Crown expansion following thinning in naturally regenerated and planted longleaf pineThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The recent focus on restoration of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) forests has frequently led to planting longleaf pine on old-field and cutover sites. While many perceptions regarding response of longleaf pine to management are based upon measurements in naturally regenerated stands, it is generally observed that crown development in planted longleaf stands is dissimilar to that observed in natural stands; that is, planted longleaf pine trees tend to have more branches and wider, more “full” crowns at young ages in comparison to naturally regenerated trees. Many planted longleaf stands are reaching the size and age for thinning and with these observed differences in crown characteristics, it is important to explore further whether the response of tree crowns in plantations differs from that of naturally regenerated trees. Few (if any) published studies other than Minor (1951), however, have examined crown dimensions of individual longleaf pine trees as influenced by stand characteristics.