News Filed Under Forestry
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Most of Mississippi's Christmas trees made up this year for lost growth over the last couple of dry years, but the summer rains also increased the challenges from diseases.
Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said 2001 was a much better year for growth, but growers had to control twig and shoot blight with fungicides, especially on Leyland cypress. In recent years, Leyland cypress trees were especially susceptible to Cercospora, which is associated with drought stress.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Recent rulings on Canadian lumber trade could have far reaching effects on Mississippi landowners considering the timber market this fall.
Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the bottom of the pine sawtimber stumpage market is probably behind, thanks in part to the recent tariff imposed on Canadian softwood lumber imports.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- People spend a lot of time and money trying to keep their tax burden as low as possible, but when it comes to timber sales, many Mississippians pay too much in taxes.
Debbie Gaddis, assistant Extension professor of forestry at Mississippi State University, said proper record keeping and management can lower tax bills by allowing timber owners to take advantage of special tax programs available to them.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The efficiency and sustainability of Mississippi's timber industry has helped grow it to the $1.2 billion value it has today.
The state has about 18.5 million acres of timberland. Of these, 70 percent are held by private, non-industrial owners. Mississippi's forest types are about 30 percent pine, 25 percent oak/pine mix and 45 percent hardwood.
Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said forests are quite resilient and the state is using more of its pine than its hardwoods.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's timber industry took another hit in 2000 as prices and harvests continued to decline, giving the industry a lower value than last year.
Mississippi's timber harvest is estimated at $1.26 billion, a 1.3 percent decline from 1999. This value makes forestry the state's No. 2 crop in market value, behind poultry.
"This is the second small decline in timber harvest value since we set an all-time record high in 1998 of $1.36 billion," said Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Homeowners are cautioned every year to keep their Christmas trees watered, but growers are the one's needing that advice this year.
Steve Dicke, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said this year's drought also could reduce the longevity of Christmas trees after harvesting.
"Trees won't be as healthy as normal, so they may dry out faster after harvest making water in the tree stand even more important this year," Dicke said. "On the other hand, it will be more water than they've seen in awhile."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- It will create a high water bill this summer, but watering the lawn weekly may be the only way to keep some landscape trees alive through Mississippi's drought.
Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Hattiesburg, said pine trees in South Mississippi are probably faring the worst this year. Drought damage, however, is statewide.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Forest fires raging out of control in the West give fire a bad name, but in non-drought times, Mississippi foresters use planned fires as management tools.
Glenn Hughes, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service in Hattiesburg, said fire historically has been a natural part of Southern pine forests.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Two relatively dry years are enabling loggers to reach less accessible trees, creating an oversupply of timber during a season that traditionally has sluggish markets.
"The extended dry weather is compounding the problem with prices, especially pulpwood," said Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service. "Pulp mills are only buying the wood needed immediately, so inventories back up in the woods."
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Good management and planning during the last century is paying off in the abundance and health of U.S. forests.
Marking the centennial anniversary of its founding, the Society of American Foresters recently compiled a list of forestry-related advances in the United States during the past 100 years. With about 700 professional members in Mississippi, the state organization works with the national group to make advancements in forestry.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi hardwoods are a valuable commodity from the seedling stage through harvest, so efforts to improve survival rates for this challenging crop are paramount for timber landowners.
Mississippi State University forestry researchers are working to protect landowners' investments by finding solutions to several aspects of hardwood regeneration.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's forest industry dipped in 1999 after riding a wave of record highs in 11 of the last 12 years, but maintained its seventh year with a value in excess of a billion dollars.
Mississippi timber production has a 1999 estimated value of $1.33 billion, down almost 3 percent from 1998's all-time high of $1.36 billion. Despite the downturn, its value remains above 1997 levels. Forestry continues to hold the state's No. 2 spot in value, just behind poultry.
By Norman Winter
Central Mississippi Research & Extension Center
Christmas is a special time for making memories. Not all the memories come from gifts, although the slippers that look like stuffed hens from the farm certainly make a lasting impression.
Christmas trees have a way of making a lasting memory just like the special ornaments that adorn them. Other than using a camera, one way to capture and make that Christmas memory last is with a living Christmas tree.
By Laura Martin
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- When the holiday scents of cinnamon, peppermint and fresh cookies fill the home, friends and families gather around the Christmas tree as one of the seasonal traditions.
Displaying a real Christmas tree is a traditional holiday practice in many homes.
Dr. Steve Dicke, a forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the enjoyment of the family cutting a tree and decorating it at home every year is part of a great Christmas tradition.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi landowners have continued to harvest trees while some segments of the timber market lag behind others.
Dr. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said timber markets through the summer of 1999 indicate that timber is being harvested at about the same levels as last year, but prices have been generally lower. Pine sawtimber prices have been the bright spot this year. Those prices have held even with 1998's average, but other prices have dropped.
By Chuck Dunlap
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Forest ownership is a significant family asset that can send children to college, provide current and retirement income, and enable a better lifestyle if owners know how to manage land properly.
Dr. Glenn Hughes, Extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University, said unfortunately, many private, non-industrial forest landowners, particularly minority or female landowners, are not realizing the full benefit of land ownership. Many encounter problems managing their forest land.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Timber markets are showing some promise for landowners wanting to sell trees this summer.
Dr. Bob Daniels, forestry specialist with Mississippi State University's Extension Service, said the market has been slow, but it is improving -- bucking the tradition of waning prices as harvesting becomes easier in the summer months.
"The first third of 1999 has seen good, but not great, prices for pine and hardwood sawtimber, and poor demand for pulpwood. Pine lumber prices have been trending up since late January," Daniels said.
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Mississippi's timber industry may break its string of record years as preliminary figures show a slight decrease in value as higher prices couldn't completely offset reduced harvests.
The state's timber industry has a 1998 projected value of $1.31 billion, down about $3 million from 1997. This fraction of 1 percent decrease still put it above the 1996 harvest value.
By Jamie Vickers
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A drought, hurricane and fewer growers will not prove to be a problem for Mississippians who appreciate homegrown Christmas trees this holiday season.
"The 1997 production figures were up 6.5 percent from the previous year, and the sales from the choose-and-cut market were up 10 percent," said Dr. Bob Daniels, Extension forestry specialist at Mississippi State University. "This is our third straight year of increases."
Last year 245,000 Christmas trees were sold in Mississippi at a value of $7.6 million.
By Amy Woolfolk
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Increased production and a new all-time record production value have given the Mississippi forestry industry a reason to celebrate.
As values and production increase, the economic importance of the forestry industry in the state continues to grow.