Structural Changes in the Growing Stock of Important Tree Species Groups in the Central Hardwood Region
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Journal of Forestry
Increasing hardwood growing stock volume in the eastern United States from the 1950s to the 1990s was led by increases in poletimber volume. In the current century, volumetric growth has become concentrated in larger trees at least 17 in. dbh (≥17 in.). In the Central Hardwood region, the volume of such trees now exceeds poletimber volume by 75%. In this paper, we examine proportional and cubic volume increases of trees ≥17 in. across major species groups in the Central Hardwood region. In 2012, at least 40% of the volume of select white and red oaks, other red oaks, and yellow-poplar was in trees ≥17 in. While hard maple and hickory had less than 25% of their volume in this size class. In the short run, these changes will benefit hardwood industries because larger trees are more economical to harvest and process. In the long run, there could be challenges as larger-diameter trees are harvested or die without a similar timber base emerging in their absence.
Keywordshardwood resource; hardwood structure; oak depletion
Luppold, William G; Bumgardner, Matthew S. 2018. Structural Changes in the Growing Stock of Important Tree Species Groups in the Central Hardwood Region. Journal of Forestry. 116(5): 405-411. https://doi.org/10.1093/jofore/fvy028.