Survival and Growth of Seed Trees 20 Years after a Natural Regeneration Cut in the Piedmont of Georgia
An experiment was installed in 1982 to compare six methods of natural regeneration in the Piedmont of Georgia. These methods include (1) clearcut with seed in place; (2) clearcut with seed in place and preharvest burn; (3) seed tree; (4) seed tree with preharvest burn; (5) shelterwood;
and (6) shelterwood with preharvest burn. Because of endangered species regulations in the years after establishment of the study, no seed trees were cut and the seed tree and shelterwood plots have grown into two-story stands. Individual tree and stand characteristics were analyzed to determine
the effects of burning and regeneration method on the remaining seed trees after 20 years. Diameter at breast height (dbh) growth was greater on seed tree plots than on shelterwood plots, but burned plots had increased dbh growth on shelterwood plots and decreased dbh growth on seed tree plots.
Total height growth also exhibited an interaction between the burning and regeneration method but with an opposite effect. Total height growth decreased on burned shelterwood plots but increased on burned seed tree plots. Shelterwood plots had approximately double the basal area and merchantable
green weight of the seed tree plots. The economic analysis indicates the seed tree method leads to greater financial returns and is less sensitive to discount rate variations than the shelterwood method. South. J. Appl. For. 29(4):173–178.
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