Effect of Radial Growth Rate on Wood Properties Variation of Sentang (Azadirachta excelsa) Tree Planted in Kelantan, Malaysia
Keywords:Sentang, Fast-growing species, Radial growth rate, Radial variation, Wood properties
Properties of Sentang wood planted in Kelantan, Malaysia, were studied, focusing on the effect of radial growth rate on variation in the fiber and vessel element dimensions, moisture content, density, shrinkage, bending, and compression strength at the breast height of the tree. The trees were categorized into slow-, average-, and fast-growth categories, based on their breast height diameter and standard deviation. The variations in properties were then examined from the pith to the bark. The fiber length and diameter tend to decrease until a certain distance from the pith, followed by an increase toward the bark. Contrastingly, the vessel element length and diameter tend to increase until a maximum size is reached and then exhibit a relatively constant size toward the bark. The fast-growing trees tended to have longer and larger fibers, while the slow-growing trees tended to have longer and larger vessel elements. In addition, the fast-growing trees tended to have a higher green moisture content and shrinkage, lower density, lower modulus of rupture (MOR), and lower compression strength. The results revealed that growth rate seems to influence the modulus of elasticity (MOE) less than the MOR and compression strength.