Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Garland R. Wells

Committee Members

Harold A. Core, Charles L. Cleland


The Soil Bank plantations in nine east Tennessee counties were investigated to determine current status, survival and growth, and landowner attitudes. The attitudes included reasons for participating in the Program and benefits considered worthwhile. An economic evaluation was also made of some of the forestry alternatives currently open to land owners .

A 62 percent mail return revealed that only 11 percent of the tree plantation acreage had been cut. Of the acreage cut, land use changed to 30 percent pasture, 19 percent crops, and 40 percent not in use. Farming was the principal occupation of 41 percent of the participants, merchants and businessmen 21 percent, professionals 13 percent, and 7 percent each for trades and labor and retired. Some 91 percent of the landowners thought the Program worthwhile. Incentive payments, erosion control, and timber products ranked as the most important benefits in the order listed. Recreation, wildlife, and appearance were also listed as worthwhile but were ranked first only by a small number of participants. Landowner plans for the next ten years were "Let Them Grow," 43 percent; "Thin for Pulpwood," 47 percent; "Cut Part of Acreage," 6 percent; and "Cut All Timber," 1 percent.

Volume measurements of two loblolly pine plantations in each of the nine counties gave yields of 17 to 31 cords per acre or 1 to 2 cords per acre per year. Predicted volumes at age 20 indicated yields of 31 to 49 cords per acre and at age 30 of 54 to 81 cords.

An economic evaluation was conducted by computing gross economic income using the equivalent annual income (E.A.I.) formula. The contract expiration date was used as the starting period for different assumed planning periods. E.A.I, values were then computed and were found to be either equal to or greater than the $10.00 per acre annual rental payments received under the Soil Bank Program for all but the lowest stumpage price level ($4.00 per cord) and high interest rates (10 per cent) .

The culmination of mean annual increment occurred slightly beyond a 30 year rotation. However, considering pulpwood as a final crop, economic "optimum" rotations were found generally to be shorter than 30 years but longer than 15 years depending on the current stocking, interest rates, and price levels assumed in the formula.

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