Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Jhn C. Rennie

Committee Members

Garland R. Wells, Edward R. Buckner


In 1962 and 1963, permanent inventory plots were established on six University of Tennessee forest tracts to implement a continuous forest inventory (CFI) system. A wide diversity of forest types and physiographic regions within the state was represented by these forests. The permanent plots were measured on five year intervals to meet the following long-term objectives: (1) to relate soil and other site factors, such as aspect, topography, position, and slope to species composition and growth rate; (2) establish a modern timber inventory system for all forest tracts. During 1977 and 1978, these permanent sample plots were measured for the fourth time. The objectives of the present study were as follows: (1) identify errors and inconsistencies in measurements and (2) calculate volume and growth estimates for each forest tract. Sawtimber and pulpwood volumes and various types of growth were calculated with computer programs previously developed. Initial volume, final volume, ingrowth, mortality, loss to cull, outgrowth to sawtimber, gross growth of initial volume, gross growth, net growth of initial volume, net growth and net increase were estimated.

Net growth of sawtimber (331.79 bd.ft./acre/year) in pine plantations at Ames Plantation during the 1973 to 1978 growth period was greater than any other inventory unit. The Scott County tract and the natural stands at Ames Plantation also had rather high net growth of sawtimber. Growth on the Highland Rim was less than on any other inventory unit; furthermore, it was the only tract in which net growth of sawtimber decreased over the 15-year inventory period. Net growth of pulpwood fluctuated between growth periods for each inventory unit; however, Ames Plantation pine stands recorded the largest pulpwood net growth (64.83 cu.ft./acre/year) during the 1968 to 1973 growth period. Due to the large amount of outgrowth to sawtimber, net growth of pulpwood in Scott County and on Wilson Mountain was negative for the last growth period.

Growth information gained from this study provides a strong data base for making forest management decisions. Even though the University of Tennessee's forests have not been managed intensively, this information provides input for answering such questions as the desirable level, structure, composition of growing stock, and the number and intensity cuttings. Timbergrowth, cutting, and the development of the forest is a continuous process. Continuous forest inventory, while providing these growth data, also performs a function of even greater importance--it provides a means of systematically controlling the forest and shows at all times the progress of management.

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