The Florida Forest Service has tracked reforestation trends in Florida since 1950. The chart above shows Florida’s historical reforestation trends through the 2020-21 planting season. Due to the COVID pandemic, data was not collected for 2019-20. Reforestation decreased in 2020-21 by approximately 28,400 acres compared to 2018-19, while the average planting density was approximately 10% lower. The decreased density and acres planted resulted in just under 21 million fewer trees planted in 2020-21 than in 2018-19.
It should be noted that survey data is dependent upon self-reporting by various nurseries and public and private landowners. As such, reported data likely underestimates actual reforestation activities. The decadal average (approximately 118,000 acres planted per year from 2010-2020) better reflects long-term trends, but remains near half the acres planted on average during the 1970s and 80s. The number of acres planted in 2020-21 is the lowest since 2008-2009.
The chart also depicts planting by major landowner groups. Historically, the forest industry was the leading tree planting group in Florida. Non-industrial private landowners (NIPF) became the leaders in planted acreage in Florida beginning in 2008 and maintained this trend through 2020-2021 for all years except 2018.
Information courtesy of the Florida Forest Service