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An Interim Economic Comparison of Thinning Treatments in a High Site Quality Red Pine Plantation

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Harvesting costs for seven thinning treatments applied to a highly productive (site index 81 at base age 50) red pine stand (age 22) were calculated using machine productivity rates developed for loblolly pine. The economic value of each treatment 10 years after the initial thinning was determined using the calculated harvesting costs and current product prices. Plots thinned to 60 ft² ba/ac, 30% height, and 120 ft² ba/ac treatments had the highest returns regardless of whether pulpwood or pulpwood and sawtimber markets were used to determine returns. The superior economic returns from the 30% and 120 ft² treatments reflected the higher overall product yields from these thinning strategies. However, the 60 ft² treatment, which had the second lowest merchantable cubic-foot yields in the study, had returns similar to the higher yielding treatments. This was due to: (1) larger early returns from the initial heavy thinnings in the 60 ft² treatment, and (2) the decreased harvesting costs related to increased stand diameter growth of the heavier thinned treatment. North. J. Appl. For. 5:211-215, Sept. 1988.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: School of Forestry and Wood Products, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI 49931

Publication date: 1988-09-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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