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Financially Optimal Thinning and Final Harvest Schedules for Loblolly Pine Plantations on Nonindustrial Private Forestland in East Texas

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A quantitative analysis of the profitability of managing loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in relation to the length of rotation and the timing, frequency, and intensity of thinning(s) was conducted to determine financially optimal schedules for nonindustrial private forest landowners in Texas. The results indicate that as site index increases from 50 to 90, rotation length decreases from age 59 to 38; as real alternative rate of return (ARR) increases from 2.5 to 15.0%, rotation length decreases from age 38 to 21. The timing of first thinning varies from age 11 for landowners with a 15.0% ARR on site index 90 land to age 47 for landowners with a 2.5% ARR on site index 60 land. The frequency of thinning for optimal schedules is highly related to landowners' site index and ARR. Landowners with low and medium ARR on site index 90 land should conduct thinnings up to three times to maximize profits; landowners with low ARR on site index 50 or 60 land should conduct one thinning only. The intensity of thinning tends to increase (from 20 to 35% basal area removal) as landowners' ARR increases. South. J. Appl. For. 26(1):13–17.

Keywords: Optimal rotation age; dynamic programming; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; optimal forest management; profitability; soil expectation value

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Arthur Temple College of Forestry, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, TX, 75962-6109

Publication date: 2002-02-01

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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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