This is the time of year when forest owners are really thinking about reforestation after a harvest. Under normal circumstances, planning your reforestation project can take a lot of effort. From where and when to source your seedlings to what types of trees to plant where and how many, replanting can be a challenging part of managing a woodland.
In light of our recent wildfire events, our forestry community will be facing some challenges in regard to reforestation. Two major challenges will be sourcing seedlings and time constraints due to the increase in seedling demand.
Woodland owners looking to reforest after a salvage harvest due to wildfire face even greater challenges. Some of those challenges will be understanding where to start, and Extension is here to help guide you. All resources and contacts mentioned throughout this article can be found at the end of this article.
Whether you were already planning to reforest in the spring or you find yourself in need to plant now as a result of the fire, Oregonians are about to face the reality that there might not be enough seedlings to meet the new demand. Most years the availability of tree seedlings for reforestation and Christmas tree plantings are limited. Nurseries do their best to project and be prepared for the needs of our community, but unfortunately after the wildfires, the nurseries are going to see a surge in demand for seedlings that they were unable to project. This means that an already limited supply of seedlings will likely become even more limited.
If you have been affected by wildfire, reforesting your land is an important step to restoration. This is something that should be done as soon as possible. Because the Oregon Forest Practices Act (OFP) requires landowners to replant within two years after a harvest, we can expect a higher demand of seedlings compared to what is available. But don’t worry, you have options.
Contact your local seedling suppliers as soon as possible and find out what is available. If you find that you will not be able to purchase seedlings in the time that you are expected to replant, contact your local ODF Stewardship Forester and they will work with you to come up with a plan to allow more time to obtain seedlings.
The OSU Extension Fire Program is working with partners to create a post-fire tool kit for private landowners that will help make a plan and connect to the resources needed to begin the process of restoring woodlands. More information will be available soon.
- Oregon Department of Forestry video, Replanting After a Wildfire
- Timber Salvage After Wildfires
- Forest Industry Directory
- If you need seedlings for 2021 or 2022, you should check with nurseries ASAP to see what is available. See the list of nurseries in the back of the publication Sources of Native Forest Nursery Seedlings
- Selecting and Buying Quality Seedlings
- Forest Seedling Network
- More information on seedling sales and availability is featured in the winter 2021 edition of Woodland Notes. Here's more information on last spring’s seedling sale opportunities.
Please contact Glenn Ahrens if you need more immediate assistance.