Effect of thinning on the development of compression wood in stems of Corsican pine

Andrew Cameron, Kevin Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This study considered the effects of thinning on the development of compression wood in stems of 35-year-old stand of Corsican pine (Pinus nigra L.). Part of the stand had been thinned at 5-yearly intervals and part left unthinned. Twenty trees each from the thinned and unthinned stands were randomly selected and felled. Measurements were made on tree height, stem diameter, stem slenderness and canopy depth. Wood samples were removed from the central part of the main log and cross-sectional measurements made on ring width, basic density and compression wood content. Cross-sectional area of compression wood was found to be three time higher in stems from the unthinned trees in comparison with those from the thinned trees. No significant differences in mean radial ring width or basic density were found between treatments. Correlations indicated that, with increasing in stem diameter, compression wood content increased in the unthinned trees, while a decline in compression was observed in the thinned trees. Tree height was also positively correlated with compression wood content in unthinned trees, while no equivalent relationship was observed in thinned trees. Observations from this study, while not conclusive, suggest that phototropic stimulus may be producing stem inclinations in the unthinned stand as trees compete for space in the canopy, whereas crown competition has been largely eliminated in the thinned stand; and that this is responsible for compression wood levels recorded in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Forest Research
Issue number3
Early online date10 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • compression wood
  • thinning
  • Pinus nigra
  • Picea-Sitchensis
  • Ponderosa pine
  • Sitka spruce
  • growth
  • trees


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