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This study investigated farmers’ compliance to standard silvicultural practices and its impacts on the performance of Pinus spp in plantations in Rubanda District, South-western Uganda.
A total of 122 pine plantations were randomly selected for intensive assessment. The findings revealed an average spacing of 2.90m, which significantly differs from the standard spacing of 3.0m for pine. Generally, stem density of pine plantations at various age categories such as 8 and 10 years was significantly higher than the recommended. The overall average pruning height of 3.26m as practiced by the farmers was significantly lower than 6.81m, the standard requirement of 50% average tree height (p≤ 0.05). In comparison, there were significant differences in average dbh in the three stem density categories. The increase in stem density caused a corresponding decline in dbh of trees in the pine plantations. Farmers with a pine crop of seven years and above with tree stock above the recommended stem density had incurred an average loss of 70.5m3 per hectare leading to an equivalent financial loss of UGX 3,525,000/= (USD 952.7) per hectare. Therefore, to avoid competition and unnecessary financial loss, adjustment of stem density by thinning as the pine plantation grows is strongly recommended.