Variation in Tree Growth, Wood Density, and Pulp Fiber Properties of 35 White Spruce (<i>Picea Glauca</i> (Moench) Voss) Families Grown in Quebec


  • Isabelle Duchesne
  • S. Y. Zhang


White spruce (<i>Picea glauca</i> (Moench) Voss), plantation, growth ring width, basic wood density, fiber length, fiber coarseness, kraft pulping properties, genetic variation


Thirty-five fast-growing white spruce families planted at two sites were compared for their growth, wood and fiber properties. The analysis was made at family level, and each family comprised four individual trees. There was a significant difference in growth rate (expressed as mean annual ring width) between the two sites, and trees grew faster at Lac St-Ignace site compared to Valcartier site. The faster tree growth rates recorded at Lac St-Ignace site resulted in significantly shorter fibers for 33 of the 35 families analyzed in comparison to Valcartier, but had no significant effect on basic wood density and fiber coarseness. The pulping properties varied between the three families analyzed at two sites. Overall, the handsheet tear index properties were low but the tensile indices were high. The fastest-growing families at Lac St-Ignace site tended to have lower tear index and pulp yields but slightly higher handsheet densities than the same families grown at Valcartier site. Thus, the white spruce pulps appear more appropriate for better bonded paper grades where surface smoothness and good printability are required rather than for paper grades where high sheet strength is required.


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