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GA drought affecting timber industry

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October 26, 2007

Albany-  Georgia's drought is stressing the state's timber industry.

The Georgia Forestry Commission is recommending you hold off on prescribed burns this year because of the drought. Burning, combined with a lack of water, could damage trees and make them more susceptible to pine beetles. Foresters also now recommend timberland owners plant fewer trees per acre.

"We went from about 700 trees per acre recommended 10 or 15 years ago to around 500 now and that will allow you to put off the first thinning until 15 or 18 years hopefully," said Chuck Norvell, Regional Urban Forester.

The forestry commission has conducted several flyovers to inspect for timber damage, but they haven't found any problems in south Georgia.

tewart and Webster counties have reported minimal pine beetle damage.

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