Front Porch Blog

Timber industry struggles to recover

Ghostly stands of dead and broken trees are a bleak reminder of Hurricane Katrina as the South Mississippi forest industry struggles to recover. Preliminary estimates statewide were a staggering $1.2 billion, according to Wayne Tucker, the executive director of the Mississippi Institute of Forest Inventory, shortly after the storm. Tree-growers are faced with a double-edged sword, according to Eugene Cooper, the George County Forester for the Extension Service. “First, there is the damage to the trees and second is the effect on the markets.” According to Maples, not only did the glut of wood depress prices, there simply was no market. Many trees not killed outright by the storm were severely weakened. Some of those damaged trees are still snapping off, sometimes for no apparent reason. Others, first stressed by the hurricane have been further stressed by the drought experienced this spring and summer. The stressed trees are falling victim to the worst pine beetle infestation he can remember in the last 30 years.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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