Comparative Decay of Heartwood and Sapwood of Red Maple


  • Susan E. Anagnost
  • William B. Smith


Wood decay, durability, red maple, heartwood, sapwood


Heartwood and sapwood of red maple showed little decay resistance when exposed to the brown-rot fungus, Oligoporus placentus, the white-rot fungus, Trametes versicolor, and the soft-rot fungus Chaetomium globosum. Heartwood did, however, show a slight resistance (lower weight losses) relative to sapwood. Action of the white-rot fungus was enhanced by high moisture content, while that of the brown-rot fungus was enhanced by lower moisture content. Test blocks exposed to the white-rot fungus decayed to higher weight losses when supported by sapwood feeder strips than when supported by plastic mesh. For test blocks exposed to the brown-rot fungus, blocks supported on plastic mesh decayed to higher weight losses than those on feeder strips, most likely because of the lower moisture content of the blocks on plastic mesh. For test blocks exposed to the soft-rot fungus there were slightly higher weight losses using the feeder strip method.


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