Catastrophic ice storms can inflict widespread damage to forests in the Southeastern United States. Two severe ice storms struck Arkansas in December 2000, resulting in heavy losses to loblolly pine (Pinus taeda
L.) plantations. We assessed the type and magnitude of damage in four loblolly pine plantation conditions: unthinned 11- to 12-year-old stands, once-thinned 18- to 19-year-old stands, twice-thinned 24- to 25-year-old stands, and at least twice-thinned > 28-year-old stands. Each condition was replicated three times on similar sites. Patterns in tree damage extent and type were apparent between plantations of different ages and thinning histories. The oldest plantations had the greatest proportion of undamaged survivors, while the youngest stands received the highest injury. Young loblolly pines suffered from bent stems more often than trees in older plantations. Loblolly pines in the oldest plantations were virtually immune to stem damage yet experienced frequent crown and branch loss. Intermediate-aged plantations had somewhat more stem breakage and uprooting than either younger or older pine plantations. Differences in the degree and type of damage were closely related to tree size and stand attributes. Logistic regression models were also developed to predict severe damage probability from stem diameter and tree density.
Bragg, Don C.; Shelton, Michael G.; Heitzman, Eric. 2004. Relative Impacts of Ice Storms on Loblolly Pine Plantations in Central Arkansas. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS 71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 132-137