We analyzed the financial impacts of intensive loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation establishment in the southern United States using projected growth data. Optimized management yielded positive net present values (NPVs) at all combinations of management intensity and discount rate except for the most intensive management at the highest discount rate. Cost-share payments for site preparation improved the performance of higher intensity treatments relative to lower intensity treatments, and yielded positive NPVs in all combinations of management intensity and discount rate. Landowners can choose among a suite of management intensities covering a wide range of capital commitments. Monetary returns may be improved by additional management actions, and by taking advantage of additional cost-share programs and tax benefits.