Irbe, I., Sable, I., Noldt, G., Grinfelds, U., Jansons, A., Treimanis, A. and Koch, G. 2015. Wood and Tracheid Properties of Norway Spruce (Picea abies [LJ Karst.) Clones Grown on Former Agricultural Land in Latvia. Baltic Forestry 21(1): 114-123

Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst) is an economically important tree species targeted for tree breeding programmes and also used in afforestation of former agricultural lands. To achieve the highest revenue while selecting clones for plantations, it is important to analyze not only growth traits but also wood and tracheid properties. Nine 31¬year¬old Norway spruce clones, represented by 3 ramets (clonal copies), were grown in a single stand field trial on former agricultural land. The tree height of all clones strongly correlated with diameter at breast height (DBH) (r = 0.77) and ring width (RW) (r = 0.80). Density negatively correlated with tree height (r = ¬0.65), DBH (r = ¬0.68), and RW (r = ¬0.73). Average tracheid diameters (earlywood and latewood) moderately correlated with DBH, tree height, and RW. No correlation between DBH and tracheid wall thickness was determined. Significant differences in lignin content between tracheids near pith and cambium zone among the clones were observed. In contrast, a variation gradient in lignin content from the pith toward the cambium within individual trees was not observed.

Key words: Norway spruce clones, Wood properties, Tracheid dimensions, Earlywood; Latewood, Lignin localization