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Longleaf Partnership Council White Paper Longleaf Pine Planting Density (2013)
Longleaf pine once occupied more than 90 million acres in 9 Southeast states, but is now only found on approximately 3 million acres. Over the last decade interest in restoration of these ecosystems has grown dramatically. A diverse group of government agencies and non-government organizations are supporting an effort to restore longleaf pine to at least 8 million acres.
Landowners and managers are drawn to longleaf for its ability to serve a diverse range of land management objectives including timber production, wildlife management, aesthetics, recreation and biodiversity. Each of these objectives has optimal management strategies. However, many people seek to balance some combination of these objectives, which typically involves tradeoffs between singular objectives. With most landowners and managers beginning the restoration process by establishing new longleaf stands, perhaps the most common threshold question is determining the optimal seedling planting density for their objectives.