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Effects of bending stress on taper and growth of stems of young Eucalyptus regnans trees

Osler, G.H.R., West, P.W. and Downes, G.M. (1996). Effects of bending stress on taper and growth of stems of young Eucalyptus regnans trees. Trees - Structure and Function,10(4):239-246.

Document type: Journal Article
Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 10 times in Scopus Article | Citations

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Title Effects of bending stress on taper and growth of stems of young Eucalyptus regnans trees
Author Osler, G.H.R.
West, P.W.
Downes, G.M.
Journal Name Trees - Structure and Function
Publication Date 1996
Volume Number 10
Issue Number 4
ISSN 0931-1890   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Scopus ID 2-s2.0-0029770718
Start Page 239
End Page 246
Total Pages 8
Abstract A glasshouse experiment investigated the effect of bending stress on stem radial and height growth and stem taper ofEucalyptus regnans seedlings. Eighteen-week-old, potted seedlings were bent continuously for 8 weeks with a static bending stress. The bending treatment was then removed and the seedlings grown for another 12 weeks. Other seedlings were stayed vertically throughout the experiment whilst control seedlings were neither bent nor stayed. Seedlings were rotated every 2 days to prevent reaction wood developing asymmetrically in the stems of bent trees. Bent trees had higher radial growth rates, developed more tapered stems and had higher safety factors (the ratio of stem radius to the minimum radius required to prevent the tree toppling over) than unbent seedlings. They produced a band of tension wood in their stems and ceased height growth whilst bent. When bending ceased, they resumed normal radial and height growth. Unbent trees developed more cylindrical stems. There were no differences in growth behaviour between stayed and control trees. Bent and unbent trees all developed a butt swell, the taper of which was not affected by treatment. It was concluded that bending stress has substantial effects on both the size and taper of tree stems. However, the development of butt swell is independent of the bending stress applied. The results were considered in relation to biomechanical theories of tree stem development.
Keywords Bending stress
Eucalyptus regnans
Radial growth rate
Stem shape
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Created: Fri, 29 Aug 2014, 20:16:58 CST by Anthony Hornby