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Rio, Jose C. / Laine, Christiane / Potthast, Antje / Takano, Toshiyuki / Theliander, Hans


International Journal of the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Technology of Wood

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Volume 62, Issue 1 (Jan 2008)


Variation of tracheid length within annual rings of Scots pine and Norway spruce

Harri Mäkinen
  • 1Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, Vantaa, Finland
/ Tuula Jyske
  • 2Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, Vantaa, Finland
/ Pekka Saranpää
  • 3Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, Vantaa, Finland
Published Online: 2007-12-05 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HF.2008.018


Variation of tracheid length was studied within individual annual rings of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) from the pith to the bark. The material consisted of six Scots pine and six Norway spruce trees growing on sites of both low and high fertility. Microtome sections of 0.25 mm thick were cut from annual rings 7, 20 and 50 counted from the pith outwards, i.e., juvenile, transition and mature wood, respectively. After maceration, tracheid lengths were separately measured in each sample. In juvenile wood of Scots pine, tracheids were on average 17% longer in the latewood than in earlywood. However, in juvenile wood, the first formed earlywood tracheids were slightly longer than those in the middle of the earlywood zone. In the transition and mature wood of Scots pine, the increase in tracheid length was more gradual from earlywood to latewood, and no significant differences were found between earlywood and latewood. In Norway spruce, tracheids were 2–4% longer in the latewood than in earlywood. In general, tracheid length is highly variable within annual rings and the variation can differ from ring-to-ring even within the same tree.

Keywords: earlywood; latewood; Picea abies; Pinus sylvestris

About the article

Corresponding author. Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Unit, P.O. Box 18, FI-01301 Vantaa, Finland Phone: +358-10-2112323, Fax: +358-10-2112203,

Received: 2007-02-20

Accepted: 2007-07-16

Published Online: 2007-12-05

Published in Print: 2008-01-01

Citation Information: Holzforschung, ISSN (Online) 1437434X, ISSN (Print) 00183830, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/HF.2008.018. Export Citation

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