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.

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