Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Physical, mechanical and natural durability properties of wood from reforestation Pinus halepensis Mill. in the Mediterranean Basin.

Abstract

Pinus halepensis Mill. was introduced into regions with a Mediterranean climate as an ornamental tree, and is now often found in parks and gardens. At present, Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) forests cover approximately 2,500,000 ha in the Mediterranean Basin, mostly at low altitudes (less than 500 m) and along the coast. It has become naturalized outside cities in North Africa to the extent that it is now listed as an invasive species there. Because of its size (over 15 m in height and 30 cm in diameter), Pinus halepensis could be a good potential green resource for structural material in Tunisia. The focus of this study was to assess rot resistance and the physical and mechanical properties of reforestation Aleppo pine from the Mediterranean basin. The Pinus halepensis wood samples studied were collected from 6 tree provenances in Tunisia for physical and mechanical characterization and from Morocco for decay and termite resistance tests. Densities and shrinkage were determined and mechanical and rot resistance tests performed. Preliminary results showed that Tunisian Pinus halepensis wood has great dimensional stability. Although the compressive strength of Pinus halepensis wood is high, its bending strength is rather low for each of the provenances. MOR in bending is lower than in other Tunisian softwood species. Finally, Pinus halepensis sapwood has low resistance to fungi and termites. This timber species could be valuable for furniture and/or as a building material provided that a wood preservation method is applied before it is used.