Comparison of log quality from even-aged and uneven-aged loblolly pine stands in south Arkansas
Log grade, number of knots, and log volume of the first two logs, as well as form class of the butt log, were compared across three broad sawtimber categories among even-aged plantations, even-aged natural stands, and uneven-aged natural stands of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L .) in Ashley County, AR. Trees from uneven-aged stands had butt logs of better log grade than even-aged plantations, particularly in the large sawtimber component where the average difference was half a log grade. Compared to even-aged natural stands, trees from uneven-aged stands had logs of comparable grade. Trees from even-aged natural stands produced butt logs of slightly better grade, but with greater taper and less volume per log, than trees from even-aged plantations. To produce high-grade loblolly pine sawtimber in the West Gulf region, natural stand management will suffice; plantation management may require supplemental quality intervention such as artificial pruning.