Georgia trees are growing - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia trees are growing

The Georgia Forestry Commission and the U.S. Forest Service did a survey and found that more timber was grown than harvested last year in Georgia. The Georgia Forestry Commission and the U.S. Forest Service did a survey and found that more timber was grown than harvested last year in Georgia.
A sticker found in a Georgia Forestry Commission vehicle that says it all. A sticker found in a Georgia Forestry Commission vehicle that says it all.
Despite losses in forest in urban areas, tree acreage in Georgia has remained steady as parts of some agricultural fields are being re-forested. Despite losses in forest in urban areas, tree acreage in Georgia has remained steady as parts of some agricultural fields are being re-forested.
Trees are an important resource in Georgia, generating a $27.2 billion economic impact. Trees are an important resource in Georgia, generating a $27.2 billion economic impact.
Trees in the Albany Wildlife Management Area in western Dougherty County. Trees in the Albany Wildlife Management Area in western Dougherty County.

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  Georgia has more acres of privately owned forest land than any other state in the country. The industry is vital to the state's economy, and that industry seems to have a solid future.

You don't have to drive far in South Georgia to find forests. After all there are 24 million acres of forest in Georgia. All of those trees are critical to the state's economy.

"The timber industry in the state of Georgia contributes approximately 118,000 jobs," said Tom Lambert of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

The economies in more than one fifth of the counties in the state are closely tied to the timber industry, so figuring out how forests are doing is important.

Some findings in an annual report by the Georgia Forestry Commission and the U.S. Forest Service may surprise you.

"The survey revealed that there's been more wood raised than harvested since 1972 until 2010," said Lambert.

Much of that planting has been on the farm. With center pivots increasingly becoming the only way to water, once square plots of crops have lost their edges.

Lambert said, "the land that they've set aside and not utilized they've planted in trees."

While there has also been some growth in public ownership of land since the 1970s, that doesn't totally explain the higher number of trees.

Most of the acres of forested land are in the hands of private individuals or companies. Sometimes they're not quite sure what to do with all these acres that they have.

So there are companies that are there to help them. Companies such as this consulting firm, F & W Forestry in Albany.

"Initially we'll go out and assess the property, look at it. Determine the health of the timber on the property," said Chad Hancock of F & W Forestry.

Then they recommend solutions for the owner. While those recommendations vary, leaving it as forest is sometimes the best strategy and staying with that strategy is important.

Hancock said, "Forestry is not a quick fix. It takes time to manage a forest and get it in the proper condition."

Properly managed, land that's held on to could gain value in the near term. But even holding on to it for future generations has its benefits for the environment.

"Trees have always been there to se quest carbon out of the atmosphere," Chad Hancock said.

For Georgia's economic future as well.

You can see the latest forestry report on the Georgia Forestry Commission's web site.

Copyright 2011 WALB.  All rights reserved.   Feedback

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Police respond to robbery by snatching at Albany package store

    Police respond to robbery by snatching at Albany package store

    Saturday, March 25 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-03-26 03:32:15 GMT

    Albany Police have responded to a robbery by snatching at the National Package Store on Oakridge Drive. Dispatch has confirmed the call came in just before 8 p.m. Saturday, and the suspect fled the scene.

    More >>

    Albany Police have responded to a robbery by snatching at the National Package Store on Oakridge Drive. Dispatch has confirmed the call came in just before 8 p.m. Saturday, and the suspect fled the scene.

    More >>
  • "The Voice" contestant J Chosen helps community at Albany Strong Fun Fest

    "The Voice" contestant J Chosen helps community at Albany Strong Fun Fest

    Saturday, March 25 2017 10:32 PM EDT2017-03-26 02:32:57 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    The focus Saturday was on taking a break from storm cleanup and recovery, and to have a little bit of fun at the Albany Strong Fun Fest. The festival happened all day, with bands hitting the stage from 12:30 to 7 p.m.

    More >>

    The focus Saturday was on taking a break from storm cleanup and recovery, and to have a little bit of fun at the Albany Strong Fun Fest. The festival happened all day, with bands hitting the stage from 12:30 to 7 p.m.

    More >>
  • Former America's Got Talent finalist visits Albany for "Seniors on the Runway"

    Former America's Got Talent finalist visits Albany for "Seniors on the Runway"

    Saturday, March 25 2017 9:46 PM EDT2017-03-26 01:46:19 GMT
    (Source: WALB)(Source: WALB)

    A big voice with roots in South Georgia visited Albany this weekend. Quintavious Johnson placed fifth on America's Got Talent back in 2014. He has family who lives here in Albany.

    More >>

    A big voice with roots in South Georgia visited Albany this weekend. Quintavious Johnson placed fifth on America's Got Talent back in 2014. He has family who lives here in Albany.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly