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
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Michael May expects to see tree growth impacted for at least the next three years on his Chunky, Miss., Christmas tree farm after this year’s severe to exceptional drought conditions that spanned most of the state.
Some Mississippi landowners selling carbon offsets through a company geared to smaller tracts of land have lost that source of income this year.
Curtis VanderSchaaf, a forester with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said the one-year harvest deferral program previously offered by the Natural Capital Exchange, or NCX, has ended.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The hard freeze that swept Mississippi on March 19 and 20 dampened some of spring’s early displays and left many landscape plants with unsightly cold damage. Now, homeowners are wondering what to do about their landscape plants that lost their leaves or have brown-tipped or brown, shriveled leaves.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- When planting loblolly pine trees on well-drained soils, landowners should heed two basic rules: Don’t do it during a freeze, and make sure to plant roots and seedlings deep.
To increase the chance of survival on well-drained soils, some Southern regeneration foresters suggest planting loblolly pine in a deep hole with the root collar several inches below the soil surface.
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.
Gaddis & McLaurin might sound more like the name of a law firm than a general store, but the name is synonymous with all manner of dry goods in the Hinds County community of Bolton and has been since the 1870s.
In an industry where every piece of equipment can seriously hurt the operators and crew, one Mississippi logging company has not recorded an accident during more than 40 years of operation, from Brandon to Gulfport.
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.