iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Behavior of pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.) wood to different thermal treatments

Luigi Todaro (1), Angelo Rita (1), Francesco Negro (2), Nicola Moretti (1), Antonio Saracino (3)   , Roberto Zanuttini (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 8, Issue 6, Pages 748-755 (2015)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1348-007
Published: Feb 16, 2015 - Copyright © 2015 SISEF

Research Articles

Quercus pubescens Willd. is a common oak species in the Mediterranean area, where it is currently exploited mainly for purposes such as firewood. To improve the technological properties of its wood, various steaming and/or heat treatments were applied to 160 wood samples from a southern Italian stand, cut from either sapwood or heartwood, while 20 samples served as controls. Steaming was carried out in an autoclave at 120 °C, whereas heat treatments were performed in an oven at 150 or 200 °C for 3 or 6 h. The equilibrium moisture content, swelling, mass loss, wood density, compression strength, color variation, and lignin content of the samples were measured and compared among treatments. The swelling and water adsorption of wood samples decreased due to the hydrothermal treatments. The mass loss was strictly related to the temperature and duration of the heat treatments, whereas it was not influenced by the steaming treatment. The average axial compression strength value was positively influenced by the combination of steaming and heat treatments. A significant and general darkening of color was also observed for the harshest treatments, while an increase of lignin content was detected mainly in the sapwood. Thus, pubescent oak wood subjected to steaming and heat treatments may acquire useful characteristics suitable for its industrial use.


Steaming, Moisture Content, Swelling, Color, Strength, Ray Cells

Authors’ address

Luigi Todaro
Angelo Rita
Nicola Moretti
School of Agricoltural, Forest, Food and Environmental Science, University of Basilicata, Potenza (Italy)
Francesco Negro
Roberto Zanuttini
Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences, University of Torino (Italy)
Antonio Saracino
Department of Agriculture, Division of Biology and Protection of Agricultural and Forest Systems (BIPAF), University of Naples “Federico II” (Italy)

Corresponding author

Antonio Saracino


Todaro L, Rita A, Negro F, Moretti N, Saracino A, Zanuttini R (2015). Behavior of pubescent oak (Quercus pubescens Willd.) wood to different thermal treatments. iForest 8: 748-755. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1348-007

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: May 12, 2014
Accepted: Oct 01, 2014

First online: Feb 16, 2015
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2015
Publication Time: 4.60 months

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