Trees from East Texas loblolly ( Pinus taeda L. ) and slash ( Pinus effiottii Engelm. ) pine plantations are one of the sources of raw material for conversion into products such as paper, veneer and lumber by East Texas forest product mills. The utilization of the planted trees may depend on various biological and economical factors. Factors such as tree size, tree condition, stumpage prices and interest rates can play a role in the merchandizing process.
One of the factors, tree condition, may be affected by tree crown position in canopy, incidence of disease, single stem and straightness of stem. Trees with straighter stems may be more suitable for utilization into higher value products, such as veneer, lumber or poles rather than converted into alternative products. Stumpage prices for trees with relatively straight stems usually exceed prices offered for trees with less straight stems.
An initial stand-level analysis of non-straight tree stems of planted pines in East Texas was conducted by Holley (1992). During a time period of 6 years, percentage of non-straight stems for both loblolly and slash pine trees was fairly consistent. Holley also found that tree stem straightness was not related to plantation age.
The purpose of this paper is to build on the work by Holley and attempt to answer the question: do planted pines on a stand-level basis in East Texas tend to become more straight or less straight as they become older?
Ross, H. Alexis and Lenhart, J. David, "Research Report No. 32, Trends of Non-straight Tree Stems in Loblolly and Slash Pine Plantations in East Texas, 1985-1994" (1994). Informal Project Reports. 39.