Effect of pruning
Acacia mangium on growth, form and heart rot
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Beadle, CL and Barry, KM and Hardiyanto, E and Irianto, R and Junarto, A and Mohammed, CL and Rimbawanto, A, Effect of pruning
Acacia mangium on growth, form and heart rot, Forest Ecology and Management, 238, (1-3) pp. 261-267. ISSN 0378-1127 (2007) [Refereed Article]
Small volumes of timber are now being produced from Acacia mangium plantations in Indonesia. These trees require pruning and thinning to increase the strength and appearance of the wood. However, cut surfaces from pruning are potential infection courts for the entry of decay-causing fungi like heart rot. This study investigated the effects of pruning on stem form and the incidence of heart rot in an 18-month-old plantation of Acacia mangium in South Sumatra. The objectives were to assess whether pruning is associated with an increase in the incidence of heart rot and whether form pruning compared to lift pruning reduced the incidence of heart rot and improved stem form. Form pruning removed 25% of leaf area by removing large branches and those subtending a narrow angle with the stem up to 3 m height, and lift pruning removed 25% of crown length from below. Trees in these treatments were singled before pruning. The third treatment, a control, was not singled and was used to assess base levels of heart rot. No significant difference in diameter increment between the two pruning treatments was found. There was strong evidence that form pruning was associated with better form 18 months after treatment. Trees in this treatment had a reduced number of branches >30 mm diameter and improved stem straightness (reduced kink). Lift pruning reduced average branch size but did not improve stem straightness. No heart rot was detected in any treatment. The results showed that form pruning is likely to have positive benefits on stem straightness and is likely to be effective to any selected pruning height. However a subsequent lift pruning is still considered a requirement. While wounds created from pruning and singling are assumed to have a large impact on the incidence of heart rot, this may not be an issue unless there is a sufficient source of fungi present in the environment to invade the wounds. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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