Do you buy a real Christmas tree each year? North Carolina pine trees, a major source of Christmas trees and timber, are increasingly at risk.

Pine tree farm

A changing climate is making the trees more vulnerable to insects, drought, and extreme weather. Chip Miller, timberlands manager for Jordan Lumber & Supply, says managing the growing threats from changing climate conditions is like battling a wildfire.

Miller: “… if you jump on it real quick you can manage the losses, but if it gets a good head start you could lose a lot of trees, a lot of timber in a short period of time.”

In a business that plans its harvests decades in advance, foresters have already started to adapt to climate changes that others have not even begun to notice – such as shifts in temperature, precipitation, and the onset of spring.

Foresters, planning harvests decades in advance, and adapting to #climatechange. Click To Tweet

The North Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Adaptation group is working on ways to cope with increasingly erratic weather. New best practices that include moving seedlings into cold storage to mimic winter weather and genetically modifying trees to better suit the state’s changing climate are helping growers adjust.

That’s good news for those of us who love the sight and smell of a pine tree at home during the holidays!

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Pam Memmott.
Photo: Copyright protected.

More Resources
How N.C. farming, forestry sectors are adapting to changing climate
Jordan Lumber
Economic Impact Data
N.C. leaders pursue practices to meet threats from changing climate
Keeping North Carolina’s Farms and Forests Vibrant and Resilient An Adaptive Management Planning Strategy

Topics: Species & Ecosystems