Reforestation Program

In the decade from 1964 to 1974, Louisiana's forestland decreased nine percent. The rate of decline has slowed considerably since then. From 1974 to 1984, Louisiana's forestland decreased four percent, and from 1984 to 1991 (the last forest survey) the state's forestland decreased less than one percent.

Thus, the Office of Forestry must help meet the challenge of producing more raw material on less acreage, and among the most direct ways the agency contributes toward a solution is through its Reforestation Division.

Research has indicated that Louisiana's unique geography and climate make the state's forestland potentially the most productive in the South for pine species. In order to meet landowners' demands for seedlings, the state's three tree nurseries grow some 25 million pine and 3-4 million hardwood seedlings each year. The seedlings are sold at cost to Louisiana landowners for reforestation purposes.

In addition to production of millions of tree seedlings, the Office of Forestry's reforestation activities include a tree improvement program. Through participation in the Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program, a cooperative organization with members from five contiguous states, the agency selects superior pine parents from the state's forests. The selection process is complicated and stringent, taking into consideration such characteristics as a straightness and taper of trunk, size and angle of branches, insect and disease resistance, prunability and crown size. Scions (cutting or twig) from the superior parents are then grafted onto stock in two seed orchards operated by the Office of Forestry, and, in six to ten years, begin to produce their own seeds.

Loblolly, slash and longleaf pines are the orchard's focus with hardwood improvement projects underway. The seed orchards currently provide enough seed to produce the Office of Forestry's entire pine crop each year. Resulting superior stock is then planted by Louisiana's landowners to replenish one of our most important renewable resources, the state's forests.

Contact Reforestation Program

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry
P.O. Box 1628
Baton Rouge, Louisiana  70821
Phone: 225-925-4515
Fax: 225-922-1356


Service Area

Statewide Program in:
  • Louisiana

Office Locaters

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