Comparison of three site preparation techniques on growth of planted loblolly pine 6 years after a southern pine beetle epidemicThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Three site preparation treatments: (1) complete removal of woody debris—drum chopped, raked, and disked; (2) drum chopping leaving woody debris; and (3) no site preparation—planting among dead standing trees were compared by evaluating the growth and survival of planted loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) after six growing seasons following a southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann) epidemic. Each treatment was replicated three times at one location on the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee. Each treatment had the same number of planted seedlings (681) per acre, and was sprayed with herbicide to control hardwood residuals before planting and to release seedlings one growing season after planting. Results indicate that the growth (height and diameter) of seedlings was not significantly different between the treatments. However, survival was only slightly, but significantly different, for the no-mechanical-site-preparation (standing-dead) treatment which may be a reflection of difficult planting conditions. A cost evaluation of the different site preparation treatments is also discussed.