Release - Southern Pine Beetle (SPB) Cost Share
- Available statewide
- For loblolly or shortleaf stands only
- Pine stand should be of a commercial density: minimum basal area of 60 square feet per acre or 350 stems per acre
- One third of stems should be hardwood species
- Chemical or mechanical/chemical (if mowed, stumps must be treated with herbicide)
- 10+ acres
Pine stands with a high component of hardwood competition (one third or greater) are often stressed and are at a high risk for damage from southern pine beetle (SPB). By removing the hardwood component and leaving the pines, tree health and vigor improves and allows each tree a better chance of fighting off SPB attacks if they occur.
This also allows for better diameter growth of the residual pines and they reach higher value sizes at an earlier age. Treating the stand with a selective herbicide either by a ground crew or by helicopter are the most common methods of removing this hardwood. Pine stands that are still too thick may need to be non-commercially thinned to further reduce the number of stems per acre to optimum levels. If the hardwoods are removed mechanically such as with a heavy duty mower, the stumps must be treated with herbicide to prevent them from resprouting.
Investments in release treatments often show the greatest returns for landowners interested in maximizing timber values. A given acreage can only support a limited number of stems for any age stand and release treatments allow this production to be concentrated on the higher value pines. Stand health also greatly benefits by limiting the competition and allowing the remaining trees optimum growing space.
To apply for this practice, contact your local county GFC forester.
Funding provided by the USDA - Forest Service
*Georgia Forestry Commission does not endorse any chemical. Photos are for illustration purposes only.