Natural durability of Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii) heartwood grown in Southern Germany

The natural durability of timber is an important property in order to assess the performance in service. For numerous species grown in primary forests, this property was already determined. As plantation-grown timber becomes more and more important, more detailed information on their properties is urgently needed, because increasing amounts of this material are coming to the market. The majority of planted Douglas fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii) in Germany are approximately 40 years old or some years older. In the present study, representative material of ten trees from two different sites in the south of Germany was investigated with regard to its natural durability. In laboratory tests based on EU standard EN 113, inner and outer heartwood zones were exposed to basidiomycetes. Density measurements were additionally used for further characterization of this material. First results showed a lower durability of the plantation-grown Douglas fir wood as compared with those from natural sites. Significant differences for both durability and density were found between inner and outer heartwood, even though no correlation was recognized. For a better understanding of durability variations, chemical, topochemical and electron microscopic studies are needed


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