Mississippi has about 18.5 million acres of forestland, which amounts to about 62 percent of the state's land area. Almost 70 percent of this forestland is owned by private, nonindustrial landowners, with more than 150,000 people owning 20 acres or more of forestland. Each landowner may have a different set of forest management objectives, so management decisions should be tailored to the needs of the landowner as well as the objectives and capability of the land.
Mississippi has highly productive forests because of good soils, a long growing season, and abundant rainfall. These highly productive forests, combined with recent increases in timber prices and a high percentage of private ownership, result in forestland ownership being a significant family asset. Mississippi's forests are funding children's college education, providing for people in their old age, and enabling a lifestyle many would not have had otherwise.
A key to successful forest management is a written management plan in which landowners define their management objectives, inventory their current forest resources, and plan activities to accomplish objectives consistent with existing resources. The management plan, once developed, should be followed unless conditions warrant changes. Thus, a management plan is a "living" document that landowners are constantly developing, implementing, reviewing, and revising with appropriate professional advice.
Forest management in Mississippi is complex due to diverse forest types, different ownership objectives, tract histories, and other factors. Forest Management includes the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
Mississippi’s timber industry remained its second highest producing agricultural commodity again in 2019.
Coming in with an estimated production value of $1.15 billion, timber followed the state’s poultry industry, which generated an estimated value of $2.78 billion in 2019. Timber’s value of production is estimated by monthly severance taxes collected by the Mississippi Department of Revenue.
Mississippians pondering ideas for a side business could consider investing in land and planting stem cuttings of Leyland and Murray cypress trees.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- There are major differences between hardwood management and pine management, but they have one goal in common: Landowner objectives should drive the course of action.
Since the downfall of the housing market in 2007 and the subsequent recession, stumpage prices have fallen for every sector of the pine forestry market for pulpwood, chip-and-saw and sawtimber.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi is one of just two states east of the Mississippi River not infested with emerald ash borers, and landscapes need everyone’s help to keep it that way.
Blake Layton, Mississippi State University Extension Service entomologist, said the emerald ash borer -- or EAB -- is an invasive, nonnative pest that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in the eastern U.S. Fairly expensive, annual treatments can protect high-value landscape trees, but they have to be applied preventatively.
Drew Sullivan admits his first timber tract would not have fetched an appraiser’s attention, but he usually drove back home from a lumber yard in Kemper County each week with around $150 in his pocket— not bad for a 15-year-old Mississippi boy growing up in the mid-90s.
During his tenure as an engineer at Boeing, Ottis Bullock helped build machines that went into the air and to the moon, but he always had an interest in the trees that grew from the ground where he came of age.