Do You Care About Your Forestland?
Management and Marketing Opportunities
for Forest Landowners of South Carolina
Do You Care
What has happened to our forests?
South Carolina's private landowners hold the key to a healthy productive forest resource to meet the needs of society and reap financial rewards for themselves.
South Carolina has 12.4 million acres of timberland. Private landowners own over 8.9 million of these acres (72 percent).
On September 22, 1989, Hurricane Hugo dealt South Carolina's forests a devastating blow. Big trees were the hardest hit. As a result of Hurricane Hugo, pine volume decreased by 10 percent from 8.9 to 8.0 billion cubic feet between 1986 and 1993. Hardwood volume declined by 5 percent from 9.1 to 8.7 billion cubic feet during the same period. Poorly stocked stands increased by 11 percent from 1.9 to 2.1 million acres.
On the positive side, forest regeneration has increased by 40 percent in the last 10 years. Slightly over half of this increase is a result of natural regeneration. If we continue the reforestation efforts begun after the storm, our forests will recover.
What is the Outlook
for Marketing Your Trees?
Less timber is being cut in the West and Northwest. The demand for softwood sawtimber is shifting to the South and Southeast. Quality hardwoods are in demand for both domestic use and export. Pulp mills have increased the production of fine papers. The demand for hardwood pulpwood has increased significantly and is expected to continue strong. All of these factors add up to a bright outlook for pine and hardwood demand.
What Should a Caring Landowner Do?
- Get professional advice first. A registered professional forester can help. Contact: S.C. Forestry Commission, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, Consulting Foresters, or Forest Industry Landowner Assistance Programs.
- Set your goals and develop a plan.
- Use Best Management Practices (BMPs) for all forest management activities.
- Intensively manage existing stands of trees with potential for sawtimber. Timber stand improvement, thinning, and prescribed burning may be appropriate.
- Time timber harvests to maximize longterm goals.
- When harvesting, don't leave the poor quality trees behind. They can be used too. This also reduces replanting costs.
- Reforest your land after harvest and improve existing understocked stands. Use natural reseeding or plant seedlings if necessary. Favor the best pine or hardwood species for the site.
- Consider wildlife and recreational benefits. Good forest management provides many benefits as well as protects the environment.
The decisions you make about your forestland will not only affect your family now but your future generations. Call or contact a professional to help you develop the best plan possible to meet your goals and the needs of your great-grandchildren.
South Carolina Forest Landowners DO CARE!
For information call your local S.C. Forestry Commission Office or Clemson Cooperative Extension Service Office.