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Impacts of Thinning Strategies on Financial Returns from Yellow-Poplar Stands

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In the central and southern Appalachian region of the United States, yellow-poplar is an important timber resource for the sawmill and composite wood industries. A dynamic programming optimization algorithm was used to evaluate financial returns from various thinning strategies on yellow-poplar stands. Improvement thinning was found to increase long-term returns more than any other thinning strategy on most combinations of site and stand quality. Only on a high site index stand with a stem distribution dominated by high quality trees was thinning from above found to be the most valuable strategy. When stands have low or average stem quality distributions, the typical rotation has one to two thinnings removing 20% to 35% of the basal area in each thinning. Timing of the initial improvement thinning ranges from 22-32 yr, and occurs earlier in higher site index stands. In stands of high stem quality, one to five thinnings removing 20% to 40% of the basal area are employed, and rotation length increases as production shifts to sawtimber. Stands with higher site index and stem quality distributions have higher numbers of thinnings. This research demonstrates the value of intermediate treatments in improving financial returns from yellow-poplar. South. J. Appl. For. 23(2):69-77.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40546-0073, (606) 257-3860;, Fax: (606) 323-1031

Publication date: 1999-05-01

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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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