Genetic improvement for pulpwood and peeled veneer in Eucalyptus nitens
Blackburn, D and Farrell, R and Hamilton, M and Volker, P and Harwood, CE and Williams, D and Potts, B, Genetic improvement for pulpwood and peeled veneer in Eucalyptus nitens, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 42, (9) pp. 1724-1732. ISSN 0045-5067 (2012) [Refereed Article]
Genetic improvement of wood properties affecting the quality of pulpwood and peeled veneer products is of general
interest to tree breeders worldwide. If the wood properties of Eucalyptus nitens (H. Deane & Maiden) Maiden are under
genetic control and the correlations between them are favourable, it may be possible to breed to simultaneously improve the
plantation resource for both products. Acoustic wave velocity (AWV) measured in standing trees can predict wood stiffness,
basic density, and kraft pulp yield (KPY) and therefore has the potential for use in tree breeding programs. From an E. nitens
progeny trial in Tasmania, 540 trees were selected for rotary peeling. Of the wood properties assessed, there were significant
differences among races in diameter, stem straightness, standing-tree, log, and billet AWV, and near infrared predicted
cellulose content (CC). All traits displayed significant within-race genetic variation, and genetic correlations between AWV
and veneer sheet modulus of elasticity (MOE) and between AWV and KPY and CC were strongly positive and highly significant.
A similar relationship was found between veneer sheet MOE and KPY and between diameter at breast height and veneer
sheet MOE. Basic density was genetically correlated with AWV and veneer sheet MOE. Results indicate that it should
be possible for breeders to simultaneously improve properties in pulpwood and peeled veneer products and that AWV measured
in the standing tree shows promise as a breeding selection criterion for both pulpwood and peeled veneer products.