Mississippi has about 18.5 million acres of forestland, which amounts to about 62 percent of the state's land area. Almost 70 percent of this forestland is owned by private, nonindustrial landowners, with more than 150,000 people owning 20 acres or more of forestland. Each landowner may have a different set of forest management objectives, so management decisions should be tailored to the needs of the landowner as well as the objectives and capability of the land.
Mississippi has highly productive forests because of good soils, a long growing season, and abundant rainfall. These highly productive forests, combined with recent increases in timber prices and a high percentage of private ownership, result in forestland ownership being a significant family asset. Mississippi's forests are funding children's college education, providing for people in their old age, and enabling a lifestyle many would not have had otherwise.
A key to successful forest management is a written management plan in which landowners define their management objectives, inventory their current forest resources, and plan activities to accomplish objectives consistent with existing resources. The management plan, once developed, should be followed unless conditions warrant changes. Thus, a management plan is a "living" document that landowners are constantly developing, implementing, reviewing, and revising with appropriate professional advice.
Forest management in Mississippi is complex due to diverse forest types, different ownership objectives, tract histories, and other factors. Forest Management includes the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
A variety of pests threaten Mississippi forests, presenting a challenge to landowners who lack experience in managing land or even knowing what problems to look for. Brady Self, a forestry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that good first step is to simply do a walkthrough and look for things out of place.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Larry Haley is expecting a busy year at his Christmas tree farm in Saucier. Haley said he sells about 500 trees per year. That may sound like a lot, but they go fast. Families who want to be sure to get the perfect tree should visit their local tree farm as early as possible.
Fall is the perfect time to enjoy fire pits and camping trips! Firewood is a necessity for both activities, so it’s important to know how to properly collect and manage it. Be sure to get your firewood within 50 miles of where you will burn it whether that’s in your backyard or at a campground several miles from home.
A few sassafras trees across Mississippi have started to show signs of dieback, and Mississippi State University is asking for help in identifying affected trees. The trees are suspected of having laurel wilt, a disease caused by a fungus that has already proven deadly to the state’s redbay trees. The fungus is carried by the redbay ambrosia beetle, an invasive species native to Asia.
Choosing, cutting, and bringing home a real Christmas tree is a fun tradition for many families during the holiday season. Around 32,000 Christmas trees are sold in Mississippi each year! Whether you go to a Christmas tree farm or to a local retail store, you’ll likely be presented with a few options to choose from.
Drew Sullivan admits his first timber tract would not have fetched an appraiser’s attention, but he usually drove back home from a lumber yard in Kemper County each week with around $150 in his pocket— not bad for a 15-year-old Mississippi boy growing up in the mid-90s.
During his tenure as an engineer at Boeing, Ottis Bullock helped build machines that went into the air and to the moon, but he always had an interest in the trees that grew from the ground where he came of age.