Southern Timber Hit Hard by Hurricane

Hurricane Michael roared through Florida, Alabama, and Georgia on October 10 and delivered a hard hit to timberland owners and timber markets. John Alter and Elizabeth Alter manage more than 1,000 acres in Malone, Florida, including 18 Tree Farm stands. The Alters were honored as Florida’s Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year in 2015. “This is a true…  More 

Carbon Storage in Longleaf Pine Roots

“Longleaf roots are pretty legendary,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Peter Anderson. “It’s common to hear that you can dig up a really old stump and use it as a quick, reliable kindling.” Pines contain oleoresins, a sticky liquid mix of oil and resin (or rosin). “There are companies today that buy and dig old…  More 

Saving the Torreya

A century ago, about half a million torreya trees grew in the wild. Today, there are fewer than 1,000. Is extinction imminent, or can the species be saved? “I’m more optimistic now, after the Torreya Tree of Life Workshop,” says USDA Forest Service geneticist Dana Nelson. “The workshop brought a large group of enthusiastic people…  More 

The Many Dimensions of Tree Trunks

The taller a tree grows, the wider its trunk becomes. “It’s a fundamental relationship,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Dale Brockway. Scientists use math to describe this height-diameter relationship. But one of the mathematical constants – a scaling exponent of 2/3 – is not always so constant, according to a recent study by Brockway…  More 

Monitoring Frog & Toad Populations?

Over the past few decades, scientists have become increasingly concerned about amphibians. “Populations of many frog and toad species have declined,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Katie Greenberg. “The global decline highlights the need to monitor frogs and toads where they live.” Greenberg has been doing just that for 24 years. Since 1994, Greenberg…  More 

Bumblebees and Blueberries

Flowering plants and pollinators depend on each other. It’s a global truism, and it’s true on a 440 acre blueberry farm in northern Florida. “Bumblebees are extremely efficient pollinators,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Joseph O’Brien. “In the time it takes a honeybee to pollinate a single blueberry flower, a bumblebee can pollinate as…  More 

Longleaf Pine Silviculture

By best estimate, longleaf pine forests once spanned over 90 million acres – an area more than twice the size of Georgia. “Today, 97 percent of these forests are gone,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Dale Brockway. “However, the longleaf pine ecosystems that remain are home to a very diverse community of plants and…  More 

Selecting Trees to Grow in Cities

Sometimes in the cramped environs of U.S. cities every inch counts, especially if attempting to make space for nature. City planners and urban foresters now have a resource to more precisely select tree species whose growth will be a landscaping dream instead of a maintenance nightmare. The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station recently…  More 

The Chipola Experimental Forest

Located in the sandhills of the Florida Panhandle, the Chipola Experimental Forest (Chipola) was established in 1952 on privately owned land under a 99-year lease to the Southern Forest Experiment Station (now the Southern Research Station), International Paper Company, and Hardaway Contracting Company. The two companies requested the cooperative arrangement with the Forest Service to…  More 

How Healthy Are Your Pines?

Seventeen percent of the world’s industrial roundwood comes from U.S. forests – and southern pine forests are among the most productive in the country. Pine plantations in the South often anchor local and regional economies while providing ecosystem services such as clean water and air, and countless recreation benefits. “Forests are an integral part of…  More