August 2020 – 1st Edition
To Burn or Not to Burn
Control (or prescribed) burning is a forestry tool that many landowners like to use to prepare tracts for planting. What does burning accomplish and should you spend the money on it?
The primary benefit of control burning is to improve planter access by reducing logging debris and vegetation. The clearing effect of a controlled burn allows hand planters or machines to cover the entire area, be more accurate with tree spacing and to make good contact between the seedling and the soil. Generally, any effects on vegetation are temporary. The brush can be top-killed by burning, but the root system remains unaffected and will generally sprout back vigorously. Occasionally, a fire will be hot enough to affect the root system. Really hot fires can have detrimental effects on the litter layer that helps prevent erosion and sheet washing on slopes and adds organic matter to the soil over time. Hot fires should be avoided for these reasons. Unless logging debris is very heavy, hand planters and machines are usually able to work around tops and brush piles and give a quality planting job with the adequate spacing of seedlings. The firelines that are typically necessary for control burning can improve access for walking and four-wheelers but must be carefully installed to prevent erosion. Seeding with grasses or wildlife beneficial plants should be considered.
The cost of control burning can range from around $10 per acre to $50 or more. Landowners should carefully consider whether this cost is necessary to get a quality planting job. Often, spending this money on weed control and improved genetics is a better choice, simply by investing a few more dollars per acre. Control burning can be a valuable tool but consider if it is essential and review all of your options that could be better investments in the long term.
FLA Op Ed: President Trump Protects Truly
Seasonal Employers on the Immigration front
By Scott Jones, CEO,
Forest Landowners Association
To help American workers, and address public safety, President Trump issued two immigration executive orders – one in April and one in June – to pause the entry of guest workers and permanent immigrants to slow the spread of COVID-19 from hot spot countries and protect American jobs.
As part of these executive orders, President Trump built in flexibility for private and family forest landowners to tell his administration why an exemption would be needed.
Fortunately, the Trump administration did just that, responding on the H-2B front in a way that promotes seasonal forestry related businesses. Wednesday’s announcement included an exception for “travel necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States” and specifically mentioned “those working in forestry and conservation.” These exceptions are an important step to allow the forest industry to continue supporting the national economy in response to COVID-19.
The forest industry is essential to domestic supply chains and production as evidenced in our industry being labeled as an essential workforce in March. Because of this, America’s forest landowners were able to assist rural America and the national interest of economic recovery.
“The private forest landowner community is fortunate to have the direct input of John Pait with ArborGen on this issue. As a member of FLA’s Executive Committee, John played a vital role in informing us of the potential negative impact this would have on our industry and helped guide us in the development of a strategy that assisted in an exemption from the proclamation.”
– Scott Jones, CEO
Forest Landowners Association
Family and private forest landowners supply the majority of the wood and fiber that flows into domestic supply chains. They can continue to supply nearly all the industry’s needs, but they cannot miss a planting season. The Trump Administration’s recent exceptions to H-2B restrictions ensure that this will not happen by taking a critical first step towards obtaining the workers we need this tree planting season.
The work done by H-2B workers in our industry is restricted to a short season when weather conditions allow for planting trees. The tree planting season for landowners typically starts in October and ends in February. The timeline for prepping the land, preparing the seedlings to be pulled from the nurseries, quickly packing and shipping the live seedlings, and finally planting the trees is all interconnected and directly ties to a reoccurring seasonal need. This seasonal timeline allows the trees to become established before the environmental stresses of a hot, dry summer. This is a seasonal business and only requires a labor force for a few months. Decisive action by the Trump Administration to protect seasonal forestry employment goes a long way in showing the American people that he stands with American business owners and workers.
We applaud the Trump Administration for supporting the seasonal nature of our work and providing immigration exemptions for our vital workers. We look forward to our continued work with the White House and the Department of State to set up consular officers for success, and give them the resources they need to rapidly process visas.
Without these H-2B exceptions, the planting season for private forest landowners would have been disrupted and the forest industry would have suffered greatly. We supply essential materials for the domestic supply chain, and in response to COVID-19, domestic production is even more important. These exceptions will allow our industry to help the economy recover after the shock of the pandemic.
The executive orders laid out by the Trump Administration have been a smart and necessary economic and public safety response to the COVID-19 crisis. Now, they’re even better by moving us one step closer to ensuring another successful tree planting season.
Forest Landowners Association
Seedlings Selling Fast – Get Yours Before We’re Sold Out
We have some seedlings still available for your next planting, but they won’t last long. Get in touch with your Reforestation Advisor to determine availability and reserve your order.
MCP Loblolly Pine for Arkansas and Texas
OP Loblolly Pine for Coastal and Piedmont regions
Hardwoods: Shumard Oak and Bald Cypress
Orchard-Improved Longleaf Pine: South Carolina only
(In partnership with South Carolina Forestry Commission)
Woodland Owner Lunch and Learn Webinar
Seedling Genetics and Soil Fertility
Know what you’re planting and how to care for it.
Sep 16, 2020 12:00 pm US/Eastern
NC State Extension Forestry
Get in touch with a Reforestation Advisor to explore your options!
Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.
Western Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi
Geoffrey Lee Hill
Georgia, Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, Northern North Carolina
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Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma
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