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Stock Type, Subsoiling, and Density Impact Productivity and Land Value of a Droughty Site

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Abstract:

Management practices that overcome low seedling survival and poor tree growth of well-drained, droughty sites can improve their productivity and profitability. This study was established to explore tree and stand growth trends, potential forest product yields, and land expectation values of loblolly pine on a droughty site in response to (1) seedling stock type, (2) subsoiling, and (3) stand density regime. In winter 1993, container (CONT) and bareroot (BARE) seedlings were planted with or without subsoiling at 746 trees per hectare (TPH). BARE seedlings were planted without subsoiling at 1,493 TPH to provide a comparison between low-density treatment combinations and a conventional (CONV) management regime for this site type. Tree growth was monitored periodically through age 13 years. Yield trajectories were estimated by predicting forest product yields with FASTLOB using age 13 years stand characteristics, and land expectation value was determined from revenue predictions and costs associated with each treatment. Low-density regimes that included CONT seedlings or subsoiling before BARE seedling planting improved tree growth through midrotation and had yield estimates comparable with that of a CONV regime. However, land expectation values associated with subsoiling were lower than those of low-density CONT and CONV regimes because of its cost and negligible benefits for seedling survival.

Keywords: container seedlings; loblolly pine; tillage

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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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