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    We related intraannual patterns in radial growth rate and xylem density to foliar phenology and second growth flushes in a young Douglas-fir plantation in western Washington. Three foliar maturity classes were defined: (1) shoots and needles elongating; (2) elongation complete, needles maturing; and (3) needles mature. Diameter growth rate had two peaks, one about the time of budbreak and one when foliage was in maturity Class 2. There was a limit to the maximum periodic density of xylem formed at a given rate of diameter growth; as growth rate increased, maximum periodic density decreased. Although xylem density profiles varied widely among individual trees, xylem density differed significantly among foliar maturity classes, increasing 16% from Class 1 to 2 and 60% from Class 2 to 3. Diameter growth rate of second-flushing trees was significantly greater in July compared with trees with no second flush, but we detected no relationships between second-flushing and xylem density patterns or false rings. Although the young trees in this study did not show distinct earlywood-latewood transitions, fully mature foliage (Class 3) was associated with formation of xylem exhibiting characteristics of latewood: greater density, reduced diameter growth rate, reduced tracheid radial diameter, and less interannual growth variation.

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    Devine, Warren D.; Harrington, Constance A. 2009. Relationships among foliar phenology, radial growth rate, and xylem density in a young Douglas-fir plantation. Wood and Fiber Science. 41(3): 300-312.


    phenology, foliage, xylem density, radial growth, second flushing, Douglas-fir, soil water, vegetation control

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