Longitudinal Gas Permeability Measurements From Eastern White Pine, Red Spruce, and Balsam Fir


  • Robert W. Rice
  • Mark D'Onofrio


Permeability, longitudinal permeability, eastern white pine, red spruce, balsam fir


The permeability of wood is an important factor in drying, in pulping, and in the preservative treatment of wood because it is indicative of the ease with which fluids can be transported into or out of wood.

The longitudinal superficial gas permeability of eastern white pine, red spruce, and balsam fir was measured in this study. Within each species the results were compared to determine if significant differences existed among trees, at differing heights within the trees, and between the heartwood and the sapwood of the trees.

Overall, the superficial gas permeability was far larger in eastern white pine than in red spruce or balsam fir, probably as a result of its basic structure or the level of resins and other extractives. Among-tree variation had a significant effect on the permeability of balsam fir and red spruce but not on eastern white pine. Heartwood/sapwood permeability differences were significant in eastern white pine and red spruce but not in balsam fir. Height was not a factor with any species tested.


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