iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Analysis and evaluation of the impact of stand age on the occurrence and metamorphosis of red heartwood

Marek Trenčiansky   , Martin Lieskovský, Ján Merganič, Rastislav Šulek

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 3, Pages 605-610 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2116-010
Published: May 15, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

The red heartwood of beech is responsible for decreasing the market value of the most important deciduous tree species of central Europe. The aims of this study were: (i) to verify the hypothesis that stand age affects the occurrence and metamorphosis of red heartwood in beech; and (ii) to quantify the economic loss due the sale price reduction of timber affected by red heartwood. Seven even-aged beech stands of different age (87, 100, 105, 110, 115, 132, and 145 years) were selected in Slovakia, and 213 trees were cut into 961 pieces of assortments which were evaluated for the presence, form and extension of red heartwood. The economic loss caused by red heartwood was determined as the difference in price between the actual and the potential quality grades of assortments. The results confirmed that stand age significantly influence the occurrence, development, and metamorphosis of red heartwood. The average loss in timber sale price caused by red heartwood varied between 0.76 and 28.04 € m-3, depending on age and form of red heartwood, with more severe losses in stands older than 110 years. To reduce the incidence of beech red heartwood in Central Europe, a reduction of the rotation period should be considered, as well as the adoption of suitable silvicultural practices in aged beech stands.


Red Heartwood, Economics of Beech, Timber Quality, Timber Prices

Authors’ address

Marek Trenčiansky
Martin Lieskovský
Ján Merganič
Rastislav Šulek
Technical University in Zvolen, T. G. Masaryka 24, SK 960 53 Zvolen (Slovak Republic)

Corresponding author

Marek Trenčiansky


Trenčiansky M, Lieskovský M, Merganič J, Šulek R (2017). Analysis and evaluation of the impact of stand age on the occurrence and metamorphosis of red heartwood. iForest 10: 605-610. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2116-010

Academic Editor

Giacomo Goli

Paper history

Received: May 16, 2016
Accepted: Feb 15, 2017

First online: May 15, 2017
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2017
Publication Time: 2.97 months

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