The Bugwood Network

Forest Pest Control

Douce, G.K., Moorhead, D.J., and Bargeron, C.T., Forest Pest Control, The University of Georgia, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Special Bulletin 16, Revised January 2002.

Forest Resources

The thirteen southern states, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, hold 40 percent of the nation’s timberland. This 212 million acre timber resource represents two of every five acres in the region. Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia each have approximately 65 percent of their total state land area forested. The majority of southern forests are privately owned with 62 percent held by nonindustrial private landowners and farmers. Forest industry owns 20 percent, with non-forest industry holding 8 percent across the region. Only 10 percent of the South’s forest land is in public ownership.

This southern forest resource has become the nation’s wood basket for forest growth and production. Twenty three percent of the nation’s growth of softwood timber and 44 percent of the hardwood timber is in this region. Southern timber harvests produce 43 percent of the nation’s softwood logs, 53 percent of the hardwood sawlogs, and over 50 percent of the plywood logs. Two-thirds of the nation’s pulpwood is produced in the South. The 105 pulp mills located in the thirteen southern states require over 60 million cords of pulpwood per year to run full capacity.

Major Species

The South’s varied climate and site conditions contribute to the region’s large number of tree species. Of the 400 or so woody plants species in the South, more than 125 are considered commercially important. Overall, Pines are the most important commercial tree species in the South. Currently, most forest industries depend on southern yellow Pines to produce pulp, lumber, poles, plywood, oriented standboard and other products. The four major species of Pine used are loblolly, slash, longleaf and shortleaf. Bald cypress is also an important conifer in the Southeast but is restricted to bottomland, pond or swamp areas of the Coastal Plain.

Oaks are the major commercial hardwood species. Most important are white oak, northern red oak and southern red oak. Yellow-poplar and sweetgum are important hardwood species used by the furniture industry and in veneer manufacturing. Blackgum and water tupelo are important in veneer manufacturing. Sycamore and cottonwood are also commercially important. Recent advances in product development and use have increased the demand for low quality hardwoods for use in composite panels and paper production.

Major Forest Types

Seven major forest types are depicted on the accompanying southern forest type map. Each type is named for the predominate tree specie or species in that group.


Loblolly-Shortleaf Pine
This widespread forest type is found in most of the Piedmont and Upper Coastal Plain. Stands are 50 percent or more loblolly Pine, shortleaf Pine, and other southern Pines (except longleaf or slash), singly or in combination. These forests may also include oak, hickory and gum.

Longleaf-Slash Pine
This forest type occurs in the Lower and Middle Coastal Plain. Stands are 50 percent or more longleaf and slash Pine, singly or in combination. Other trees commonly associated with this type include other southern Pine, oak and gum.

A forest type found primarily in the transition zone between the Piedmont and the Mountain and Valley areas, it represents a later stage of plant succession throughout the region with more tolerant oak species replacing Pine. Stands are 50 percent or more hardwood, usually upland oaks, with southern Pine making up from 25 to 49 percent of the stand. Other commonly associated trees include gum and hickory.

This is the primary forest type of the Mountain and Valley areas. Stands are 50 percent or more upland oaks and hickories, singly or in combination. Southern Pine or redcedar make up less than 25 percent. Gum, yellow-poplar, elm and maple are common associates.

This forest type is found primarily along major river and stream bottoms and swamps of the Coastal Plain and Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Stands are 50 percent or more tupelo, blackgum, sweetgum, oak and southern cypress, singly or in combination. Southern Pine make up less than 25 percent of the stand. Other trees commonly associated with this forest type include cottonwood, willow, ash, elm, hackberry and maple.

Found in the Central Highlands of Tennessee, 25 percent or more of these stands are redcedar, with less than 25 percent southern Pine. Oak and hickory are common associates.

White Pine-Hemlock
Limited to sites in the Appalachian Mountain chain, these stands contain 50 percent or more eastern white Pine and hemlock, singly or in combination. Common associates include oak and yellow-poplar.

Seed Orchard Production

To supply the demands of nursery production for reforestation efforts, over 12,000 acres of seed orchards are in operation across the South. Tree improvement programs began when selected forest stands were set aside as seed production areas. These areas were rogued of inferior species and trees lacking desirable characteristics. Later, seed orchards were established from grafts of trees with superior traits. Progeny from these orchards have been planted to evaluate their growth, form, yield and disease resistance. Progeny test data is then used to refine selections. At present, loblolly and slash Pine seedlings are grown from genetically improved seed produced in managed seed orchards. Much of the seed for longleaf Pine and many hardwoods still comes from seed production areas, although improvement programs are ongoing.

These valuable seed orchards are managed to insure development of high quality seed. Insect pests that damage seed and cones are monitored, and insecticides are applied when damage thresholds are reached.

Tree Nurseries

More forest acres are planted annually in the South than in any other region of the nation. In 1996, the 1.83 million acres planted to trees in the South accounted for 76 percent of the nation’s total tree plantings. To support this tree planting effort, southern forest nurseries produce more than 1.2 billion seedlings annually, representing 79 percent of all forest tree seedlings produced in the U.S. Forest nurseries employ the latest techniques available to produce quality seedlings. Production of quality seedlings requires the use of fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides in conjunction with other cultural activities as part of an Integrated Pest Management program.

[  Contents  ]   [  Back  ]   [  Forward  ]   [  Home  ]


The Bugwood Network and Forestry Images Image Archive and Database Systems
The University of Georgia - Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Dept. of Entomology

Last updated December 2018

Home | Image Usage | Accessibility Policy | Privacy Policy | Disclaimers | Contact Us | Help