International Journal of Wildland Fire International Journal of Wildland Fire Society
Journal of the International Association of Wildland Fire

Thinning Young Loblolly Pine Stands With Fire

DD Wade

International Journal of Wildland Fire 3(3) 169 - 178
Published: 1993


The relationship between fire-caused stem girdling and groundline diameter (GLD) in loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) was determined. Results of 10 experimental prescribed bums conducted across a wide range of ambient temperature conditions during both the dormant and growing season demonstrate that low-intensity backing fires (< 346 KW/m) are an effective tool to eliminate loblolly pines less than 3.8 cm (1.5 in.) GLD. Wide differences in ambient temperature at time of burning did not affect stem kill of unscorched trees in this study. Virtually all fire-caused mortality took place within four months postburn. A predictive model that explained 92% of the variation in mortality was developed to facilitate the use of fire to thin young, overcrowded loblolly pine stands in the southeastern United States. Use of this model in conjunction with a preburn stand survey allows estimation of the number and distribution of survivors prior to ignition.

Keywords: Fire effects; Tree mortality; Stand density control; Georgia, USA

© IAWF 1993

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