A Regional Study of Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda) Plantation Development During the First 15 Years After Early Complete Woody and/or Herbaceous Plant Control
Conifer plantations in North America and elsewhere in the world are increasingly cultured using early control of herbaceous and woody plants. Development of sustainable cultural practices are hindered by the absence of long-term data on productivity gains relative to competition levels, crop- competition dynamics, and ecological changes. There are lmany reports of early increased growth of lobiolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantations after early competition control, however there are few reported long-term outcomes after stand closure (Clason 1989, Haywood and Tiarks 1990, Glover and Zutter 1993, Jokela et al. 2000). In fact, some longer-term research reports have found no gains but do not state competition levels (Haywood and Tiarks 1990 and Jokela et al. 2000). To understand how sustainable productivity is influenced by site characteristics and competition dynamics, it is necessary to examine both pine and associated plants from many locations established using the same study protocol. To gain a needed regional perspective, strategically located study sites with a range of competition components and soils are required. Such data and patterns to year 15 are presented for 13 study locations established across the southeastern region USA.