Agroforestry planting design affects loblolly pine growthThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The effect of plantation design on resource utilization has not been adequately investigated in agroforestry plantations. An experiment was conducted near Booneville, AR, on a silt loam soil with a fragipan. Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees were planted in 1994 in three designs: two rows (1.2 by 2.4 m) with a 7.3-m alley, four rows (1.2 by 2.4 m) with a 12.2-m alley, and a rectangular 1.2- by 2.4-m configuration. Each 0.4-ha design was replicated three times. Height and d.b.h. were measured for 6 consecutive years (2002 to 2007) in 0.047-ha plots. Tree height increased annually from 7.30 m (2002) to 13.27 m (2007). For any given year, d.b.h. was greatest in the two-row design, and the four-row design had greater d.b.h. than the rectangular design in 2004 to 2007. Exterior rows in the four-row design had greater d.b.h. than interior rows. Depending on design, plantations might be useful for alley cropping, silvopasture, or pine straw.