Uneven - aged Management for Longleaf Pine : Freedom to Choose

Abstract

Longleaf pine once was present on 90 million acres of the southern landscape, ranging from coastal Virginia to east Texas and from central Florida to the mountains of Alabama. On nearly two-thirds of that area, longleaf pine grew in nearly pure (single-species) stands maintained by frequent, low-intensity surface fires of both natural and human origin. The remaining one-third of that area was still dominated by longleaf pine but experienced slightly longer intervals between fires and consisted of mixed pine-hardwood stands on uplands and mixed pine stands on flatwoods sites. Today longleaf pine ecosystems exist on only three percent of their pre-settlement range, and restoration goals call for restoring them to an extent of 8 million acres, or 9 percent, of their original range. Longleaf pine management traditionally has employed even-aged silvicultural systems, including the shelterwood and clearcutting systems. Even though early travelers’ accounts described the longleaf pine forests as uneven-aged stands composed of even-aged patches (see Bartram’s Travels), earlyand mid-twentieth century scientists declared that longleaf pine’s biology made it unsuitable for small-scale uneven-aged management (UEAM), in which at least three definite age classes are uniformly present in a stand. However, research from the past several decades has shown that longleaf pine not only can be managed in multiaged stands, but that it even thrives under such management. In fact, the inherent flexibility of UEAM makes it ideal for longleaf pine stands on both public and private lands.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Dyson2012UnevenA, title={Uneven - aged Management for Longleaf Pine : Freedom to Choose}, author={David S. Dyson and Longleaf Pine}, year={2012} }