differences were found in pulp specific energy consumption. The obtained pulp tear index was clearly the best in TMP made from sawmill chips and poorest in pulp from first-thinned wood, which had generally inferior strength properties. No big differences in any of the strength properties were found between pulp from sawmill residual wood and regeneration cuttings. Pulp optical properties were superior in TMP from first-thinnings. No noticeable differences were found in sheet density, bulk, air permeance or roughness between the three pulps.

The most important wood quality factors were the fibre length, fibre cross-sectional dimensions and percentage juvenile wood. Differences found in the quality of TMP assortments suggest that they could be segregated and pulped separately to obtain specific product characteristics and to minimize unnecessary variation in the raw material and pulp quality.

  • Tyrväinen, ORCID ID:E-mail:

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