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Protect the Site


 

Southern pine beetle infestations are associated with soil and site conditions in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain. High-hazard sites in the Piedmont are characterized by heavy red clays (fig. 10).

Figure 10.-Soils that contain a high percentage of micaceous red clays characterize high-hazard sites in the Piedmont. These problem soils require careful tending.
Figure 10.-Soils that contain a high percentage of micaceous red clays characterize high-hazard sites
in the Piedmont. These problem soils require careful tending.

These sites have a high erosion potential, limit the infiltration and percolation of water, and restrict root development. Such problem soils require careful tending to prevent further deterioration of the site. Intensive site preparation (e.g., root raking, disking) and cultivation with heavy equipment are recommended only where soils and slopes are suited for these practices. The application of intensive site preparation methods should be avoided on slopes greater than 10 percent. Burning and the use of suitable herbicides appear to be preferable to intensive mechanical site preparation in regenerating these areas. Abuse of already fragile sites in the Piedmont will contribute to future insect and disease problems.

Infestations in the Coastal Plain occur more frequently on wet and waterlogged sites than on well-drained soils. Trees on poorly drained sites are often deficient in mycorrhizal roots and are, therefore subject to severe physiological stress during periods of drought. Drainage systems designed to remove surplus water from low-lying areas will curtail the damage from root diseases and stem the decline of host pines. Logging damage in low-lying areas with fine-textured soils can be avoided by diverting operations to sandy soils during wet periods and using harvesting equipment of low bearing pressure.

 

 
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