New Forests

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 521–532 | Cite as

Effect of silvicultural practices on fibre properties of Eucalyptus wood from short-rotation plantations

  • P. K. Chandrasekhara Pillai
  • R. C. Pandalai
  • T. K. Dhamodaran
  • K. V. Sankaran


The effect of nitrogen addition and weed management on fibre properties of wood from 6.5-year-old Eucalyptus grandis and E. tereticornis from intensively managed short-rotation plantations were investigated. Trees for analyses were sampled from plots with zero nitrogen input (n = 4), plots with high level (187 kg N ha−1) nitrogen input (n = 4), plots from which weed growth was not removed throughout the rotation (n = 4) and plots from which weeds were removed periodically (n = 4). Fibre characteristics were evaluated on wood samples collected from base, breast height, 50, 75 and 100 % of merchantable bole height of trees. Though N input and weed management improved tree growth significantly irrespective of species, the treatment effects did not cause any significant change in fibre characteristics such as fibre length, fibre diameter, lumen width and wall thickness. Longest and widest fibres were observed at the outer most radial portion of wood in all cases. In general, within tree fibre length varied significantly along the radial direction of wood. Fibre diameter, lumen width and wall thickness lacked any specific pattern between species and treatments. Runkel ratio and felting and flexibility coefficients values showed high pulping quality of wood irrespective of species and treatments. The study concluded that the fibre properties that influence pulpwood quality of Eucalyptus have not been affected by silvicultural practices, like fertilizer input and weed management, aimed at improving productivity of short-rotation eucalypt plantations.


Eucalyptus Nitrogen input Weed management Fibre characteristics 



We are grateful to Dr. JK Sharma and Dr. R Gnanaharan former Directors, KFRI for their encouragement and valuable suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance received from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) for the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. K. Chandrasekhara Pillai
    • 1
  • R. C. Pandalai
    • 1
  • T. K. Dhamodaran
    • 1
  • K. V. Sankaran
    • 1
  1. 1.Kerala Forest Research InstituteThrissurIndia

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