The structure of forest industry has experienced major changes over the last few years, not only across the South, but globally as well. Mills are closing, companies are merging, and large forest products corporations are divesting their lands. The demand for small-diameter trees in the South has diminished largely due to the amount of wood fiber and wood products now available from other countries around the world. As a result, countries that have traditionally depended upon the southern US for fiber (e.g., Japan) are now being supplied by other global markets. Competition is global and fierce, and in order to stay competitive, healthy, and profitable, foresters and forest landowners must use efficient stand establishment strategies. This paper outlines several such new strategies beyond the normal course of plantation establishment (e.g., proper site preparation, seedling care, and competition control). Much of what is covered in this paper will challenge traditional stand establishment philosophies as we explore stock type, initial stand density, planting season, fertilization, and insect control.

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