Georgia’s 24.7 million acres of forest are a diverse mix of hardwood and softwood tree species typical of the South. Hardwood forests account for 53 percent of the forested area versus 45 percent for softwood types, with balance in mixed forests. Georgia’s forest resources are considerable and increasing. The rate at which the State gained forest land acreage from converted agricultural land decreased until 2009 and after that time remained stable. The rate at which forest was lost to development decreased steadily since about 2007. There were 22.0 billion cubic feet of wood volume in softwoods and 21.7 billion cubic feet in hardwoods, for a total of 43.7 billion cubic feet, with growth to removals rates of 1.4 for softwoods and 1.8 for hardwoods. Several tree species in Georgia have serious issues at this time. Redbay and sassafras are under attack from laurel wilt disease. Flowering dogwood shows a high rate of mortality, most likely due to a number of factors, and the emerald ash borer threatens native ash trees. Japanese honeysuckle is the most invasive nonnative plant in Georgia forests, followed by Chinese/European privets.
Brandeis, Thomas J.; McCollum, Joseph M.; Hartsell, Andrew J.; Brandeis, Consuelo; Rose, Anita K.; Oswalt, Sonja N.; Vogt, James T.; Marcano Vega, Humfredo . 2016. Georgia’s forests, 2014. Resource Bulletin SRS-209. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 78 p.