Effects of reproduction cutting method and hardwood retention on shortleaf pine seed production in natural stands of the Ouachita Mountains
Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) seed production was monitored for 4 yr in stands harvested by a range of even- and uneven-aged reproduction cutting methods. The fifty-two 35–40 ac stands were distributed throughout the Ouachita Mountains from central Arkansas to eastern Oklahoma. Seed crops were characterized as good, poor, poor, and bumper, averaging 109,000, 18,000, 5,000, and 379,000 sound seeds/ac, respectively. Seed production the first year after harvest was generally correlated with residual density of shortleaf pines; unharvested control stands, single-tree selection, and shelterwood stands produced more seeds than seed tree stands. Differences in seed production among regeneration cutting methods were not significant for the crop dispersed 4 yr after harvest; this is attributed to release and response of residual seed-producing trees in the seed tree and shelterwood stands. Results also indicated that seed production was lowest for stands located in the western section of the Ouachita Mountains.