In view of the importance of long-rotation plantation forestry in SE Asia to limit soil erosion, the cell morphology and wood properties of 35-yearold plantation trees of yellow meranti, Shorea acuminatissima Sym. were studied. To understand the effects of growth rate on cell morphology and wood properties, 131 trees in a stand were classified according to their stem diameter as fast-, medium-, and slow-growing. Five trees in each category were selected for determining the cell morphology and wood properties. There were significant differences in vessel diameter, vessel frequency, and cell wall thickness of wood fibers in the three categories. The fast-growing trees had a relatively low frequency of wide vessels and thick-walled wood fibers. However, no significant differences in basic density or compressive strength parallel to grain were identified in the three categories. The radial variation in the cell morphology and wood properties showed an almost identical pattern in the three categories, suggesting that xylem maturation depends on the cambial age rather than growth rate.

In: IAWA Journal