Florida Forest Service Offers Tips To Care For Timber After Hurricanes Sally And Zeta

December 9, 2020

Clean up and recovery from the 2020 hurricane season is well under way. While progress is being made, the damage done to timberland might impact your forest for years to come. Here are few tips and reminders from the Florida Forest Service for getting your timber stand back on track:

  • Always be safety conscious. Watch for leaning trees and limb hangers in trees. These can come loose without warning and injure or kill.
  • Document your damage (this can include photos, drone footage, scale tickets from salvage operations, damage estimates from a forester, invoices from clean up contractors, etc)
  • Clear your access roads and firelines
  • Repair eroded roadways and stream crossings
  • Determine if you need to make any changes to your management strategies
  • If needed, seek assistance for financial help, vendor lists, a new management plan, and/or recommendations on how to proceed
  • Implement new or existing management plan

Damage from Hurricane Sally has been inconsistent with damaged forest stands scattered across Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Hurricane Zeta further impacted timber in the northwest part of Escambia County.

In all, most areas in Florida saw only light damage. Often the best thing to do for lightly damaged timber is to leave it be or possibly something as simple as a well-timed prescribed burn. A few areas saw more significant damage that could require salvage operations or clearing, site preparation, and replanting. \

If you are uncertain what would be the best approach for your forest or are seeking financial assistance in your restoration efforts, contact Escambia County Forester Cathy Hardin in Molino at (850) 587-5237.

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