Banner for LabNotes
From Lab Notes
Contact Information
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726-2398
Phone: (608) 231-9200
Fax: (608) 231-9592


You are here: FPL Home  / Information Products & Services  / Publications

Requested Product

Title: Collection of wood quality data by X-ray densitometry: a case study with three southern pines

Source: Wood Science and Technology

Author(s)Eberhardt, Thomas L.; Samuelson, Lisa J.

Publication Year: 2015  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4715-3

Abstract: X-ray densitometry is a technique often used in tree growth and wood quality studies to incrementally measure density (specific gravity) along a radial strip of wood. Protocols for this technique vary between laboratories because of differences in species, equipment, tree age, and other factors. Here, the application of X-ray densitometry is discussed in terms of a case study specific to the southern pines, whereby loblolly (Pinus taeda L), longleaf (Pinus palustris Mill.), and slash (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) pine wood cores were analyzed using an automated system. Objectives of this study included an assessment of the potential impacts on wholecore wood quality data from wood core extraction and use of two different demarcation methods (threshold and inflection point) for the earlywood–latewood transition. Wood core extraction before X-ray densitometry showed minimal impact on the shapes of individual ring profiles, and whole-core wood quality data were essentially unchanged. An assessment of the inflection point method employed for determining the earlywood–latewood transition point in the X-ray densitometry data demonstrated that the growth ring profiles for the southern pines are not amenable to polynomial fitting. Indeed, in the southern pines, the earlywood–latewood transitions are as equally abrupt as the latewood–earlywood transitions. Accordingly, a threshold density deemed appropriate to define the onset of a growth ring would be equally appropriate to define the onset of latewood formation.

Keywords: Density; earlywood; extraction; latewood; specific gravity

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 1,025 kb(s)

Date posted: 06/19/2015

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 73105

Additional items that might interest you
View the video celebrating FPL's 100 years of public service in 2010, from the producers of the Greatest Good....view

Research Highlights from FPL....view

Termite Eradication: A search for the Holy Grail.... view

Moisture Management in Residential Construction Series videos...view

Wood Floor Systems in Residential Construction Series videos....view
- FPL's Mission and Strategic Plan -

FPL's mission is to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life. ... ..more »

- FPL Research Emphasis Areas -
Advanced Composites

As an integral part of the FPL mission, we improve the long-term sustainability of our Nation's forests by creating valuable composite products from biobased materials ... ..more »

Advanced Structures

The FPL has been in the forefront of wood-frame housing research since 1910 and has long been recognized as a world leader in such housing-related areas as engineered wood ... ..more »

Forest Biorefinery

We all know the compelling reasons that the United States needs to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. Historically, the greatest increases in energy demand have been for transportation fuels ... ..more »


A leader in wood products research for over a century, the FPL is positioning itself to become the lead Federal research facility for the application of nanotechnology in forest products ... more »

Woody Biomass Utilization

Forests in the United States contain a substantial amount of small-diameter, overstocked, and underutilized material.FPL research projects are exploring the potential of the small-diameter ... ..more »