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Managing Dense, Seed-Origin Loblolly Stands to Utilize the Favorable Juvenile Wood Core for Sawlog Production: A Case Study

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Approximately two-thirds of the loblolly pine forests in the South are regenerated by natural or direct seeding. Many of these stands are overstocked, challenged by hardwood and herbaceous competition, or lacking in fertility. Due to minimal management inputs, the initial diameter growth rates for stems in these stands are slow in many instances. Consequently, the juvenile wood cores in the boles of these trees are small relative to those of faster grown plantation stems. Thinning of such a stand at age 21 and application of fertilizer at age 23 dramatically increased diameter growth at breast height for all crown classes. The proportion of earlywood to latewood and the specific gravity of annual rings were not affected by either treatment, and they were highly favorable for quality sawn lumber. Earlier treatment of the study stand to coincide with the transition phase from juvenile to mature wood formation at age 15 would likely have optimized the future production of quality sawlogs. Timing of these treatments could best be gauged by the ring growth pattern of codominant trees in the stand and the stabilization of the annual earlywood to latewood ratio. South. J. Appl. For. 15(1):5-9.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station and Weyerhaueser Company

Publication date: 1991-02-01

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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