Pine thinning short course set for April 13

By By Steve Strong / Lauderdale Co. 4-H agent
March 27, 2002
Timing for thinning pine timber can be critical, especially when the trees are in the first stages of growth. Landowners often have questions about when to thin their pine stands, and a special program is planned to help local tree farmers learn more about the benefits of proper thinning.
The Lauderdale County Forestry Association is hosting a one-day workshop on pine tree thinning April 13. The program is open to all forest landowners in the area, and will be at Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus from 8:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
Dr. Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University Extension Service, will guide landowners through the process of "forest valuation." Several factors such as soil type and tree spacing will be discussed, and landowners will get to see first-hand how correct thinning can increase the growth rate of their pine timber.
The faster that trees grow in diameter and height, the greater the value of the wood products that can be made (and more profits for the tree farmer). While a first thinning (from age 10 to 18 years, depending on the site) yields nothing but low-value pulpwood, the remaining trees grow more quickly into higher grades of lumber like chip-and-saw or saw timber.
Thinning does not always result in immediate profits, and in fact may initially cost a landowner some money (as low as pulpwood prices have been lately). However, making the mistake of not thinning trees at the proper time will cost a tree farmer even more down the road in lost profits from stunted trees that may never grow into valuable timber.
That is the purpose of the workshop to demonstrate that proper thinning helps trees maintain a maximum growth rate, resulting in a greater return on the investment. Pine stands are expensive to establish, and forest landowners should do all they can to recoup that expense with correct thinning.
The cost of the workshop is $20 a person, which includes a notebook of reference materials and lunch. The program is limited to the first 50 who register, and the deadline to preregister is April 10.
Call the Lauderdale County Extension Service at 482-9764 to sign up and to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member of the Lauderdale County Forestry Association.
The Lauderdale CFA is a nonprofit group of 300 area landowners committed to better timber management through education, and they are the ones that deserve credit for sponsoring these programs.
The CFA dues of just $10 a year keeps members informed about local issues and events, like the next upcoming forestry program on Best Management Practices set for May 14.
Call the Lauderdale County Extension office to register for either program and to obtain a CFA membership application.

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