Beech is expected to expand its range into the territory of Latvia due to climate change, but we lack information on its stem and wood quality as a measure of its economic importance. We studied external stem quality traits in beech stands with age of 69 to 131 years. Nine trees were cut and sampled to determine internal wood quality and the proportion of peelable cylinder. Tree value was calculated according to buckling by dimensions and buckling accounting for stem and wood defects. Trees of the second generation (69 years) had a significantly lower incidence of frost cracks (22.0% vs. 36.2%), epicormic branches (50.5 % vs. 65.8%), and forks (15.8% vs. 23.5%) as compared to trees from the first generation (115–131 years). All sampled trees had discolouration in the height of the first log. The proportion of the peelable cylinder was positively linked to tree height and ranged from 12% at the stump level to 33.4% at the tree height of 30 m. All analysed phenotypic traits decreased stand monetary value: frost cracks by 6% to 8%, all external traits by 16% to 20%, all external and internal traits by 29% to 33%.

Publication timeframe:
6 times per year
Journal Subjects:
General Interest, Mathematics, General Mathematics