Initial mortality rates and extent of damage to loblolly and longleaf pine plantations affected by an ice storm in South Carolina

Abstract

A major ice storm struck Georgia and the Carolinas in February of 2014, damaging or destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares of timber worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Losses were particularly severe in pine plantations in west-central South Carolina, including many on the Savannah River Site (SRS). An array of paired, mid-rotation loblolly (Pinus taeda L.) and longleaf (Pinus palustris Mill.) pine plantations on the SRS provided an opportunity to evaluate species- and size-based tree responses to this storm. A preliminary assessment of these recently thinned plantations found that longleaf pines experienced higher mortality rates than loblolly pines; in part, this result was confounded with tree size (dbh). A more detailed analysis found that longleaf pines, even when controlled for dbh, experienced higher mortality rates and a greater degree of certain types of injuries than comparably sized loblolly pines. These results suggest that longleaf pine planted in glaze-prone regions of the southeastern United States may need to be managed with different planting densities, thinning regimes, and/or rotation ages than loblolly pine.

  • Citation: Bragg, Don C. 2016. Initial mortality rates and extent of damage to loblolly and longleaf pine plantations affected by an ice storm in South Carolina. Forest Science. 62(5): 574-585.
  • Keywords: glaze, Pinus palustris, Pinus taeda, Savannah River Siter
  • Posted Date: April 3, 2017
  • Modified Date: April 4, 2017
  • Requesting Print Publications

    Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

    Please make any requests at pubrequest@fs.fed.us.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.