The influences of boiling and drying treatments on the behaviors of tension wood with gelatinous layers inZelkova serrata

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Abstract

This study examined how boiling and drying treatments influenced various physical properties of the tension wood with gelatinous fibers (G-fibers) of a 29-yearold Zelkova branch. By boiling treatment, tension wood with numerous G-fibers contracted considerably in the longitudinal direction and the longitudinal Young's modulus decreased in spite of the water-saturated condition. The drying treatment caused green tension wood and boiled tension wood with numerous G-fibers to shrink longitudinally and increased their longitudinal Young's moduli. These specific behaviors in tension wood were highly correlated with the proportion of G-fibers in a specimen and were probably caused by the microscopic behavior of cellulose microfibril (CMF) in the gelatinous layers (G-layers). The longitudinal shrinkage of tension wood due to drying suggests the existence of a hygro-sensible, noncrystalline region in the CMF, which is abundant in the G-layer. Furthermore, the noncrystalline region in the CMF softens during boiling treatment, resulting in the reduction of the longitudinal Young's modulus in tension wood. The longitudinal contraction of tension wood with G-fibers by boiling might be caused by the tensile growth stress remaining in green G-layers. However, no changes were detected in the 004 d-spacing of cellulose crystal in tension wood from the boiling and drying treatments, regardless of the proportion of G-fibers.

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