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Huang, S., Wang, B. J., Lu, J., Dai, C., Lei, Y., and Sun, X. (2012). "Characterizing Changbai larch through veneering. Part 1: Effect of stand density," BioRes. 7(2), 2444-2460.

Abstract

Changbai larch (Larix olgensis Henry) is one of the main plantation species in the northern part of China, but so far its utilization has been limited to solid wood, pulping, and paper products. As part of a national initiative, the objective of this work was to develop a good understanding concerning how stand management practices affect larch wood and veneer properties. To cope with the variation of initial and final stand density, the term “relative thinning intensity (RTI)” was introduced to describe the effect of stand thinning on the resulting wood and veneer properties. Nine representative sample trees each from four stands were harvested, then trimmed and bucked. Six 1.25 m long bolts along the entire tree stem were systematically cut to peel 2.6 mm thick veneers. Clear wood specimens were also sawn from matched bolts for mechanical testing for the purpose of comparison and validation. The correlation between the main tree variables and properties of clear wood and veneer was analyzed, and the influence of RTI on key wood and veneer properties was examined and compared. A good correlation was found in density and modulus of elasticity (MOE) between larch clear wood and veneer, giving an R2 of 0.75 and 0.71, respectively. This indicates that veneering can be potentially used to characterize this larch species. The stand with the lowest RTI had the shortest rotation but yielded the best properties of both clear wood and veneer, which highlights the importance of stand management in terms of thinning.
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