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Oleoresin tapping of planted slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii) adds value and management flexibility to landowners in the southern United States
- Susaeta, Andres, Peter, Gary F., Hodges, Alan W., Carter, Douglas R.
- Biomass and bioenergy 2014 v.68 pp. 55-61
- Pinus elliottii, bioenergy industry, biofuels, feedstocks, income, landowners, markets, monoterpenoids, planting, tree growth, trees, wood, Southeastern United States
- Pine chemicals are the oldest and largest renewable chemicals industries, and pine monoterpenes are excellent feedstocks for advanced biofuels. The available supply of pine terpenes constrains expansion of the pine chemicals and biofuel industry, creating a market opportunity for recovery of additional pine terpenes. Tapping live pine trees to recover pine terpenes, oleoresin, is an important economic activity in many parts of the world. In this study, the economic benefits to landowners of borehole oleoresin tapping for different planted slash pine management regimes in the southern U.S. were analyzed. The results show that landowners can diversify outputs and benefit economically from inclusion of oleoresin recovery from live trees without compromising wood for traditional markets. The greatest relative contribution of oleoresin to total returns is from stands with the improved genetic potential to double oleoresin yield. Stands with faster tree growth, due to increased genetic or site potential, produce the second highest present value of oleoresin primarily because these stands can be tapped at earlier ages. The relative contribution of oleoresin benefits to total economic revenues is the same from stands planted with one-third fewer trees per ha, again because borehole tapping can start at earlier ages. Importantly, the additional revenue from oleoresin tapping offset losses in value from timber that occurs when rotations are extended 3–4 years beyond optimal.