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Compression wood forms on the underside of leaning and twisted stems and trunks. Its structure and chemical composition differs from normal wood, producing low quality timber with poor mechanical properties. Forest Research led this project and worked with 10 partners from across Europe in field and laboratory studies to evaluate the impact of compression wood on softwood timber and to develop solutions to minimise its detrimental effects.
As co-ordinator for this project Forest Research was responsible for administrative and financial management, working with all partners to meet project milestones to complete deliverables.
Our researchers were also involved in scientific activities. We investigated the incidence of compression wood in Sitka spruce stands growing on sites with varying levels of wind exposure and slope, and in two Scots pine stands planted with different initial spacings (1.4m and 2.4m). The team analysed site soils and climate, tree competition, slope variation, and the stem shape and crown characteristics of sample trees.
The incidence of compression wood and the properties of timber were studied on two sets of sample trees felled at these sites. The team also investigated the relationship between compression wood formation and tree shape, site and climatic factors and stand characteristics.
Data collected in this project have used to model the properties of wood for Sitka spruce and Scots pine.
This page summarises the results of the ‘Cell wall macromolecules and reaction wood’ (CEMARE) project, funded by the EU’s COST cooperative research programme.
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