Loblolly pine growth response to mid-rotational treatments in an Eastern Texas plantationThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The effects of mid-rotational treatments (herbicide, prescribed burn, combination of herbicide and burn, and fertilization) on growth of loblolly pine were evaluated. Five replicates were established in a split-plot experimental design with fertilizer treatments as the whole-plot factor and competition control treatments as the sub-plot factor. Growth response was measured (as change in diameter, total height, and volume) at 8 months and gain 4 years after treatments were applied. Mid-rotational treatments failed to enhance diameter, height, and volume growth of loblolly pine. However, a small positive response of diameter growth to fertilization was detected. Height growth was not significantly affected by any treatment 8 months after application date, while it was slightly negatively affected by herbicide and the combination of herbicide and prescribed burning 4 years after application of treatments. In this study, no substantial positive growth response to mid-rotational treatments was detected. However, loblolly growth response may vary from site to site based on differences in soil type, soil condition, and competition level. In addition, associated factors such as seedling quality and planting method may greatly influence loblolly growth response to mid-rotational treatments.