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question about pine seedlings

Wudman69 wudman69 at aol.com
Thu Aug 20 12:58:06 EST 1998

>Whats your opinion
>on letting trees regenerate on their own versus going in a and
>replanting, for a landowner who wants to have a multi use forest for
>hunting and  wildlife habitat as well as make money from the timber

I am a strong proponent of planting as opposed to natural regeneration (for
pine that is).  Let's look at it from a financial standpoint.  Let's assume
that you have a mature pine forest to be harvested.  For simplicity, assume the
volume per tree is 200 board feet.  Stumpage is bringing $400/mbf.  Assume we
are going to leave five trees per acre for seed.  That leaves 1mbf of timber
worth $400 dollars on the land.  You can expect to lose some of these trees to
windthrow, insects, lightning,  or logging damage.  Chances are you will have
problems getting anybody to go back and remove these trees.  In my experience,
natural seeding usually results in 10,000+ trees per acre on some acres and
nothing on others.  It is too much of a crap shoot.  You will need to do a
pre-commercial thin to reduce this number to 600 or so.

I would prefer to site prep the stand and then plant.  Planting gives you 100%
control over species, stocking, and density.  For hardwood, consider a
shelterwood cut or a selection cut.  Growing hardwoods is more labor intensive
and you should plan on some release work (to promote growth on desired trees). 
This could either be hand, mechanical, or selective herbicide work. 

Jeff Watts

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