Forestry, Wildlife and Natural Resource Management > FWNRM Blog > Posts > Preparing for drought: Forest management strategies to increase forest resiliency


33753866632_73e7ddf893_h.jpgDrought is defined as a shortage of precipitation over a certain time period that causes impacts. Drought has impacted forest health and productivity in the past and will continue to do so into the future. Across the southeastern United States little change in total precipitation is projected in the coming years. However, larger and more intense precipitation events along with increased number of dry days between such events are projected, thus increasing the potential for and frequency of drought.

Drought does not impact every forest the same. Forests in good health and vigor are better equipped to withstand the effects of drought and recover from its impacts, but appropriate management is often needed. Forest landowners and managers can use silvicultural practices that promote good health and resilience prior to drought that can minimize the risks and equip forests to better withstand potential impacts. Over the next few days we will go through some of these practices. Today we will start with site preparation and planting.

Site Preparation and planting:

  • Eliminate competing vegetation to improve soil moisture condition
  • Select the correct species to plant for your sites soil type(s)
  • Plant high quality seedlings consisting of a mix of genetic traits; planting species with the same genetic origin are more susceptible to significant impacts of drought and accompanying threats

Species selection for planting is critical to the long-term health and vigor of a stand. Planting the wrong species on a site can result in poor survival and poor growth. 

Remember to check back tomorrow. We will continue with the benefits of thinning

Multiple workshops on the effects of drought on forests and forest management practices that help minimize the impact of drought will be offered by ACES professionals at different locations across the state of Alabama this summer. Specific locations, dates and times will be announced in the coming weeks.

Additional information on drought can be found at:


Additional information on forest management and drought can be found at:


For further information on forest drought or the upcoming forest drought workshops, contact Adam Maggard at (334)-844-2401 or adm0074@aces.edu. 


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