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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Long-term pathological consequences of resin tapping wounds on stems of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.)

Zaluma, Astra; Strike, Zane; Rieksts-Riekstins, Raitis; Gaitnieks, Talis; Vasaitis, Rimvydas


Key message After 5-6 decades since inflicting resin tapping wounds, overmature (> 120 years old) Pinus sylvestris stems remain undecayed and vigorous. Overmature trees of Pinus sylvestris bearing large wounds made by resin tapping decades ago are still present in woodlands of south-eastern Baltic Sea region. The aim of the present study was to investigate health condition of those trees focusing on fungal infections and to estimate impact of the injury on radial stem growth. The study was conducted in Latvia in three overmature stands of P. sylvestris, resin-tapped in 1950-1970 s. On the studied ninety 120-167-year-old trees, exposed sapwood constituted from 1140 to 7755 cm(2) per individual stem. Of the 127 wounds sampled, 52 (41%) showed wood discoloration. The discoloration in its extent was limited, expanding beyond wound margins approx. 1 (max 3) cm in radial, and 6-7 cm in longitudinal directions. Of the 127 wood samples/wounds subjected to fungal isolations, 96% resulted in fungal growth, yielding 236 fungal isolates that represented 47 fungal taxa. The most common among macro-fungi was basidiomycete Porodaedalea pini, which was isolated from 9% of stems. The fungus is currently classed not as a tree pathogen, but instead as an indicator species for woodland sites to be considered for nature conservation. Data from tree ring widths have revealed that tree reacted to the resin tapping injury by increasing radial increment of the un-affected part of the circumference of the stem. Current study demonstrated that even on the long term, resin tapping has little influence on health condition and vitality of P. sylvestris, even at the very old age. This should be considered as a supporting message in case resin taping practices in the region are to be revived.


Pinus sylvestris; Resin tapping; Stem wounds; Fungal infection; Porodedalea pini

Published in

Trees - Structure and Function
2022, Volume: 36, number: 5, pages: 1507-1514