Pine growth and plant community response to chemical vs. mechanical site preparation for establishing loblolly and slash pine
Chemical and mechanical site preparation methods were studied for establishing loblolly (Pinus taeda L) and slash (P. elliottii var. elliottii Engelm.) pine following both integrated fuelwood-pulpwood harvesting and conventional whole-tree harvesting of pines and hardwoods in southem Alabama's Middle Coastal Plain. Revegetation was assessed in year 1, planted pines were measured after years 2 and 5, and soil bulk density was examined. Site preparation treatments generally shifted the herbaceous component from grasses to forbs and blackbeny (Rubus spp.). After integrated harvesting, mechanical and herbicide treatments perfomted equally well for loblolly pine, while disking treatments yielded greater fifth-year volumes than herbicide methods with slash pine. On conventional harvested sites, mechanical and chemical treatments performed equally well. Pine volumes were 10-fold greater within-windrows than that between windrows. A single disking treatment returned topsails to preharvest bulk densities.