Some Characteristics of Wetwood in Balsam Fir
- Thompson, Tambra H.
University of Maine Graduate School
Balsam fir contains pockets of wood with greater than normal moisture content. These "wet pockets" are difficult to dry and cause problems in the processing of wood products. Cross-sectioms were sampled at various heights from balsam fir trees growing on two sites in Maine. The moisture content (MC) and specific gravity (SG) of the wetwood was determined and compared to normal heartwood, wetwood, sapwood, and decayed wood. The microscopic characteristics and presence if microorganisms were also investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and bright-field optical microscopy. Photographs of the logs and cross-sections at the ends of the logs were analyzed with the aid of a computerized image analyzer to determine the distribution of wetwood within the bole and to enable estimation of the wetwood volume percentage.
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