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Title: Hardwoods for Woody Energy Crops in the Southeast United States:Two Centuries of Practitioner Experience

Abstract

This paper summarizes opinions from forest industry experts on the potential for hardwood tree species to serve as feedstock for bioenergy in the Southeast United States. Hardwoods are of interest for bioenergy because of desirable physical qualities, genetic research advances, and growth potential. Experts observe that high productivity rates in southeastern plantations are confined to limited site conditions or require costly inputs. Eastern cottonwood and American sycamore grow quickly on rich bottomlands where they compete with higher-value crops. These species are also prone to pests and disease. Sweetgum is frost hardy, has few pest or disease problems, and grows across a broad range of sites, yet growth rates are relatively low. Eucalypts require few inputs and offer high potential productivity, but are limited by frost to the lower coastal plain and Florida. More time and investment in silviculture, selection, and breeding will be needed to develop hardwoods as competitive biofuel feedstock species. Loblolly pine has robust site requirements, growth rates rivaling hardwoods and lower costs of production. Because of existing stands and know-how, the forestry community considers loblolly pine to be a prime candidate for plantation bioenergy in the Southeast. Further research is required to study naturally regenerated hardwood biomassmore » resources.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. ORNL
  2. USDA Forest Service
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
OSTI Identifier:
1019324
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Biomass & Bioenergy; Journal Volume: 34; Journal Issue: 12
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; BIOFUELS; BIOMASS; BREEDING; COTTONWOODS; CROPS; DISEASES; FORESTRY; FORESTS; FROST; GENETICS; PINES; PRODUCTION; PRODUCTIVITY; SILVICULTURE; SYCAMORES; TREES; bioenergy; short-rotation woody crops; poplar; American sycamore; sweetgum; eucalyptus; loblolly pine; hardwood plantations; Southeastern United States; productivity.

Citation Formats

Kline, Keith L, and Coleman, Mark. Hardwoods for Woody Energy Crops in the Southeast United States:Two Centuries of Practitioner Experience. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.05.005.
Kline, Keith L, & Coleman, Mark. Hardwoods for Woody Energy Crops in the Southeast United States:Two Centuries of Practitioner Experience. United States. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.05.005.
Kline, Keith L, and Coleman, Mark. Fri . "Hardwoods for Woody Energy Crops in the Southeast United States:Two Centuries of Practitioner Experience". United States. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.05.005.
@article{osti_1019324,
title = {Hardwoods for Woody Energy Crops in the Southeast United States:Two Centuries of Practitioner Experience},
author = {Kline, Keith L and Coleman, Mark},
abstractNote = {This paper summarizes opinions from forest industry experts on the potential for hardwood tree species to serve as feedstock for bioenergy in the Southeast United States. Hardwoods are of interest for bioenergy because of desirable physical qualities, genetic research advances, and growth potential. Experts observe that high productivity rates in southeastern plantations are confined to limited site conditions or require costly inputs. Eastern cottonwood and American sycamore grow quickly on rich bottomlands where they compete with higher-value crops. These species are also prone to pests and disease. Sweetgum is frost hardy, has few pest or disease problems, and grows across a broad range of sites, yet growth rates are relatively low. Eucalypts require few inputs and offer high potential productivity, but are limited by frost to the lower coastal plain and Florida. More time and investment in silviculture, selection, and breeding will be needed to develop hardwoods as competitive biofuel feedstock species. Loblolly pine has robust site requirements, growth rates rivaling hardwoods and lower costs of production. Because of existing stands and know-how, the forestry community considers loblolly pine to be a prime candidate for plantation bioenergy in the Southeast. Further research is required to study naturally regenerated hardwood biomass resources.},
doi = {10.1016/j.biombioe.2010.05.005},
journal = {Biomass & Bioenergy},
number = 12,
volume = 34,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2010},
month = {Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2010}
}
  • Forest industry experts were consulted on the potential for hardwood tree species to serve as feedstock for bioenergy in the southeastern United States. Hardwoods are of interest for bioenergy because of desirable physical qualities, genetic research advances, and growth potential. Yet little data is available regarding potential productivity and costs. This paper describes required operations and provides a realistic estimate of the costs of producing bioenergy feedstock based on commercial experiences. Forestry practitioners reported that high productivity rates in southeastern hardwood plantations are confined to narrow site conditions or require costly inputs. Eastern cottonwood and American sycamore grow quickly onmore » rich bottomlands, but are also prone to pests and disease. Sweetgum is frost hardy, has few pest or disease problems, and grows across a broad range of sites, yet growth rates are relatively low. Eucalypts require fewer inputs than do other species and offer high potential productivity but are limited by frost to the lower Coastal Plain and Florida. Further research is required to study naturally regenerated hardwood biomass resources. Loblolly pine has robust site requirements, growth rates rivaling hardwoods, and lower costs of production. More time and investment in silviculture, selection, and breeding will be needed to develop hardwoods as competitive biofuel feedstock species. Because of existing stands and fully developed operations, the forestry community considers loblolly pine to be a prime candidate for plantation bioenergy in the Southeast.« less
  • Forest industry experts were consulted on the potential for hardwood tree species to serve as feedstock for bioenergy in the southeastern United States. Hardwoods are of interest for bioenergy because of desirable physical qualities, genetic research advances, and growth potential. Yet little data is available regarding potential productivity and costs. This paper describes required operations and provides a realistic estimate of the costs of producing bioenergy feedstock based on commercial experiences. Forestry practitioners reported that high productivity rates in southeastern hardwood plantations are confined to narrow site conditions or require costly inputs. Eastern cottonwood and American sycamore grow quickly onmore » rich bottomlands, but are also prone to pests and disease. Sweetgum is frost hardy, has few pest or disease problems, and grows across a broad range of sites, yet growth rates are relatively low. Eucalypts require fewer inputs than do other species and offer high potential productivity but are limited by frost to the lower Coastal Plain and Florida. Further research is required to study naturally regenerated hardwood biomass resources. Loblolly pine has robust site requirements, growth rates rivaling hardwoods, and lower costs of production. More time and investment in silviculture, selection, and breeding will be needed to develop hardwoods as competitive biofuel feedstock species. Because of existing stands and fully developed operations, the forestry community considers loblolly pine to be a prime candidate for plantation bioenergy in the Southeast.« less
  • Short-rotation forestry with rapidly growing, coppicing hardwoods might help meet the increasing wood fiber needs of the U.S. Studies were conducted in Kansas to observe the growth, yield, and woody biomass characteristics resulting from the short-rotation management of hardwoods. Closer spacing and silty soil produced the greatest yields. Coppice yields were about 62% more than seedling yields. Bark accounted for 21% of the ovendry weight of two-yr-old coppice growth. (15 references, 5 tables)
  • Agroforestry in the United States is being primarily defined as the process of using trees in agricultural systems for conservation purposes and multiple products. The type of agroforestry most commonly practiced in many parts of the world, that is the planting of tree crops in combination with food crops or pasture, is the type least commonly practiced in the United States. One type of agroforestry technique, which is beginning now and anticipated to expand to several million acres in the United States, is the planting of short-rotation woody crops (SRWCs) primarily to provide fiber and fuel. Research on SRWC's andmore » environmental concerns are described.« less
  • Agroforestry in the United States is being primarily defined as the process of using trees in agricultural systems for conservation purposes and multiple products. The type of agroforestry most commonly practiced in many parts of the world, that is the planting of tree crops in combination with food crops or pasture, is the type least commonly practiced in the United States. One type of agroforestry technique, which is beginning now and anticipated to expand to several million acres in the United States, is the planting of short-rotation woody crops (SRWCs) primarily to provide fiber and fuel. Research on SRWC`s andmore » environmental concerns are described.« less