Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Thomas J. BrandeisJeffery A. Turner
    Date: 2013
    Source: Resource Bullentin SRS-RB-196. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 56 p.
    Publication Series: Resource Bulletin (RB)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.05 MB)


    Forest area on the U.S. Virgin Islands held steady, or decreased slightly, from 2004 (46,564 acres) to 2009 (45,163 acres). There were 26,179 acres of forest on St. Croix (49.6 percent forested), 10,343 acres of forest on St. John (85.5 percent forested) and 8,641 acres of forest on St. Thomas (50.1 percent forested). We estimate there to be 85.1 million trees in the U.S. Virgin Islands holding 1.2 million tons of aboveground woody biomass. On average, an acre of subtropical moist forest held 17.2 tons per acre of carbon and an acre of subtropical dry forest held 11.4 tons per acre. The U.S. Virgin Island’s forest trees grew by 1.1 million cubic feet each year but lost 155,221 cubic feet per year to natural mortality and another 40,564 cubic feet to removals, for a net annual gain of 935,651 cubic feet on average. This means a net total gain of 4.7 million cubic feet of wood volume over the entire 5-year period. A total of 202,820 cubic feet of wood were removed from the forests by cutting or land clearance over that same 5-year time period. A total of 118 species were encountered on the forest inventory plots measured in 2009. West Indian mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) replaced black mampoo (Guapira fragrans) as the tree with the highest importance value. Otherwise, the most important species have not changed much since the previous inventory. We continue to see the prevalence of smaller white leadtrees, or tan-tan (Leucaena leucocephala) in both the subtropical dry and moist forests. As the U.S. Virgin Islands’ forest inventory moves from initial measurement to remeasurement of established permanent plots, resource managers and policy makers will have more information to base their decisions on, updated more frequently. Changes can be detected earlier and interventions planned before situations grow too large or complex to easily affect.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Brandeis, Thomas J.; Turner, Jeffery A. 2013. U.S. Virgin Islands’ Forests, 2009. Resource Bullentin SRS-RB-196. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 56 p.


    Google Scholar


    Caribbean, FIA, forest health, forest inventory, secondary forest, tropical forest, U.S. Virgin Islands

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page