South Carolina’s forests, 2006
Forest land area in South Carolina amounted to nearly 12.9 million acres, including 12.8 million acres of timberland. Nonindustrial private timberland totaled to 9.9 million acres. Family forest owners dominate the private ownership group with 262,000 landowners who collectively control 7.3 million acres of forest land in the State. Timberland area under forest industry ownership continued to decline, falling from just over 2.0 million acres in 2001 to 1.4 million acres in 2006. The loblolly-shortleaf pine forest-type group occupied 5.3 million of the 5.9 million acres of softwoods. Planted pine area amounted to nearly 3.1 million acres while area of natural pine totaled < 2.9 million acres. Hardwood forest types occupied 6.8 million acres of South Carolina’s timberland, including 3.0 million acres of upland hardwoods. Total volume in all live species on timberland amounted to 21.5 billion cubic feet, surpassing all previous inventory estimates. All live softwood volume totaled 10.6 billion cubic feet with 8.8 billion cubic feet in the loblolly-shortleaf pine species group. Net growth for all live softwoods on timberland averaged 817.0 million cubic feet per year between 2002 and 2006. Annual removals of softwoods averaged 596.1 million cubic feet as of 2006, up 16 percent since 2001. Hardwood net growth averaged 387.3 million cubic feet per year since the 2001 survey while removals of hardwood averaged 217.7 million cubic feet per year. Forestry is a $17.45 billion dollar industry in South Carolina and employs nearly 45,000 people. Total output of timber products from the State’s 75 sawmills, pulpwood mills, and other primary wood-processing plants averaged 755 million cubic feet per year between 2001 and 2005. Redbay trees displaying symptoms of Laurel wilt disease have been detected in numerous counties of South Carolina.