Forest Health Issues
Trees subjected to environmental stresses or injuries are
usually more vulnerable to damage caused by insects and
diseases. Storm damaged trees are prime targets for a host
of destructive insects and diseases. Unfortunately, insect
pests, as well as certain tree pathogens (especially fungi),
are actually better at recognizing trees under stress than
most tree enthusiasts. As a result, stressed trees may go
completely unnoticed until they are "suddenly" damaged or killed by insects or diseases. Some insects are
actually attracted to stressed trees by chemical signals
(odors) released into the air by trees in response to stress.
It is only when trees are seriously injured or stressed
that they lose their natural ability to ward off infections
by these organisms and fall victim to the attack. Examine
your trees often for the appearance of any unusual symptoms.
Visit the Forest
Health Section for more help.
The first thing a landowner should do in the wake of a storm
is document the event and the damage incurred. Save a copy
of the local newspaper to document the storm and take pictures
of the timber damage before any salvage harvesting begins.
Timber losses from natural disaster may be claimed as a
casualty loss if none of the timber is harvested. If the
timber is harvested, it can be claimed as an involuntary
conversion. Tax rules governing the applicability of casualty
losses and involuntary conversions are complex and the advice
of a professional accountant or tax lawyer should be sought.
Salvage Your Timber
It may be difficult to sell your timber due to the massive
amount of damaged wood on the market. In addition, prices
will be depressed due to the difficult logging conditions,
which drastically reduce loggers’ productivity. Trees
that can be sold for veneer and sawtimber products should
be harvested first. After 4-6 weeks, a blue stain fungus
will degrade the quality of these high-valued trees and
they will have to be sold for pulpwood. Trees being sold
for pulpwood should be removed within 8-12 months.
Find consulting foresters and technicians, urban forestry
consultants, prescribed burning consultants and wildlife
consultants for Florida in the Forest Services Vendor Database (FSVD)
Wood Using Industry Directory for Florida is a compilation
of over 330 forest based companies.
The process of reforestation should involve careful planning,
starting when you harvest your timber. The manner in which
your timber is harvested will affect the timing, and potential
methods of site preparation and planting. There may be a
and Wildlife Cost Share Program available to help you
with the costs of reforestation.
The Florida Forest Service through its network of Foresters
provides reforestation assistance to landowners. To learn
more, contact the County
Forester in your area.