Regeneration History of Three Table Mountain Pine/Pitch Pine Stands in Northern GeorgiaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
A dendrochronology study was conducted on three ridgetop pine communities in northern Georgia to document the current composition and structure, ascertain when the different species became established, and compare their establishment dates with the occurrence of disturbance or drought. Most oaks and pines in these stands date to the early 1900's and became established after major disturbances by disease, logging, and wildfire. The mountain laurel and mixed mesophytic hardwoods became established after the chestnut blight and institution of wildfire control policies. Drought and precipitation appear to have played little role in the establishment of either pine species. Given the ubiquitous presence of hardwoods and the dominance of mountain laurel in the understory, a regime of no disturbance or a single stand-replacing disturbance may not successfully regenerate either pine species in these stands. Numerous low- to moderate-intensity disturbances may be necessary to reduce the hardwood and laurel components and prepare seedbeds for pitch and Table Mountain pine.