Timberland Associates, LLC
Pine Tree Planting

Most pine tree planting is performed manually with dibbles during the months of December through March (in the mid-south) and mid-April in Tennessee and Virginia. There are no big secrets to getting a good planting job: 1) "plant early and plant deep"; 2) use dibbles, not "hoe-dads", and; 3) supervise the planting crew to insure that the seedlings are kept moist, that they are planted in a timely manner, and planted correctly.

But, we're not done. After the first growing season, a check of seedling survival is needed. The area planted should be sampled and live trees counted. If there are 300 trees per acre, or more, in a free-to-grow condition then the planting operation can be considered a success (for most private landowners).

The cost of planting, in 2014$'s, is approximately (~) $90 per acre for the contractor and the seedlings (at ~700 trees per acre).

Site Preparation

By definition, site prep occurs before planting while 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 using forestry herbicides. These chemicals target specific enzymes or proteins that only occur in plant tissues and are, therefore, quite safe when used as labeled and applied by a certified commercial applicator. Also, because they are applied only once or twice on an forested area, and because this application occurs over a 30 to 40 year time period, there is no build-up of the active ingredient in the soil, water, or wildlife.  - In contrast, there are many, many more tons of herbicides and insecticides applied to suburban lawns and gardens than on forest lands. -

Application is performed by individual stem injection (usually before harvest), or sprayed on foliage or the ground by a backpack sprayer, ATV, modified skidder, tractor, or helicopter. The normal time of application is from May through September. The cost can range from ~$75 (stem injection) to $135 (aerial) per acre in 2014$'s.

We usually recommend waiting 3 to 5 years before performing any site prep/release, unless there are potential problems with nonnatives (privet, tall fescue, honeysuckle, chinese lespedeza), an abundance of woody shrubs, an abundance of black gum and red maple, or if initial seedling survival is expected to be below 300 trees per acre.

We can provide a "turn key" reforestation project that establishes the next forest stand. The initial inspection of the property is FREE. Call Tom Busch at  662 837-0381, or contact us.

Pine Tree Planting, Pine Thinning, Pine Timber Marketing
Pine Silvics PDF
Forester, Forestry Services, Timber Marketing, Timber Appraisals
SAF Dictionary of Forestry