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the  study  examined  the  influence of  age  series  on  fibre  characteristics  of gmelina  arborea established in mamu forest reserve,anambra state. three gmelina arborea stand of 20,22,and 27 years old were used for the study. wood samples were collected from the core wood,inner wood and outer wood at 10%, 50% and 90% of the tree merchantable height in accordance with the standard procedure (british standard specification, bs 373 (1989). the study examined the anatomical characteristics of gmelina arborea wood in respect to their age series such as fibre length, fibre diameter, lumen width and cell wall thickness were evaluated.
the mean fibre length of the age series were 0.9676 mm, 1.0705 mm and 1.1363 mm for 20, 22
and  27  years  respectively.  the    mean  fibre  diameter  0.0256  mm,  0.0269  mm and0.0249mm;mean lumen width 0.0293 mm, 0.0161 mm and 0.0179 mm;





  • Background of the study

Wood presents a unique challenge in use because of its variability and the directional nature of its basic structure. These are the sources of some of its attractive features but they require also that they be handled and applied in ways appropriate for good end use.  The ways in which the structural  features  of  the  particular  species  determine  their properties  and  limit  the  uses  and applications can be studied more precisely (Jayeolaet al., 2009). Many attempts have been made to define wood quality (Keith 1985), but the definition proposed by (Mitchell 1961) appears to be the most widely cited: “Wood quality is the resultant of physical and chemical characteristics possessed by a tree or a part of a tree that enable it to meet the property requirements for different end products”.

As wood properties affect  various aspects  of the manufacturing process,  wood quality must be defined  in  terms  of  the  value  of  its  end  products.  In  addition,  the  definition needs  to  include serviceability, and cover attributes of interest to end-users, which may or may not have a direct impact  on  manufacturing,  but  will  continue  to  matter  long  after the product  has  been sold  and installed.   Wood fibres are usually cellulosic elements that are extracted from trees, straw, bamboo, cotton seed, hemp, sugarcane and other sources.

Because wood fibre is a natural material, wood fibre products contain many of the natural  characteristics  of  wood  in  nature.  This study is based on effect of age series on fibre characteristics of Gmelin aarborea.

1.2. Statement of problem

Wood  has  always  been  a  material  of  great  importance  to  mankind.  It  is  highly versatile. The demand  for  wood  has  been  on  the  increase  for  various  uses. Unfortunately, most of the  wood species in the natural forest are going to extinction due to high demand by user leading to over exploitation. Therefore, the use of plantation grown wood species is a step toward meeting the demand and consumption of wood and wood products. Initially, G.arborea wood  was established in the plantation with the aim of supply fibrous raw material to the then established pulp  and  paper  mills  in  Nigeria.

Based on  the  targeted  end-use  of G.  arborea,  several  studies have been conducted on its fibre characterization. However, there is no available information on the  effect  of  plantation  age  on  fibre  characteristics  of  this  wood  species.  Therefore, this study sought to bridge this knowledge gap.

1.3 Objectives

The general objective is to investigate the influence of plantation age on fibre characteristics of Gmelina arborea on wood utilization.The specific objectives are to:

  1. Investigate the fibre characteristics of Gmelina arborea of different plantation age series.
  2. determine the variation of fibre characteristics along bole length and across the radial direction of Gmelina arborea.

The research aimed to know the influence of ages on the fibre characteristics of Gmelina arborea on various end uses of wood particularly timber production and pulp & paper production.

1.5 Justification
Wood is a natural and a very variable material. This variability is attributed mostly to variations in the anatomical structure of wood. Despite its wide range of application, wood, like most other materials, should not be applied without thought for the conditions under which it will serve or for the inherent properties that will  determine  its  suitability.  As a biological material, wood reflects the conditions under which it was grown through the variations in its properties, which vary in different directions.

Jane  (1967)  recommended  that  the  aspects  of  variation  in  wood  structure  are  of  practical importance  in  the  industrial  sense. It  is  important  to  know  the  variation  in species,  genera  and families of  a  tree  species  to  observe  the individuals  of  the  same  species  and  the  variations occurring in the individual tree species as they grow older, from the pith outwards and from the bottom upwards.
Meanwhile, the wood of some tree species, by reasons of its inherent properties and variation in wood structure, is of no value as timbers; others because of their scarcity or their inaccessibility are only of local economic importance as timber.


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