iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Density, extractives and decay resistance variabilities within branch wood from four agroforestry hardwood species

Florence Terrasse (1-2), Loic Brancheriau (1-2), Remy Marchal (3), Nabila Boutahar (1-2), Sylvain Lotte (1-2), Daniel Guibal (1-2), Luc Pignolet (1-2), Kevin Candelier (1-2)   

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 14, Issue 3, Pages 212-220 (2021)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor3693-014
Published: May 02, 2021 - Copyright © 2021 SISEF

Research Articles

Agroforestry practices like pruning trees to control the light flux to crops produce every year a large volume of branches which is valorized by farmers as mulching or energy fuel. However, according to the literature, the wood of branches shows higher rates of polyphenols than stem wood and this can open some new perspectives for branch exploitation. In this study, the wood properties (density, mechanical properties, extractive content and decay resistance) were determined on branches of different sizes from oak, chestnut, poplar and walnut trees collected in two agroforestry systems. These properties were evaluated according to the wood age and the sampling position along the radial and longitudinal axes of the branch. All samples were analyzed by NIR-Spectroscopy and a predicting model aimed to assess the branch wood properties has been developed. Wood characteristics largely vary between species and do not exactly follow the same trends from one species to another. Overall, hardwood density of branches is similar to that of trunks, the content in wood extractives follows similar evolutions, and the decay resistance of branch wood does not seem to be really impacted by its position along the branch. Reliable NIRS models were built to easily predict the wood density and extractives content of agroforestry branches. The extractives content and the decay resistance of branch hardwood appear to be substantially lower than those of trunks, which suggests a non-suitability of branch wood for developing high-valued green chemistry.


Agroforestry, Branches, NIR-Spectrometry, Wood Quality

Authors’ address

Remy Marchal 0000-0002-5712-9978
“Arts et Metiers” Institute of Technology, LABOMAP, HESAM University, F-71250 Cluny (France)

Corresponding author

Kevin Candelier


Terrasse F, Brancheriau L, Marchal R, Boutahar N, Lotte S, Guibal D, Pignolet L, Candelier K (2021). Density, extractives and decay resistance variabilities within branch wood from four agroforestry hardwood species. iForest 14: 212-220. - doi: 10.3832/ifor3693-014

Academic Editor

Luigi Todaro

Paper history

Received: Nov 09, 2020
Accepted: Mar 01, 2021

First online: May 02, 2021
Publication Date: Jun 30, 2021
Publication Time: 2.07 months

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