Planting longleaf pine at wide spacings
By David B South
When the landowner’s objective is to maximize the net present value of a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris P. Mill. [Pinaceae]) plantation, most tree planting recommendations can be placed into 1 of 2 schools of thought. Those from the “plant-’em thick” school recommend planting more than 1483 longleaf pine trees/ha (600/ac). Some from this school say the extra costs associated with establishment will result in more profit when selling pulpwood, chip-n-saw, sawtimber, pine straw, and poles. When the landowner’s objectives include producing chip-n-saw, sawtimber, wildlife, and maximizing profits, some from the “plant-’em thin” school recommend planting less than 1235 trees/ha (500/ac). For example, some might recommend planting 1100 container-grown seedlings/ha (445/ac). Most longleaf pine articles published prior to the turn of the century are from the “plant-’em thick” school. In contrast, this paper provides landowners with some of the logic for planting longleaf pine seedlings at wide spacings.
South DB. 2006. Planting longleaf pine at wide spacings. Native Plants Journal 7(1):79–88.
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