Managing subtropical pines for improved wood production based on a better understanding of genetics, silviculture, environment and their interactions
Australia’s sub-tropical pine plantations of Slash pine (Pinus elliottii), Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea), and hybrids between these species are an important source of high quality, structural framing timber and engineered wood products. Growers are looking for the best financial returns from trees that grow quickly in sub-tropical climates and produce quality wood, graded by wood stiffness. Hybrids have been planted for the last decade or more, replacing Caribbean pine as the preferred tree species. Slash pine had been replaced previously as it hadn’t been as adaptable for general region plantation use.
This project used non-destructive sampling and analysis of growth and wood property data across a series of trials to examine wood property in these sub-tropical pine species and hybrids. Trials that approximate commercial thinning practices and rotation ages were done to isolate the most economic plantation management, harvesting and deployment alternatives.