Experience with the selection method in pine stands in the southern United States, with implications for future application
The selection method applied in shade-intolerant pine stands in the southern United States has been shown to be an effective method of uneven-aged silviculture, but it is becoming less frequently practiced for a variety of reasons. Economically, the high value of standing timber puts fully stocked uneven-aged pine stands at risk of liquidation if the timberland is sold. This is increasingly common on private lands in the southern United States, where forest industry landowners have been selling timberlands over the past two decades to timber investment management organizations and real estate investment trusts. Ecologically, the benefits of open woodland habitat restoration in southern pines are being optimized by use of prescribed burning, which is much more adaptable to even-aged silvicultural systems such as the shelterwood method than it is to the selection method. But uneven-aged silviculture will be important in the twenty-first century; its values centre around the ability of uneven-aged stands to resist and especially to recover from exogenous disturbance events, as well as the opportunity for frequent establishment of new regeneration cohorts under changing climatic conditions.