Loblolly Pruning and Growth Characteristics at Different Planting Spacings
In 1990, an abandoned farm pasture located on the Calhoun Research Station, Calhoun, Louisiana was planted in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) at five different spacings. The spacings were 12X6, 12X8, 10X6, 16X6 and 24X6. Variables measured were DBH, height, branch diameter, height to first branch and first branch whorl, fusiform occurrence, and forking. Ice damage after an initial thinning was evaluated. The wider spacings generally produced trees with the largest limbs and the shortest height to retained limbs. The higher density stands produced slightly taller but smaller DBH trees. Fusiform and forking were significant but not related to the spacing density. The two highest density stands (10X6 and 12X6) were greatly affected after thinning by the ice storm in 2001. Overall the 12X8 spacing was the best for growth, pruning and had minimal damage when exposed to ice.