We investigated if intensive forest management could enhance loblolly pine seedling growth and survival on West Gulf flatwoods where winter and spring waterlogging and frequent summer drought limit loblolly pine performance. Fertilization, chemical vegetation control, and mechanical site preparation (combined bedding and ripping) were tested in different combinations on six sites established in southern Arkansas in early 1999. Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedling performance was monitored in the first two growing seasons (1999 and 2000) and fifth growing season (2003) after planting. Fertilization increased growth in all years. Mechanical site preparation affected only height and only until year 2. There was no effect of chemical vegetation control in any measurement year, although chemical vegetation control resulted in greater growth in combination with fertilization than did either treatment applied separately. Tree survival averaged 92% a few months after planting and then decreased significantly at year 1 (77%), and remained comparable until year 5, the last year data were collected. Tree survival was not affected by mechanical site preparation, fertilization, or chemical vegetation control. Intensive forest management can increase looblolly pine seedling growth and survival on poorly drained sites in the West Gulf.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science