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How to Evaluate and Manage Storm-Damaged Forest Areas

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Storm Damaged TreesHurricanes, tornadoes, and ice storms strike somewhere in the South almost every year. They cause extensive forest damage by uprooting, wounding, bending, and breaking trees. Standing water, which often accompanies hurricanes, can cause additional stress and mortality. When one of these natural disasters occurs, it is important to have a plan for managing damaged timber.

Hurricane Hugo Satellite Photo

Development of a storm damage management plan involves several systematic steps. As soon as possible, the area should be sketch mapped or aerial photographed. The next step is to ground check the damage to determine the need for salvage. Priorities for salvage will depend on location, amount and type of damage, and management objectives. This guide presents methods for managing storm-damaged trees to reduce growth loss, product degrade, and mortality. In the process, other factors such as threatened and endangered species must be considered. The information presented here will assist in setting priorities.

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