Important local tree species for manufacturing paper is in need of a comeback

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry begins its cost-sharing program this week to provide important tree seedlings to qualified Tennessee landowners at no cost.

The program aims to establish as many as 1 million pine seedlings on at least 400 acres throughout the greater Ten- nessee Valley and Middle Tennessee.

“The goal this first year is to get 232,000 loblolly pine seedlings onto family forest owner properties” State Forester Jere Jeter said.

According to Jeter, loblolly pine is the most important softwood species in Tennessee and is used primarily in the manufacture of paper, oriented strand board (OSB), plywood and construction lumber.

Although loblolly pine is important and significant as a timber species, it accounts   for only about 4 percent of Tennessee’s 14 million forested acres, far below hardwood forest competitors such as oak, hickory and maple.
Interested landowners must meet certain requirements to qualify for the program and work with their local area forester to develop a tree planting prescription plan.

The planting area must be at least 20 acres and the timber must be managed.

Interested land owners should contact their local Division of Forestry office and visit www.PlantTNTrees.org for more information.