Sprouting capability of shortleaf pine seedlings following clipping and burning: first-year resultsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) is one of the few southern pine species with the ability to sprout after disturbance during the seedling age range, but little is known about sprouting success based on the type of disturbance. This study evaluates sprouting success after controlled burning conditions or manually clipping as compared to untreated controls of planted shortleaf pine 1-0 seedlings approximately 1 month after planting and on subsequent sprout production and growth one growing season following planting. As part of a larger study, randomized plots of 50 seedlings (3 blocks per treatment) were planted on February 25, 2011 at the University of Tennessee Cumberland Forest located in the foothills of the Cumberland Mountains in Morgan County, TN. The burn and clip treatments were conducted in April 2011. Survival, number of sprouts, and height of the tallest sprout were recorded for each seedling in the winter of 2012-2013. The clip treatment and the control had the same survival rate (75.3 percent) and displayed greater survival than the burn treatment. Clipping produced more sprouts and taller sprouts on average compared to the burn treatment, yet the clip treatment sprouts were approximately half the height of the control seedlings. More data on seedling response to these disturbances at older ages will be collected as the study continues. One-year-old planted seedlings do not appear to show high survival rates or produce prolific numbers of sprouts in response to early growing season burns.