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Economic analyses were conducted to compare traditional loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) timber management to low-density management combined with pruning in East Texas. Soil 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). Two stumpage price assumptions were made: market price and premium price for pruned, clear sawlogs. Five site indices (50 to 90) and six real alternative rates of return (ARR) (2.5 to 15.0%) were employed. Results indicate that if the market price of sawtimber is $450/mbf, traditional management is more profitable for most landowners. However, if a premium price of $550/mbf is paid for pruned logs, low-density management is more profitable for most landowners. For low-density management, a $100/mbf price increase for sawtimber does not affect the optimal thinning and harvesting schedules in any recognizable pattern.


Kronrad, G. D., & Huang, C. H. (2004). Economic analysis of pruning and low-density management compared to traditional management of loblolly pine plantations in East Texas. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 28(1):12-20.

Posted with permission from the Society of American Foresters



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