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Economic analyses were conducted to investigate the effects of initial planting density on the profitability of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) on nonindustrial private forestland (NIPF) in East Texas. Five planting densities of 870, 725, 620, 540, and 484 trees per acre (tpa) representing spacings of 510, 610, 710, 810, and 910 ft, respectively, were investigated. Land expectation values were used to determine the financially optimal thinning and final harvesting schedules (including rotation length and the timing, frequency, and intensity of thinning). Five site indices (50 –90), six real alternative rates of return (ARR) (2.5–15.0%), and three thinning options (0, 1, and 2) were employed. Results indicate that two thinnings appear to be the financially optimal number of thinnings for most site index-ARR scenarios. The planting spacing of 810 ft is optimal when ARR is low, and the 910 ft spacing is optimal when ARR is high.


Huang, C. H., Kronrad, G. D., & Morton, J. D. (2005). The financially optimal loblolly pine planting density and management regime for nonindustrial private forestland in East Texas. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 29(1): 16-21.

Posted with permission from the Society of American Foresters



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