Axial and radial variations in the dimensional stability of Elaeis guineensis Jacq. wood
The introduction of Lesser-used species is as a result of the reduction in the availability of economic hard wood species also, the suitability of wood for end users has been linked with its Tangential and Radial shrinkage. This study therefore assessed the dimensional stability of Elaeis guineensis wood to determine its appropriate application and proper utilization. Three fully matured trees of E. guineensis of over 25years were selected and felled from Ogunsiji Village, Ido Local Government Area of Oyo State, Nigeria. Bolts of 50cm long were cut along the axial direction at the base (10%), middle (50%) and top (90%) from the felled trees and thereafter, converted into test samples. Samples from peripheral, centre and inner along the radial position (Across the bole) were collected for base, middle and top. Dimensional stability (shrinkage) test were carried out on the E. guineensis samples and data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Analysis of Variance at P<0.05. From the results, the mean value for Tangential shrinkage, Radial shrinkage and Volumetric shrinkage is 3.98±1.54%, 3.54±1.41% and 7.53±2.66%% respectively. Results further showed that shrinkage (tangential, radial and volumetric) increases along the axial direction (sampling height) from base to top and also increase radially from the bark (peripheral) to the inner part of the wood of E. guineensis . It is therefore concluded that the wood of E. guineensis from the base at the peripheral is more dimensionally stable than the other portions and is also suitable for building or structural application.
Keywords: Elaeis guineensis, Lesser-used species, Radial position, Axial direction,
Dimensional stability, Shrinkage