Soil class, cultural intensity, and planting density
Garrett, David Larry
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Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantations are commercially important in the southeastern United States. Understanding mechanisms that drive growth and development of loblolly pine plantations will improve management decisions. Soil class, cultural intensity, and planting density impacts on the productivity of loblolly pine and relationship between intensive culture response and site and stand attributes were examined at 20 locations. Soils with > 40 inches to the argllic horizon, were less able to support productivity at higher planting densities and exhibited the lowest productivity, however, these same sites tended to have the highest observed response to intensive culture. Intensive culture increased mean stem size and per acre productivity while decreasing survival, crown ratio, and relative spacing. Increases in planting density reduced mean tree size but increased productivity on a per acre basis. Several competing vegetation measures on operational plots were positively correlated with pine response at ages 4, 8, and 12.