Time study was conducted on pruning of research plots in a IZyear-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation thinned to 58 square feet basal area (190 trees) per acre. Pruning times with labor and equipment costs were used to determine per acre and per tree pruning costs. Pruning costs were used to find values necessary to break-even on a pruning investment. Soil expectation value (SEV) calculations were used to compare profitability of management utilizing heavy thinning with pruning to traditional management regimes. Calculations were performed using a current hourly wage of $8.00, stumpage price of $400.00, per thousand board feet (MBF) and real interest rates of 0.13,2.78,7.00, and 10.00 percent. Per acre combined labor and equipment cost was $116.07. Cost per tree to prune to a height of 25 feet was $0.61. Break-even values were found to range from $118.82 to $645.34 per acre depending on interest rate. Profit increase by utilizing low density management combined with pruning was found to range from $491.43 to $88,093.04 per acre over traditional management for a perpetual series of full rotations.
Tate, Jayson F.; Holley, A. Gordon; Dale, Leslie A.; and Kronrad, Gary D., "Financial Analysis of Pruning Combined with Low Density Management of Southern Yellow Pine in East Texas: An Assessment" (1999). Faculty Publications. 230.