Wood Density Handbook for some West African Trees

Compiled by: Djagbletey, G.D.,Adu-Bredu, S., Duah-Gyamfi, A., Aabeyir, R., Djagbletey, E.D., Akpalu, S.E., Adeyiga, G.K., Addo-Danso, S.D., Hagan Brown W., Dabo, J., Amponsah-Manu, E.

FOREWORD
The three most important attributes of wood as a forest product are the wood anatomy, wood density and the wood quality. Wood anatomy with unique internal xylem characteristics predicts the structure of wood and ultimately the architecture of wood products. Wood density determines the suitability of a species for end-use; higher density is associated with strength and stiffness of wood products while lower density is associated with light wood products like pulp, paper, match box, veneer, etc. Wood quality, on the other hand, is a resultant effect of physical and mechanical properties to meet different strength requirements for heavy, medium or light products.

Wood density is defined as the mass (or weight) of a unit volume of wood measured at the same moisture content. Basic wood density is the ratio of oven dry mass of wood sample to the green volume while specific gravity is technically defined as the ratio of oven dry mass of wood to displaced green volume of water. As a ratio, specific gravity of wood has no units compared to kilograms (or grams) per cubic meters (or centimeters) for wood density. The density of wood is influenced by thick walled cells with high strength or lower strength of thin walled cells. The presence of extractives, gum and other inclusions in the vessels or fibers may increase the density of the heartwood or decrease the density of the sapwood with thin wall.

Furthermore, wood density is a very important parameter for accurate estimation of biomass for carbon accounting, which is a requirement under the REDD+ initiative. However, the wood density data for various species are scattered, and in Africa, most of the field workers are more conversant with local names. There is therefore the urgent need to have a compendium of species wood densities with both local and scientific names to facilitate biomass/carbon stock estimation for better data and reporting. This book is a compilation of wood densities of species across the ecological zones of West Africa Sub-Region, from published and unpublished sources. The aim of this Handbook is to provide data on wood densities and make it readily available to researchers, students, foresters, as well as other specialists.
Andrew A. Oteng-Amoako PhD.
Chief Research Scientist and Professor
Wood Products Engineering
Faculty of Climate Change and Integrated Natural Resources Management
CSIR Graduate College of Science and Technology

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Forestry Research Institute of Ghana is one of the 13 institutes of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is located at Fumesua near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It started as a research unit within the Forestry Department in 1962. It was fully established as a research institute and named FOREST PRODUCTS RESEARCH INSTITUTE (FPRI) under the then Ghana Academy of Sciences in 1964 and in 1968 placed under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

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