Reforestation Activity Mixed in 2016-17 Planting Season, Expected To Rise In Future Years

The latest survey of F&W managers on reforestation activity in their areas during the recent 2016-17 tree planting season was mixed, with reports of both increased and decreased planting and the status quo. But almost all managers expect an uptick in reforestation in the future.

Managers who reported increased reforestation activity said it was due primarily to more landowners conducting final harvests.  But those who reported a decrease in reforestation activity indicated that some landowners are still waiting for better timber prices before harvesting. Other managers said that weather, the availability of tree planting contractors, and/or a delay in the completion of harvests led to less tree planting this season.

But most managers believe reforestation will increase in the future due to increased demand for wood. The most recent tree planting statistics published by the U.S. Forest Service, based on the 2014-15 planting season, shows reforestation nationwide continuing to rise at a steady pace, increasing 10 percent overall since the 2011-12 season when the USFS resumed its estimation of tree planting.

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