Economics of Hardwood Plantations

The industrial demand for hardwoods is steadily increasing, and supplies of natural hardwoods have become critically short in some areas. Few commercial hardwood plantations other than cottonwood have been established due to uncertainty concerning establishment techniques, growth rates, and economical aspects. The author collected data from over 70 older hardwood plantations and constructed yield equations for sycamore, yellowpoplar, and sweetgum. The data indicate that sycamore and yellowpoplar plantations are economically feasible when stumpage prices approach $10.00 per cord. Optimum rotations are short. Minimum requirements for economically successful hardwood plantations appear to be: Proper site choice, large, healthy seedlings, adequate site preparation and competition control, and in most cases, addition of nutrients.

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Author(s): H. Don Smith

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1973

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