VARIATION IN WOOD PROPERTIES OF HYBRID POPLAR LUMBER BY RADIAL AND VERTICAL POSITION IN STEM; A CASE STUDY FROM BOARDMAN, OR
Keywords:Hybrid poplar, wood quality, lumber quality, wood specific gravity, MOE, MOR
Understanding of wood quality of hybrid poplar is critically important for manufacturers who want to know the suitability of the wood for specific products. To this end, lumber was milled from the merchantable stem of four hybrid poplar clones ages 10-11 yr., grown at single site near Boardman, OR. The vertical and radial position in the stem were recorded for each board and the boards were kiln dried, surfaced, and samples from each board tested to determine specific gravity (SG), dimensional stability, hardness, screw withdrawal, and bending strength and stiffness (modulus of rupture [MOR] and modulus of elasticity [MOE], respectively) from small clear specimens. Results show differences in wood properties relative to vertical and radial position in the stem. SG, hardness, screw withdrawal, and bending properties of lumber samples generally increased with height in tree. Tangential hardness, SG, and MOR varied significantly between different sides of the trees corresponding to predominant wind in the area. Boards milled from the center of the stem had lower MOE and MOR than boards milled from nearer the bark. The results of this study may be used to target specific stem locations for different end uses.
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