Projected growth and yield and changes in soil site productivity for loblolly pine stands 10 years after varying degrees of harvesting disturbanceThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Southern industrial pine plantations are intensively managed. Shortened rotations and wet season trafficking can result in significant soil disturbances. This study investigated the effects of wet and dry weather harvesting, the ameliorative effect of bedding on soil site productivity on a rotation-length study, and compared the cost benefit of several site preparation treatments. Loblolly pine plantations were subjected to combinations of wet- and dry-weather harvesting and mechanical site preparation. Sites that were bedded had significantly more wood production at age 10 than non-bedded sites: approximately 60 and 45 tons/acre green-weight respectively. There were no significant differences between wet- and dry-weather harvested sites that were not bedded. Dry-weather harvested sites had the least production among the bedded sites, but there were few significant differences. Projected growth using the model FASTLOB2 suggests that fl at-planted sites may be more profitable, but only if survival can be assured. This study also indicates that an experimental mole plow treatment can be productive and profitable, but requires further investigation on a wider variety of sites.