Autumn Colors: How Leaves Change Color

The Indian summer days of autumn, when the days are clear and sunny and the nights cool and crisp, provide an almost irresistible lure to those who enjoy the outdoors. This type of weather is also the most favorable for a spectacular show of autumn colors, making this season of the year still more delightful.

Butt Rot of Southern Hardwoods

Butt rot is the most serious cause of cull throughout the South, and affects all hardwood species. Defined as any decay at the base of a living tree, butt rot accounts for the loss of millions of board feet of southern hardwood timber annually.

Canker-Rots in Southern Hardwoods

Canker-rot fungi cause serious degrade and cull in southern hardwoods, especially the red oaks. Heartwood decay is the most serious form of damage, but the fungi also kill the cambium and decay the sapwood for as much as 3 feet above and below the entrance point into the tree.

Cavity-Nesting Birds of North American Forests

Habitat, cavity requirements, and foods are described for 85 species of birds that nest in cavities in dead or decadent trees. Intensive removal of such trees would disastrously affect breeding habitat for many of these birds that help control destructive forest insects. Birds are illustrated in color; distributions are mapped.

Chestnut Blight

The chestnut blight, believed to have been brought into North America on Asiatic chestnut planting stock, is the most destructive forest disease known.

Cypress Management: A Forgotten Opportunity

Cypress, once one of the most highly prized of southern trees for its lumber, is now processed in only a few mills. While nearly disappearing from the market place the volume in standing second-growth indicates that cypress may one day retake its place as an important source of wood products. It is plantable and well adapted to growing in pure, even-aged stands. Freed of competition, it grows rapidly and prunes itself well in fully stocked stands.

Dogwood Anthracnose and its Spread in the South

In the 15 years since it was first reported in the United States, dogwood anthracnose (caused by Discula destructive sp. nov.) has spread rapidly and caused serious losses among flowering dogwoods (Cornus florida L.), particularly in the South. Infection begins in leaves and spreads to twigs and branches, which die back. Main-stem infections cause cankers, which kill the trees. In the South, infection is most likely at higher elevations and on moist to wet sites. Shade increases risk of infection and mortality. High-value trees can be protected by mulching, pruning, and watering during droughts, and applying a fungicide.

Eastern Subterranean Termite

The eastern subterranean termite is the most destructive of the insects that feed on wood and cellulose products in the United States.

Elm Spanworm

The elm spanworm is a native insect that has intermittently caused serious damage to trees in the United States and Canada for over a century. The spanworm attacks a wide variety of plants, including forest, shade, and fruit trees. It causes severe defoliation in hardwood forests. There have been at least 20 major outbreaks in eastern North America.

Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What Will Become of Your Timberland?

The purpose of this book is to provide guidelines and assistance to nonindustrial private forest owners and the legal, tax, financial, insurance, and forestry professionals who serve them on the application of estate planning techniques to forest properties. The book presents a working knowledge of the Federal estate and gift tax law as of September 30, 2008, with particular focus on the unique characteristics of owning timber and forest land. It consists of four major parts, plus appendices. Part I develops the practical and legal foundation for estate planning. Part II explains and illustrates the use of general estate planning tools. Part III explains and illustrates the use of additional tools that are specific to forest ownership. Part IV describes the forms of forest land ownership, as well as the basic features of State transfer taxes and the benefits of forest estate planning. The appendices include a glossary and the Federal forms for filing estate and gift taxes.

Forest Landowner’ Guide to the Federal Income Tax

The primary purpose of this handbook is to foster good forest management by combining, in one source, relevant information for analyzing investments in forest management and an explanation of the Federal income tax law associated with those investments. It is the latest in a series of income tax handbooks for nonindustrial private forest owners that extends back over 45 years.

Forestry Assistance Available

Precise answers and recommendations about your specific forest property are available from several sources, and you are encouraged to contact them. These sources can provide educational, technical, and, in many instances, cost-share financial assistance to non-industrial landowners throughout the South.

Forestry as an Investment

Is forestry a good investment? Most foresters like to think the answer is "yes"! The answer, however, depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. As competition for money and other resources increase, decisions of foresters and investors need to be based upon all available information. Investors have disposable income for use in forestry enterprises, but there are many alternatives available to them. The objective of this paper is to describe how evaluations are made and illustrate these points with an example.


As you manage your timber, you will come in contact with foresters who may use terms with which you are unfamiliar. This chart will help you better understand special terms and abbreviations commonly used in forestry and in making decisions about the productive management of your timber.

Growing and Maintaining Healthy Dogwoods

The natural range of dogwoods extends from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico. The trees color cities and countrysides white with dazzling displays in the early spring. Although they are most spectacular in spring, part of the attraction of dogwoods lies in their year-round beauty. They are truly a four-season plant, displaying rich green luster in the summer followed by deep red leaves in the fall. Bright red clusters of seeds decorate the tree in the winter months.

A Guide to the Care and Planting of Southern Pine Seedlings

Despite constantly improving reforestation technology, many public and private forestry organizations report declines in early survival in southern pine plantations. Experienced managers have come to expect lower survival than they were used to 20 to 30 years ago, and they are seeing failures that cannot be attributed to insects, diseases, or adverse weather. The most common reasons for these failures are breakdowns in what can be thought of as the "reforestation system." At various points between the nursery bed and the field planting site, seedlings are "critically wounded" by events that workers consider to be insignificant. Combinations of these "insignificant events" add up to poor seedling survival or complete plantation failure.

Harvesting Southern Pines

Most southern pine timber is harvested by independent logging contractors. Lesser amounts are harvested by logging crews employed directly by larger corporate wood-using organizations and by landowners themselves. Although the chances are that you will not harvest timber yourself, an understanding of what is involved in harvesting will better enable you to deal with prospective timber purchasers and work with the successful bidder for your timber.

Heart Rots of Appalachian Hardwoods

Decay in the heartwood of Appalachian hardwoods is a major source of loss in both volume and value of timber. This decay is caused by a variety of fungi which, by means of their windblown spores, enter the stem through open wounds. Once in the tree, the fungi feed upon the heartwood and in so doing bring about the condition known as decay or rot.

How to Prune Trees

The objective of pruning is to produce strong, healthy, attractive plants. By understanding how, when and why to prune, and by following a few simple principles, this objective can be achieved.

Identification and Biology of Southern Pine Bark Beetles

Bark beetles are the most destructive insects affecting pines in the southern United States. Greatest losses occur in loblolly and shortleaf pine stands, although most of the 11 native pines in the South are attacked. To be effectively dealt with, any pest (or pests) must first be identified. This handbook provides the reader with information to distinguish between the five southern pine bark beetle species based on symptoms of attack, adult appearance, and differences in life cycles and behaviour.

Importance of Soil to Tree Growth

Soil quality is an all important factor in forest management decisions. Soils influence which tree species will grow best and yield the highest timber product volume, the length of time required to grow a timber crop, and the amount of money a landowner can invest to yield an acceptable economic return from forest management.

Important Forest Trees of the Eastern United States

The purpose of this booklet is threefold: to acquaint the reader with the most common forest trees; to help him appreciate the fact that trees are useful as well as beautiful; and possibly to inspire him to further studies of the management, wise use, and development of the forest resource.

Intermediate Stand Management

Cultural treatments applied in established pine stands are called intermediate stand management practices. These are often desirable or necessary to improve survival and growth rate of crop trees. No standard schedule can be suggested for intermediate cultural activities. Their application is affected by such factors as stocking, growth rate, site quality, competition, and products to be harvested from the stand. Such activities as release, precommercial and commercial thinning, prescribed burning, pruning, timber stand improvement, and supplemental fertilization are among the intermediate stand management options which may be applied to protect woodlands and improve economic returns.

Invasive Plants Field and Reference Guide: An Ecological Perspective of Plant Invaders of Forests and Woodlands

There are many field guides available about invasive plants and their identification. The purpose of this particular field guide is to give a scientific synthesis of what is known about the behavior of such species in managed, disturbed, and pristine forested systems in addition to key information for accurate identification. Such information will be helpful when prioritizing research questions and choosing the best control strategies.

Invasive Species

An invasive species is defined as a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health according to The Forest Service Framework for Invasive Species (USDA Forest Service, 2003). The framework notes that thousands of invasive exotic plants, insects, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, diseases, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have infested hundreds of millions of acres of lands and waters across the nation, causing massive disruption in ecosystem function, reducing biodiversity, and degrading ecosystem health. Forests, prairies, mountains, wetlands, rivers and oceans have each been infested by these aggressive exotic species.

A Landowner's Guide to Building Forest Access Roads

An invasive species is defined as a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health according to The Forest Service Framework for Invasive Species (USDA Forest Service, 2003). The framework notes that thousands of invasive exotic plants, insects, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, diseases, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have infested hundreds of millions of acres of lands and waters across the nation, causing massive disruption in ecosystem function, reducing biodiversity, and degrading ecosystem health. Forests, prairies, mountains, wetlands, rivers and oceans have each been infested by these aggressive exotic species.

Landscape Aesthetics: A Handbook for Scenery Management

High quality scenery, especially scenery with natural-appearing landscapes, enhances people's lives and benefits society. The Scenery Management System presents a vocabulary for managing scenery and a systematic approach for determining the relative value and importance of scenery in a national forest. This handbook was written for national forest resource managers, landscape architects, and others interested in landscape aesthetics and scenery. Both students and the general public, our "constituents," will benefit from the straightforward approach of the system to a complex art and science. Ecosystems provides the environmental context for this scenery management system. The system is to be used in the context of ecosystem management to inventory and analyze scenery in a national forest, to assist in establishment of overall resource goals and objectives, to monitor the scenic resource, and to ensure high-quality scenery for future generations.

The Locust Borer

The locust borer is a native insect. Its original range probably coincided with that of its host tree, the black locust.

The Major Southern Pines

There are four major species of pine widespread throughout the southern states: shortleaf, loblolly, longleaf and slash. These species have numerous traits in common, yet each has characteristics unique to itself. They may occur on different sods and have differences in management requirements. There are other pine species in the south, but they are limited in their natural range to one or several adjoining states.

Managing the Family Forest in the South

To some, forest management means only management for timber production. However, in its broadest sense, forest management means management of forested acres for the continuous production of goods and services such as wood, water, wildlife, forage, and recreation. Owners should assess their own objectives so that their management plans will meet these objectives. The following pages describe how to increase timber yields, improve wildlife habitat, protect watersheds, obtain greater enjoyment from owning land and, in certain circumstances, use the forest forage.

Marketing Southern Pines

The economic future for timber products is sound. Projections indicate that the timber supply will fall short of demand, increasing timber stumpage prices and returns to the timberland owner. Timber historically has increased in value 2 percent a more above the annual inflation rate. This has been achieved during times of good timber supply. But, with the timber supply decreasing rapidly, returns on investment could show annual rates of 10 percent and more over the next timber growth cycle in the South.

Nectria Canker of Hardwoods

Nectria canker is the most common canker of hardwood trees and one of the most serious diseases of our hardwood forests. Though the disease kills few trees, it has serious impact on the quantity and quality of lumber produced.

Nursery Diseases of Southern Pines

Forest tree nurseries in the South produce over 500 million seedlings each year. More that 95 percent of these are loblolly and slash pines.

Pine Insects, Diseases, and Wildfire

Potential losses to insect and disease pests and to wildfire are a major concern of the forest landowner and manager. Wildfires bum over one million acres of southern forests each year. While damage by wildfire is sudden and spectacular, it is not nearly as extensive as losses caused by insects and diseases. Losses caused by forest pests in the South exceed 3 billion cubic feet annually.

Planning for Forest Stewardship: A Desk Guide

Since 1991, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service Forest Stewardship Program has assisted over 200,000 landowners in preparing multipurpose management plans for areas encompassing more than 20 million acres of nonindustrial private forest (NIPF). These plans promote the long-term sustainability of private forests by balancing future public needs for forest products with the need for protecting and enhancing watershed productivity, air and water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, and threatened and endangered species. This guide offers assistance to writers of the plans and includes instructions, requirements, excerpts from well-written plans, and specific recommendations for developing a plan. Plan writers vary among States and include State foresters, private consultants, and, through a coached planning process, landowners themselves.

Regenerating Southern Pines

The needs for pine timber in the United States are expected to double in the next 40 years. The South is expected to supply over half of the nation's pine timber at that time. To meet these needs, the pine forests of the future must be established in the 1980's. If this is to be accomplished, two factors loom important. Frst, over 70 percent of the total southern timberlands are owned by private, non-industrial owners; and second, only one of every nine harvested acres is currently being regenerated by this non-industrial ownership. Consequently, if future needs for pine timber are to be satisfied, regeneration and management of their forests for pine production must be prime objectives of private, non-industrial owners of southern forestlands.

Southern Hardwood Management

Hardwood forests represent an extremely diverse and valuable assemblage of species. To some, hardwood management is a confusing and difficult concept to grasp. Unfortunately, past harvests in many hardwood stands removed only the best quality stems of a few select species, leaving poor quality often less desirable species in the wake. Because of past practices in many hardwood stands, some may not believe that hardwood forests can be properly managed for pulp, lumber, water quality, aesthetics, wildlife habitat, and a host of other amenities. We hope this publication will serve to expand the private forest landowners' horizon to the possibilities of hardwood management.

Southern Pine Beetle

The southern pine beetle is one of pine's most destructive insect enemies in the Southern United States, Mexico, and Central America

Southern Pine Forests

Of the 200 million acres of commercial forest land in the 13 southern states, 18½ million acres are publicly owned, 36½ million acres are owned by wood-based industries, and by far the lion's share, 145 million acres, belongs to private individuals and groups. U.S. Forest Service reports indicate that 94 million acres of southern forest land support, in whole or in part, commercial quantities of at least one of the four major southern pine species.

Stewardship Handbook for Family Forest Owners

The National Association of State Foresters deeply respects and appreciates the role and contribution of family forests in creating and sustaining the nation’s beauty and bounty. NASF has written this handbook for the nation’s nearly 10 million non-industrial forest and woodlot owners, with particular focus on those of you who are in the early stages of considering how best to care for your forest and become a successful steward.

Timber and Wildlife

Wildlife and timber are both products of the forest. Multiple use of forested lands can, therefore, include optimal use and sustained yield management of the wildlife resource. Southern pine forests can be managed successfully for both timber and wildlife.

Timing of Prescribed Fire in Longleaf Pine Management: Benefits, Risks, and Roles by Season

Land managers in the Southeast have traditionally set fire to low vegetation in their pine forests every few years, chiefly during the winter months. Recently a variety of ecological considerations has generated interest in burning during the growing season in longleaf pine stands; but many experienced managers have expressed concern about the safety and effectiveness of summer burning. To assist forest managers facing practical decisions about when to conduct burning in their longleaf stands, this publication summarizes many of the principal insights provided to date by scientific research findings on the effects of season of burn on longleaf ecosystems.

Unmanaged Motorized Recreation

… Increased pressure from growing populations, coupled with advances in recreation technology, will continue to challenge public land management agencies, state and local governments, and private landowners. While the focus of this threat is on national forests and grasslands, management decisions must take into account the impacts of unmanaged recreation on adjacent private and public lands. Unmanaged off-highway vehicle (OHV) use is a spotlight issue representing this threat because of the unauthorized creation of roads and trails and the associated erosion, water-quality degradation, and habitat destruction.


The walkingstick is a defoliator of deciduous trees in North America.

Walnut Anthracnose

Walnut antracnose, or leaf blotch as it is sometimes called, is a widespread and destructive disease of walnut species, particularly the eastern black walnut.

Walnut Caterpillar

The walnut caterpillar is a relatively common insect in hardwood forests of eastern North America.

Yellow-Poplar: Characteristics and Management

Yellow-poplar is one of the top commercial hardwood species in the United States because of its availability, rapid growth, large size, excellent form, early natural pruning, and the good working quality of the wood.

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