Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) as influenced by soil moisture and other environmental factors.
Ten loblolly pines growing on a moderately steep, well-drained, sandy loam were felled, sectioned and the volumes, above ground level, of earlywood and latewood produced annually over a 25 year period were calculated. Individual height-growth trends appeared to be random and there was no evident correlation between the volume of earlywood produced annually and the volume of latewood produced in the same year. The monthly mean moisture deficits for August, September and October were significantly correlated with latewood growth. Variation in earlywood volume growth could be explained adequately only when 5 variables were combined: October temperature and November sunshine of the preceding year, and March temperature, May moisture deficit and June temperature of the current year. Temperature seemed to be the most significant factor affecting the initiation of growth in the spring.