Whole-tree bark and wood properties of loblolly pine from intensively managed plantations
A study was conducted to identify geographical variation in loblolly pine bark and wood properties at the whole-tree level and to quantify the responses in whole-tree bark and wood properties following contrasting silvicultural practices that included planting density, weed control, and fertilization. Trees were destructively sampled from both conventionally managed stands and various designed experimental trials established across the southern United States by various research cooperatives and forest product industries to quantify the bark and wood properties of loblolly pine. Bark (percentage bark, specific gravity [SG], and moisture content [MC]) and wood (SG, MC, green weight of wood/m3, and green weight of wood and bark/m3 of volume) properties were measured from disks collected at multiple heights from sampled trees and used to compute the whole-tree bark and wood properties. Significant regional variation was observed for whole-tree bark and wood properties. Bark and wood SG showed an increasing trend from inland to coastal regions and vice versa for bark and wood MC. The effect of different silvicultural treatments on bark and wood properties were generally absent; but a significant effect on bark percentage, MC, and green weight of wood and bark/m3 was observed for trees that received intensive treatments such as early age competition control plus multiple fertilizations.