Modeling within-tree changes in loblolly pine microfibril angle in the Southeast United States
Jordan, Lewis Charles
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There has been an increased interest in wood properties within the last decade. Microfibril angle is one of the main determinants of the mechanical properties of wood. Microfibril angle significantly affects the dimensional stability and stiffness of sawn lumber and has been found to be highly correlated with the stretch, stiffness, and strength of paper properties. Sixty loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees from four distinct physiographic regions in the Southeastern United States were sampled for microfibril angle analysis. Prediction equations were developed from mathematical models to explain the change of microfibril angle at any height, distance from pith, and rings from pith. Consistent radial and longitudinal patterns in microfibril angle are predictable and suggest potential patterns of wood utilization of loblolly pine bole wood. The models developed here represent the first attempt to describe microfibril angle in 3-dimensional space and can be used in conjunction with height equations to predict microfibril angle at any position within loblolly pine trees grown in the Southeastern United States.