Before and after comparisons of tree height in successive loblolly pine plantations with intervening machine, whole-tree harvestingThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In 1993, several forest industries, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station, Louisiana Tech University, and the School of Renewable Natural Resources in the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center formed a cooperative that came to be called Cooperative Research in Sustainable Silviculture and Soil Productivity. One of the objectives of the cooperative is to determine whether typical, high-production harvesting is detrimental to the growth of newly established plantations. Prior to harvesting, dominant and codominant trees were severed and discs cut from the stems at 0.5-m intervals up to 10 m in height. Annual heights of the trees were determined through stem analysis. Height comparisons were made between trees from the previous plantation with those of the current plantations up to age 12. For the four sites considered, no changes in productivity were evident as a result of harvesting as measured by the height of the tallest trees in the successive generations.