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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2015) 59(4): 10–17
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Professional Paper
Juvenile wood and its implications

Dave Cown *,1 and Leslie Dowling 2

1 Retired Senior Scientist, Scion Email:
2 Forestry Scientist, Scion
*Corresponding author.

Abstract: Juvenile wood has been known as a concept since the 1960s, but its full impact has not been felt until it comprises a major proportion of the wood harvested. A conservative estimate would put it currently at around 50 per cent by volume of wood in a standing tree. Its characteristics vary according to a number of internal and external factors but it consistently represents the lowest density, highest microfibril angle, and highest spiral grain within each individual stem. For most high value wood products it is considered undesirable. Unless there are changes in the overall approach to management of wood quality in radiata pine, it will have an increasing financial impact on plantation forestry due to the proportion of the harvest that will not meet users’ requirements.
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