Luoma, Ville
(Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
There develops heartwood in the stems of the Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris L.) that differs by its natural characteristics from the other sections of the wood material in the pine stem. Pine heartwood is natural-ly decay resistant and it can be used in conditions where the normal wood products can’t be used. The aim of this study was to develop a method, which can be used for predicting the diameter and volume of heartwood. There is a need for this kind of method, because it still is not possible to estimate the amount of heartwood in a standing tree without damaging the tree itself.
The variables measured from single trees describing the diameter of the heartwood on eight relative heights were analysed by using linear regression. When the best explanatory variables were selected, a mixed linear model was created for each of the relative heights. The mixed linear models could also be used for predicting the diameter of pine heartwood at those relative heights. With the help of the pre-dicted diameters a taper curve could be created for the heartwood. The pine heartwood taper curve describes the tapering of the heartwood as function of the tree height. By integrating the taper curve, it was also possible to predict the total volume of the heartwood in a single tree.
The models that used tree diameter at breast height and the length of the tree as explanatory variables were able to explain the variation of heartwood diameter on relative heights between 2,5 % and 70 % with coefficient of determination ranging from 0,84 to 0,95 and also recorded a relative RMSE from 15 % to 35 %. Models for relative heights of 85 % and 95 % were not as good as the others (R2-values 0,65 and 0,06 as well as RMSE-values of 74 % and 444 %). Despite not succeeding on all the relative heights, the most important thing is that the models worked best on that area of the stem where most of the heart-wood is located. The volume predictions for single trees based on the heartwood diameter models rec-orded relative RMSE of 35 % and bias of -5 %.
Based on the results of the study it shows that exact prediction of pine heartwood diameter is much easier in the base of the stem than in the top part of it. A great deal of variation could be observed whether there was heartwood or not in the top parts of the stem. The volume of heartwood can already be estimated for single trees, but the amount of heartwood can be predicted also in larger scale, such as forest stands. But to get more accurate results in the future, there is a need for more detailed and com-prehensive research data, which would help to determine the still unknown parts of the behaviour of pine heartwood.