Timberland Associates, LLC
Pine Management

Pine management in the southeast usually means the plantation management of Loblolly, Slash, or Longleaf Pine.

Loblolly Pine (LOB) has been the dominant species planted during the last 50 years and constitutes the majority of these plantation acres.
Pine Tree Planting, Hardwood Tree Planting, Pine Thinning, Hardwood Thinning
Pine Silvics PDF
The first seed orchards in the south were established over 50 years ago in an attempt to grow genetically superior trees. Since that time, trees have been selected for their fast growth, good bole qualities, and disease resistance. They have been cross-pollinated many times, their offspring planted, and then these have been cross-pollinated again to determine whether or not the "good" traits have been inherited. These 2nd generation "superior" trees (and some 2.5 gen seedlings) are available for planting and have the potential for a 15 percent increase in growth compared to wild trees.

Most tree planting is performed by hand during the months of December through March or early April. There are no big secrets in getting a good planting job: "plant early and plant deep"; use dibbles (not hoe-dads); get the seedlings in the ground in a timely manner; plant them correctly, and; supervise the planting contractor and crew.

By definition, site prep occurs before planting and release occurs after planting. Sometimes, if the treatment is applied during the first growing season it is termed "post-site prep". Reducing woody and herbaceous competition in pine plantations is most often accomplished through the use of forestry herbicides. These herbicides are applied only once, or perhaps twice, on the same area, and because this application occurs over a time period of 30 to 40 years, there is no build-up of the herbicide in the soil or water. In contrast, there are many, many more tons of herbicides used in the production of row crops, and on suburban lawns and gardens than are used on forestland.

The objective of thinning is to reduce stand density and concentrate the annual growth on fewer stems and better quality stems. Currently, the high dollar product is pine sawtimber with an average diameter of ~16 inches, which can be considered "economic" maturity.

Sometime between the age of 30 to 40 years a Loblolly Pine plantation can be considered ready for a harvest cut. Most plantations reach economic maturity during this period and due to their pattern of growth, whether they are cut at age 30 or age 40, the rate of return on the forestry investment varies by less than a single percentage point.

It is highly recommended that a forestry consultant be retained to administer this
final harvest cut. They can:  estimate the current fair market value;  contact all potential buyers, which in our area can number up to 100;  provide the standard and "special" conditions that are incorporated into the timber deed which protects the landowner and the land;  police the logging operation to ensure compliance with the deed provisions, and;  supervise the tree planting and site prep which begins the cycle anew.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to call Tom at 662 837-0381, or  contact us.