Comparative studies on penetration and retention of CCA (C) and creosote in wood from APHID-killed and sound Kenyan-grown Mexican cypress (Cupressus lusitanica)
R Venkatasamy, F M Opar
Properties of wood from Kenyan-grown Mexican cypress (Cupressus lusitanica), attacked and killed by the cypress aphid (Cinara cupressi), in terms of density and treatability, were investigated in comparison to the properties of wood from sound trees. Density in small wood samples from aphid-killed trees was found lower than density in samples from sound trees, and reduced with tree age in samples from both. However, differences were slight, being 3.8%, 2.5% and 2.3% lower than density in samples of sound trees aged 10, 12 and 14 years respectively. Conversely, penetration and retention of both CCA and creosote were higher in samples from aphid-killed trees of the 3 age classes. Along the grain penetration of CCA was higher by 3.6%, 4.5% and 6.2%, and across the grain penetration higher by 3.8%, 7.0% and 11.3% in samples from aphid-killed trees of the 3 age classes respectively, compared to penetration achieved in samples from sound trees. Higher penetration of creosote in samples from aphid-killed trees was in the order 3.9%, 5.8%, 7.1% along the grain, and 3.7%, 6.2%, 11.9% across the grain. Along the grain retention of CCA in samples from aphid-killed trees was higher by 1.2%, 1.5%, 2.0%, and across the grain higher by 5.1%, 6.3% and 7.4% for the 3 age classes. Similarly, retention of creosote in samples from aphid-killed trees of the 3 age classes was higher by 3.2%, 4.5%, 5.6% along the grain, and 2.6%, 3.2%, 4.6% across the grain. Differences in density and treatability could not be properly explained, but was assumed associated with extensive sap depletion by aphids, interference with tree growth and normal wood formation, hence lowering of wood cell wall materials and increased cellular spaces within the wood cell wall structure of wood from aphid-killed trees. However, the results revealed that differences between wood from aphid-killed and sound C. lusitanica were minimal, and did not warrant wood from aphid-killed trees being branded as of lower quality, and restricted end uses.