Pine seed tree growth and yield on the Crossett Experimental ForestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In late 2002, three small tracts of loblolly (Pinus taeda) and shortleaf (Pinus echinata) pine on the Crossett Experimental Forest in Ashley County, AR, were cut using a seed tree method. Immediately after harvest, these cutting units averaged 7.7 stems and 13.8 square feet of pine basal area per acre. By 2006, live seed tree density dropped to 7.4 stems per acre, while basal area increased to 14.4 square feet per acre. Per acre residual sawtimber volumes initially averaged 2,076 board feet (Doyle) or 12.1 tons, increasing to 2,266 board feet (12.8 tons) after 3 full growing seasons. Due to an annual mortality rate of approximately 1.2 percent, net stand growth was low, averaging only 2.9 percent in board foot volume and 1.8 percent for sawtimber tonnage. However, individual seed trees fared noticeably better. For most, annual board foot growth ranged between 4 and 9 percent, and yearly sawtimber tonnage growth averaged between 3 and 6 percent. In general, small diameter seed trees added volume most rapidly and presented the lowest risk of mortality-based loss. Though modern harvesting techniques pose new challenges, seed tree management remains a viable alternative for mixed pine stands.