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Nelson Mandela University (2020)

Alternative pine species/hybrids for the Cape timber growing regions of South Africa

Van der Hoef, André

Titre : Alternative pine species/hybrids for the Cape timber growing regions of South Africa

Auteur : Van der Hoef, André

Université de soutenance : Nelson Mandela University

Grade : Master of Science (FORESTRY) 2020

Résumé
Pinus radiata has been the preferred commercial sawtimber species for the Cape forestry region for many years. Since the introduction of Fusarium circinatum, and the susceptibility of P. radiata to this disease, the sustainable production of this pine species for the Cape has been negatively impacted due to poor survival in the nursery and in field plantings. For this reason, a number of additional pine species and hybrids have been established in the Cape region of South Africa since 2006 to identify taxa that would perform as well as or better than P. radiata. Three research trials were implemented on contrasting sites that contained eight common species/hybrids treatments that included P. elliottii, P. elliottii x P. caribaea, P. radiata, P. patula x P. greggii var. australis, P. patula x P. oocarpa, P. patula x P. tecunumanii (HE), P. patula x P. tecunumanii (LE) and P. tecunumanii (HE) x P. oocarpa were established at Witelsbos, Kruisfontein and Garcia across diverse soil types, drainage and climate conditions in the Cape. Survival, growth data and tree morphology (forking, foxtails, broken tops and stem form) were assessed at five years of age and individual tree volume was calculated. Five year results indicate that on the waterlogged site at Witelsbos P. elliottii and its hybrid with P. caribaea was best in terms of productivity, at the dry site of Garcia, P. taeda and P. elliottii demonstrated promise, and at Kruisfontein, the most fertile site, P. elliottii x P. caribaea, P. patula x P. tecunumanii (LE) and P. maximinoi were found to be promising alternatives to P. radiata. Wood properties were assessed at Kruisfontein at six-years of age. Basic density and Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) were found to be significantly different for the various species/hybrids. Pinus patula x P. tecunumanii (LE), P. patula x P. greggii (S), P. maximinoi and P. patula x P. tecunumanii (HE) were all significantly better than P. radiata, which would suggest that these taxa would have similar or superior wood strength over P. radiata, the preferred sawtimber species for the Cape region. Only P. tecunumanii (HE) x P. oocarpa had a higher basic density than P. radiata, but not significantly different. Species that had similar basic density were P. patula x P. greggii (S), P. taeda and P. tecunumanii (LE) x P. caribaea. Although P. elliottii x P. caribaea had the highest volume at Witelsbos and Kruisfontein, the timber qualities were the worst, suggesting that some breeding is needed to improve this hybrid to be an acceptable sawtimber species. From this study, several potential alternative species/hybrids have been identified that are tolerant to the F. circinatum pathogen and have acceptable growth and wood properties, compared to P. radiata.

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Page publiée le 24 janvier 2021