Variability of Heartwood Content in Plantation-Grown <i>Eucalyptus Globulus</i> Labill.


  • Jorge Gominho
  • Helena Pereira


Heartwood, sapwood, <i>Eucalyptus globulus</i> Labill, variability, growth


The heartwood content in Eucalyptus globulus Labill. was studied in 9-year-old trees from commercial pulpwood plantations in three sites in Portugal. Heartwood was present in all the trees and attained 60-75% of total tree height and approximately one-third of the total volume. Within the tree, heartwood decreased from the base upwards, on average representing 40%, 31%, 22%, and 10% of the cross-sectional area at, respectively, 5%, 25%, 35%, and 55% of total tree height. The heartwood: sapwood ratio at each position within the tree depended highly significantly on site and on the tree. The axial development of heartwood also showed an interaction with site and tree. A positive correlation was found between heartwood content and growth. Considering its negative impact in pulping, the heartwood of E. globulus should be considered in management and breeding programs.


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