In December of 2000, two destructive ice storms covered Arkansas, affecing 40% of the state's forestlands. Damage estimates ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars, with much of the loss occuring in loblolly pine () plantations. A study was initiated in south-central Arkansas to track the recovery of damaged trees on these plantations. Over 400 survivors were assessed for the type and degree of damage, tagged, and then re-evaluated after one growing season. Observations indicated that small diameter trees were more likely to bend severly, while intermediate size stems tended to break, and the biggest trees primarily suffered crown and branch loss. Though most individuals weathered this first growing season after the ice storms, the mortality (10%) was greater than what would be expected from comparable undamaged trees in managed plantations. Growth rates during this first growing season were function of initial size and extent of damange. Overall, survivors averaged 0.2 inch of diameter growth, with over 10% exceeding 0.5 inch. The relatively high survivorship of even severly damaged loblolly pine suggests that salvaging of living trees may be postopned at least one growing season if fire, insect, or disease danger is not excessive. Individuals that received low to moderate damage appear capable of respectable growth following ice damage. Ultimately, it may prove more economical to partially salvage a damaged stand if sufficient stockign remains to meet management objectives.
Bragg, Don C.; Shelton, Michael G.; Heitzman, Eric. 2002. Silvicultural lessons from the December 2000 ice storms. In: Proceedings of the 2002 Arkansas Forestry Symposium, Little Rock, Ar, May 23, eds. Walkingstick, Tamara; Kluender, Richard; Riley, Tom