Forestry in Union County

— Written By and last updated by Elisabeth Purser
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Forest in Union CountyDid you know that Union County has over 150,000 acres of privately owned forests? That’s a little more than one third of all the land in the county! Our forestland cleans the air we breathe, reduces localized flooding by capturing stormwater, and cools the air through evapotranspiration. These are the same reasons we need new trees to be planted in new developments, jump starting the urban forests we need near our homes. 

In 2018, forestry and the wood products industry in this county had a total economic contribution of $375 million, supporting 2,000 jobs. In addition to foresters, loggers, and truckers, this includes numerous manufacturers in the county, making a variety of wood products including windows, doors, cabinets, countertops, veneer, engineered members like trusses, and pallets and other wood packaging. 

Forests in Union County include a diversity of species, both hardwoods like oaks and softwoods like pine. People own forestland for many reasons besides harvesting timber for profit. So even if you want to avoid a major harvest, a Registered Forester can help you achieve other goals such as wildlife value, aesthetics, family legacy, hunting, hiking, and other reasons you keep your forest. Catawba Lands Conservancy is an organization that works with landowners to put their forests into permanent conservation easements, so the land is always protected, but you retain ownership and control, while receiving considerable tax incentives. But whatever your goals are, the best place to start is to contact the North Carolina Forest Service for advice on your property and a list of Registered Foresters who consult landowners in Union County.