Forest Soils and Site Index

Soil quality is the most important factor in forest management decisions. Soils will determine which tree species yield the greatest timber volume, the time to harvest, and ultimately, the investment a landowner must make to yield an acceptable economic return from forest management.

Importance of Soil to Tree Growth

Soil quality is an all important factor in forest management decisions. Soils influence which tree species will grow best and yield the highest timber product volume, the length of time required to grow a timber crop, and the amount of money a landowner can invest to yield an acceptable economic return from forest management.

Protecting Soil and Water Resources

Landowners who wish to practice stewardship on their lands need to assess the potential negative impact of their management activities on soil and water resources, both on and off their property. Soil and water conservation is focused on the prevention of erosion and off-site movement of sediments, nutrients and pesticides, the maintenance of normal water levels in wetlands, and the reduction of flood flows into estuaries.must adhere to minimum standards that include BMPs for soil and water conservation. These standards also promote timber, wildlife, recreational and aesthetic values. Landowners who have environmentally-sensitive forestlands with high erosion potential should design their management plans primarily to protect and enhance the soil and water resources. This includes lands

Soil pH and Tree Species Suitability in the South

Soil properties largely determine the tree species that will grow on a site. Among the many soil properties, soil pH is one of the most important. Soil pH provides a good indication of the chemical status of the soil and can be used in part to determine potential plant growth. This publication will help landowners and foresters gain a better understanding of soil pH and species site relationships across the south.