Site preparation for longleaf pine restoration on hydric sites: tree- and stand-level responses 15 years after plantingThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) restoration is an important land management goal throughout the Southeast. On hydric sites within the Atlantic Coastal Plain, restoration may involve site preparation prior to planting in order to overcome challenges to seedling establishment, such as abundant competition and poor soil drainage (Brockway and others 2006). An earlier study of longleaf pine plantations on hydric flatwoods sites in Onslow County, NC, indicated that site preparation improved seedling growth but not survival through 2 years after planting (Knapp and others 2006). Although investment in site preparation assumes
that treatments will result in long-term benefits to stand establishment, lasting impacts of site preparation on longleaf pine are not well understood. Therefore, we sampled the same study 15 years after planting to determine impacts of site preparation on stand development. Eight treatments were applied prior to planting the seedlings. These treatments included an untreated control (flat-planting), six combinations of two initial vegetation control treatments (chopping or herbicide) with three planting site treatments (flat-planting [no treatment], mounding, or bedding), and an herbicide-chopping-bedding treatment. Study treatment codes used throughout this abstract indicate the type of site preparation used: C = chop, H = herbicide, F = flat, M = mound, B = bed.