Longleaf can be a good choice for engaged landowners when it meets their objectives. “Is it right for you?” will depend on your property, objectives, market opportunities in your area, management costs and income streams these generate over time, any incentives you employ that reduce the upfront cost of your investment, and/or opportunities you capture for early return on your investment. Professional help is readily available and highly recommended for timber investments.
While longleaf may be a “slow starter,” once established and out of the grass stage, it typically can grow competitively with other competing pine species on all but the best sites and grows at a faster rate on the less productive sites. Competition control is key for accelerating the growth of longleaf, and for reducing the time it takes to leap out of the grass stage.
An additional economic advantage is the reduced risk of catastrophic loss to wildfire, insects, disease, windstorms, and ice that longleaf offers over other southern pines. While reducing the risk of catastrophic loss to these natural threats it can also produce a product – poles – with low market volatility and in a much higher percentage than other southern pines.