Economic Guidelines for Loblolly Pine Management in Virginia


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Virginia Tech. Division of Forestry and Wildlife Resources


Recent studies (e.g. Southern Forest Resource Analysis Committee, 1969; U. S. Forest Service, 1972) indicate that wood requirements may exceed available supplies by the end of this century. The latest forest survey of Virginia (Knight and McClure, 1967) indicated a 15 percent excess of pine cut over pine growth As a result of this latter finding, Virginia's General Assembly passed a 1970 Reforestation of Timberlands Act. This Act provides financial assistance to private landowners to restore former pine growing lands to pine production.

Virginia has clearly established a state policy of encouraging investment in forest production. However, individual landowners may have alternative uses for their land and/or capital, or they may not be fully aware of their land's potential for timber. The specific objective of this study was to develop a means for making economic data on using their land for loblolly pine production available to Virginia's individual forest landowners. The study was limited to loblolly pine for several reasons. Loblolly pine is perhaps the most important of the. timber species currently grown in Virginia, and it is expected to increase in importance.Of the 67.5 million tree seedlings planted in Virginia in 1972, 62.0 million were loblolly pine and 36.5 million of these were planted by farmers and other individuals (Virginia Forests, 1972). Loblolly pine accounts for over 90 per cent of the approximately 85 thousand acres artificially regenerated in Virginia each year (Shores, 1970). In addition, new information on the physical yields of natural stands of loblolly pine and loblolly pine plantations in Virginia has recently become available (Burkhart, et al., 1972a; Burkhart, et al., 1972b).