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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2007) 52(3): 10–16
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Feature article
Influence of exposure and elevation on radiata pine branch size, log velocity, sweep, taper and value

D. J. McCallum 1, E. G. Mason 1 and B. Whitley 2

1 School of Forestry, University of Canterbury
2 Technical Forester, Nelson Forests Limited

Radiata pine log velocity (related to wood stiffness), branch size, taper, log sweep and overall log value were assessed in 112 plots on two topographically diverse sites in the South Island of New Zealand. Log velocity decreased, branch size increased and sweep also increased with increasing altitude and decreasing TOPEX, however these relationships differed significantly between sites. Taper increased and value per log decreased with increasing altitude. These latter two relationships did not differ significantly between the two sites studied. The results suggest that exposure to wind should be represented in predictive models of log quality, but that reasons for differences in relationships between sites need to be identified before such models can be applied globally.
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