USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Alabama has announced the White Oak Initiative, which is focused on increasing the number of white oak timber stands in the northern part of the state. According to the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory, white oak regeneration is not keeping pace with the amount of white oak timber being harvested. And if this trend is not reversed, it could cause a shortage of white oak timber available for harvest and for wildlife habitat over the next few decades.
White oak is an important component of Alabama’s forests due to the high value of the wood for veneer, flooring, cabinet-making, furniture and exports. Trees in the white oak family also have low tannins in their acorns and highly favored by many wildlife species.
The goal of the initiative is to increase the amount of white oak timber stands available in the future. This will be accomplished by improving existing stands of timber and replanting white oak on lands that are poorly stocked. Funding is available both options and eligible producers are encouraged to apply by June 3, 2019 by visiting their local USDA service center.