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Economic Returns Model for Silvicultural Investments in Young Hardwood Stands

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Despite covering the majority of forestland in the southern United States, hardwoods continue to be grown primarily in natural, extensively managed stands. One reason has been that hardwood growth increases resulting from active management have been small in comparison with unmanaged stands. Recent studies indicate, however, that the productivity responses of very young (ages 1–15 years) natural even-aged hardwood stands to silvicultural treatments such as fertilization, herbicide release, or stocking control can yield large productivity increases, demonstrating the potential for faster timber growth of higher quality in shorter rotations. In determining the extent to which these productivity increases may justify investment in various silvicultural treatments, we have developed hardwood management scenarios representing productivity increases of up to 33%. Timber revenues have been estimated and rates of return compared across various management intensities. Results indicate that the assumed productivity increases would readily pay for treatments such as fertilization, herbaceous release, and stocking control while yielding rates of returns equal to or greater than those generated by untreated stands. South. J. Appl. For. 28(4):179–184.
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Keywords: Hardwood economics; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; hardwood silviculture; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Warnell School of Forest Resources University of Georgia Athens GA 30602-2152 (706) 542-3060, Email: [email protected] 2: Hardwood Research Cooperative, Department of Forestry North Carolina State University Box 8008 Raleigh NC 27695-8008 3: Department of Forestry North Carolina State University Box 8008 Raleigh NC 27695-8008

Publication date: 01 November 2004

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