Staining of Timber in the Mount St. Helens Mudflows


  • Barry S. Goodell
  • Helmuth Resch
  • B. Alan Bendtsen


Staining, iron, volcano, heat, wood, Douglas-fir


A discolored ring of wood was observed in standing dead Douglas-fir trees that were in the path of the Mount St. Helens volcano mudflows. Frequently, this stain occurred only in the inner sapwood of the trees so that an outer ring of unstained wood was left. Chemical analysis confirmed that the stain was caused by iron infiltration of the wood. The hypothesis that mudflow heat inactivated translocation mechanisms in the tree and prohibited the transport of iron through the outer sapwood could not be proved.


Forest Products Research Laboratory. 1966. Iron stains of wood. Technical Notes No. 18. Ministry of Technology, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury, Bucks, U.K.nKrutul, D., and J. Kocon. 1982. Inorganic constituents and scanning electron microscopy study of fossil oak wood (Quercus sp.). Holzforschung und Holzverwertung34(5):69-77.nWilcox, W. W. 1964. Some methods used in studying microbiological deterioration of wood. U.S. Forest Service Research Note FPL-063. Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, WI. 24 pp.n






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