Acceptable initial seedling stocking rates include a
maximum of approximately 600 seedlings per acre and a minimum of approximately
300 seedlings per acre according to Tennessee's Department of Agriculture's Division of Forestry.
This stocking requirement applies to all pine species.
A suggested spacing that is gaining popularity across
beetle infested areas is 10' X 10' or 435 trees per acre. This allows
trees to get to a larger merchantable size and makes thinning operations more
profitable. This wide spacing allows mechanical operations to enter the
stand with much less resistance and lowers the potential of harming residual
Most pine seedlings have been genetically improved for
increased growth characteristics, better survival ratios, and more resistance to
diseases then the seedlings planted 20 years ago. Survival rates for these
improved seedlings are usually greater than 90%. Thus, there is no need to
plant more seedlings per acre to compensate for lower survival rates. The
increased growth of these trees also offsets a greater number of seedlings being