Estimating yields of unthinned eastern white pine plantations from current stocking in the Southern Appalachians
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) is a highly productive native conifer of the southern Appalachian Mountains that has long been established in plantations for conventional purposes of afforestation and timber production and potentially for carbon sequestration both within and outside its natural range. Growth-and-yield models are not available, however, for use by land managers to evaluate potential economic value of plantations established on sites of various qualities over time. Data from 78 plantations in the southern Appalachian Mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia were used to develop models for estimation of survival, basal area, and yields of cubic and board feet as functions of stand age, site quality, and stocking. Stand structure and volume yields were strongly related to stand age and site quality. Compared to plantations on sites of lower quality, stands on good sites had lower survival but higher basal area stocking, cubic volume, and sawtimber yields.