Chemical and Physical Properties of Tumor-Affected Sitka Spruce


  • Robert G. Rickey
  • J. Kelvin Hamilton
  • Herbert L. Hergert


<i>Picea sitchensis</i>, tumors, chemical analysis, physical analysis, kraft pulping, paper properties, tracheids, roots


The chemical composition, fiber properties, and pulpability of a Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) massive trunk and root tumor were compared with normal second-growth wood. In general appearance the tumored tissue looked like normal wood in that it had annual rings and definite sapwood and heartwood zones. However, the trunk tumor showed no visible evidence of compression wood, whereas the trunk of the affected tree above and below the tumor contained about 30% compression wood. The tumor tracheids were short, curved, and twisted; and numerous traumatic resin canals were present. The wood rays and bark showed no apparent abnormalities. Paper prepared from kraft pulp tumor wood was lower in burst, tear, tensile, and opacity, and higher in fold and shrinkage, density and air resistance compared to pulp from the second-growth control. Chemical analysis indicated that the tumor-affected tree had a higher hemicellulose content, primarily as galactan-containing polymers, than the second-growth control. The factor causing the tumor growth was not ascertained in this study.


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