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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1974) 19(1): 84–92
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Wood density of Radiata Pine: its variation and manipulation.

D. J. Cown

Within-tree and between-tree variations in wood density of radiata pine are described. The main factors which influence the variations are discussed and their effects compared.
Large variations can be attributed to climatic and site factors which are unchangeable, whereas silvicultural treatments have only a minor effect on wood density under New Zealand conditions. Selective breeding for wood density could significantly alter both absolute density levels, particularly in the corewood, and total densiy variation within stands. However, the current emphasis on stem morphology and vigour precludes the inclusion of wood density as a prime criterion for selection in improvement programmes. It is concluded that, in general, technological innovations will remain the chief means of improvement in the properties of sawn timber and wood products for some time to come.

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