The lumber from sugi plantations in Japan displays large intra- and intertree variation in mechanical properties, even within a stand. These variations seem to be induced by the effects of the characteristics of cultivars as well as the effects of growth traits on mechanical properties. Therefore, the effects of growth traits on mechanical properties per cultivar need to be precisely examined. In this study, we focused on the effects of growth traits, especially height-to-diameter ratio (H/D ratio), on stem stiffness per cultivar. Sixteen cultivars were classified into three groups according to the relationships between stem stiffness and growth traits. In cultivars that showed a close correlation between growth traits and stem stiffness, it was assumed that stem stiffness could be controlled to a certain extent by silvicultural practices using the H/D ratio as an indicator. In cultivars that showed a weak correlation between growth traits and stem stiffness, selecting cultivars for the production of logs with higher mechanical properties seemed to be effective; in this study, Kumotoshi, Tanoaka, and Edanaga were found to be suitable. Tree age and site index may be important factors for producing wood with higher mechanical properties.
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