Southern Tree Planting Trends
There has been some concern in the forest industry that the slump in pine harvesting following the Great Recession – combined with excessive inventory accumulation and poor stumpage pricing – may have contributed to a severe decline in tree planting in recent years. A significant reduction in the availability of young plantations could directly affect wood supply for mills that rely on smaller-diameter stems.
Tree Planters’ Notes reports that seedling production by tree nurseries bottomed out in 2010 and has since recovered to pre-recession levels (Figure 1). Total production exceeded 1 billion seedlings for each of the past four years but still sits well below the peak of about 1.5 billion in 2000.