A forest land application of biosolids study was initiated in 1991 in the lower Coastal Plain of South Carolina (SC). A major objective of this project was to quantify the magnitude and duration of old-field loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) growth response to a one-time biosolids application after canopy closure. The study area is located on Alcoa property in Berkeley County, SC. The soil series, Goldsboro (Fine-loamy, Aquic Paleudults) was delineated by a NRCS soil mapper in a 1982 planted loblolly pine stand. Gross treated and interior permanent measurement plots were installed in a randomized complete block design. Forty feet of untreated buffer was maintained between plots. All living loblolly pines were tagged, numbered, and measured for dbh and total height in February-March 1992. Berkeley County Water and Sanitation Authority (BCW&SA) biosolids (5.7 percent total-N, 15 percent solids, extended aeration treated) were applied one-time in April 1992 at 0, 650, and 1300 pounds of total-N per acre (5.7 and 11.4 dry tons/acre). The stand was operationally thinned (third row with logger select in between) in August 1993 reducing SPA from 560 to 300 (BA/ac from 120 to 65 square feet). Stand data from age 10-years-old to age 17-years-old show a dramatic growth increase in mean dbh increment (0.5 and 1.0 inch), total height increment (2.0 and 2.7 feet), volume/tree (30-35 percent), and volume/acre increment (37-38 percent) in the biosolids versus the control plots. Diameter distributions 7 years after biosolids application favored more chip and saw (8-9 cords/acre) and less pulpwood (1-3 cords/acre) in the biosolids versus control plots. Total wood value/acre was increased by $555 to $595 (at $19/cd pulpwood and $73/cd chip and saw (Timber Mart-South 2000) in the biosolids plots versus the control plots by age 17-years-old.
Dickens, E. David. 2002. Effect of a One-Time Biosolids Application in and Old-Field Loblolly Pine Plantation on Diameter Distributions, Volume per Acre, and Value per Acre. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 15-19