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Rehabilitation of Understocked Loblolly-Shortleaf Pine Stands--I. Recently Cutover Natural Stands

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Two loblolly-shortleaf pine (Pinus taeda L.-P. echinata Mill.) stands were cut to stocking levels of 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50% to simulate recently cutover, understocked, uneven-aged stands. Number of trees ranged from 38 per acre for 10% stocking to 213 per acre for 50% stocking; comparable total basal areas were 4 and 16 ft²/ac, respectively. One stand was on a good site (site index = 90 ft at age 50), the other on a medium site (site index = 75 ft at age 50). As a rehabilitation treatment, all hardwoods 1 in. groundline diameter and larger were injected with a herbicide. At 2, 5, 10, and 15 yr after treatment, the stands were inventoried to determine: (1) rate at which the understocked stands recovered, and (2) minimum stocking levels required for successful rehabilitation. During 15 yr of rehabilitation, the understocked stands changed dramatically, and because of rapid growth of residual pines, stocking levels, basal areas, and tree volumes increasedmarkedly. Stands having at least 20% residual stocking and 5 ft²/ac of pine basal area reached an acceptable stocking level of 60% (based on number and size of trees), or 45 ft²/ac of basal area within 15 yr. Stands at this minimum stocking threshold produced 4,600 bd ft(Doyle)/ac of sawtimber volume on the good site and 3,000 bd ft/ac of sawtimber volume on the medium site during the 15 yr period. The study indicates that recently cutover, or damaged, understocked stands with at least 20% to 30% stocking or 5 to 10 ft²/ac of pine basal area can be rehabilitated to produce respectable sawtimber volumes. This management strategy provides a low-cost alternative to establishing a new stand at considerable cost to the landowner. South. J. Appl. For. 22(1):35-40.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Monticello, AR 71656

Publication date: 1998-02-01

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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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