The fire forest: prescribed fire is a management tool in southern pine forests
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): K. M. Robertson
Publication Year: 2007

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • air quality
  • artificial regeneration
  • backing fires
  • burning intervals
  • burning permits
  • carbon
  • competition
  • cover
  • crown scorch
  • duff
  • education
  • FEIS
  • fine fuels
  • fire dependent species
  • fire frequency
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • fire intensity
  • fire management
  • fire suppression
  • firing techniques
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • fuel loading
  • fuel management
  • fuel moisture
  • hardwood forests
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • herbicides
  • ignition
  • land use
  • liability
  • light
  • litter
  • livestock
  • logging
  • mineral soils
  • mortality
  • nitrogen
  • north Florida
  • nutrient cycling
  • pine
  • pine forests
  • Pinus echinata
  • Pinus elliottii
  • Pinus palustris
  • Pinus ponderosa
  • Pinus taeda
  • plant growth
  • population density
  • prescribed fires (escaped)
  • public information
  • site treatments
  • slash
  • soil leaching
  • stand characteristics
  • suppression
  • Tall Timbers Research Station
  • thinning
  • trees
  • understory vegetation
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
  • wind
  • woody fuels
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45635
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21194
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Journals-T and Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text (pp.6-7) ... 'Another [reason periodic low-intensity fires have ceased to provide forest and land maintenance] is the culture of fire suppression in America deliberately created in the early 20th century to promote a shift to intensive forestry and away from herding livestock. However, in some areas, especially in the South, frequent prescribed (controlled) burning has been preserved as a land use tradition to keep fuel loads low, control competition, and maintain or restore natural habitat, which in pinelands quickly turns to hardwood forest in the absence of burning. Although urbanization and concerns about smoke and air quality that come with it have placed pressure against the tradition of burning, the rapid development of technology for predicting fire weather, greater availability of training for prescribed burning, and the discriminate issue of permits by state agencies have greatly improved the ability to minimize negative fire effects.In many parts of the South, periodic (one- to five-year interval) prescribed burning during timber stand rotations was standard practice in managing planted or natural stands of loblolly, shortleaf, slash, and Iongleaf pines, in order to control hardwood competition. In recent years there has been a trend of decreased burning and increased use of herbicides for this purpose, stemming from concerns about liability, as well as potential damage to trees and effects on tree growth. However, an obvious advantage of periodic burning is that it costs only a fraction of herbicide application.Also, it provides frequent fuel reduction, which protects trees from wildflres that would be destructive under conditions dry enough for ignition of accumulated litter fuels. Where trees are planted at 'wildlife spacing' (e.g., 10-by-10-foot spacing after final thinning, or approximately 150 trees per acre), burning also promotes dominance of herbaceous plant species that provide habitat for the many types of wildlife that depend on open, grassy forests for survival, if source populations for those species exist in the local region. Herbaceous cover, which recovers rapidly from burns, also provides fine fuel for future burns.' © 2007 American Forest Foundation (AFF).

Robertson, K. M. 2007. The fire forest: prescribed fire is a management tool in southern pine forests. Tree Farmer, v. 26, no. 2, p. 6-10.