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Figure 5.1 Essentially, afforestation was required following the 1880-1930s cut-and-get-out harvesting practices across the South from Virginia to Texas. Vast acreages without a seed source were subsequently covered by weedy vegetation, while artificial regeneration was necessary on millions of acres. Restocking of many sites such as this awaited the coming of foresters to manage the reclamation of these lands to highly productive forests.

Figure 5.1 Essentially, afforestation was required following the 1880-1930s cut-and-get-out harvesting practices across the South from Virginia to Texas. Vast acreages without a seed source were subsequently covered by weedy vegetation, while artificial regeneration was necessary on millions of acres. Restocking of many sites such as this awaited the coming of foresters to manage the reclamation of these lands to highly productive forests.

Site Indexing

The relative value of land for reforestation depends on its site index (SI), a measure of the average total height of the dominant and codominant trees in a stand at 50 years of age. While this definition holds true for southern forest stands, several additional considerations are implied—original SI curves were determined from measurements in pure, even-aged, and unmanaged second-growth stands. A hypsometer to measure height and an increment borer for determining age by counting the annual growth rings provide the necessary field tools. Then, for trees of any age, SI can be read from curves (Figure 5.2). If an age other than 50 years is employed in calculating the shape of the curves, the designated age must be noted; e.g., SI(30) for the average total height at 30 years

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