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Microfibril angles of the S2 layer and tracheid lengths were measured in the root wood of Pinus nigra, and the root and stem wood of Pinus radiata. Within 10 mm (the first 2–3 growth rings) from the root centre, microfibril angles were large in the wood of both species, ranging from 25° to 40°. Beyond 10 mm (the fourth growth ring and beyond) from the root centre, microfibril angles were small. This pattern of microfibril angle change in root wood differs from those normally found in stems where angles are large until the 10–15th rings. Root wood tracheid length also showed a different pattern in radial direction from that normally observed in stem wood. Tracheids of Pinus radiata root wood were long in the first ring, decreasing to the third ring and then increased to the seventh ring. Beyond the seventh ring tracheid length was stable at around 3 to 3.5 mm. It was noted that microfibril angles were not influenced by tracheid length in root wood.


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