Oregon Forest Practices Act


What are Oregon’s Reforestation Requirements? 

Is replanting always required after cutting and selling trees in Oregon?
No, the land may be converted to a bona-fide non-forest use.

The landowner must document compliance with county ordinances and

all necessary permits. The land use change must be completed within

24 months of harvest completion and must be maintained for at least 6 years.

What triggers a reforestation obligation?

Reforestation is required if the post-harvesting numbers of residual seedlings, saplings, and trees are below rule-specified levels. The potential tree-growing productivity (site class) of the site determines the stocking to be re-established. There are three broad productivity ranges. Landowners in this area generally need to replant either 125 or 200 trees per acre. Residual seedlings, saplings or poles, and trees may all count toward stocking.

Who does the state hold responsible for reforesting harvested land in Oregon?

Oregon holds the forest landowner responsible for reforestation, regardless of who cuts the trees. When the land is sold, any uncompleted reforestation obligation transfers to the buyer. The law requires a seller to inform the buyer of this in writing.

Where can a person get all the details about reforestation?

Landowners are encouraged to obtain a copy of:

Why should a landowner know these requirements?

Reforestation after harvesting keeps forest land productive and valuable. The Oregon Department of Forestry administers forest practice reforestation rules in order to ensure future generations will also benefit from Oregon’s many forest resources: timber, water, air, soil, and fish and wildlife habitat. Failure to reforest can result in: a citation, an order to repair the condition, a fine up to $5000, and removal from forestland tax deferral with a bill for back taxes.
What is involved in reforestation?

Reforestation means more than simply planting seedlings or saving residual seedlings, saplings, or trees already on the site. The landowner must see to it that the trees are in “free to grow” condition six years after harvesting. “Free to grow” means that a tree has a good chance of outgrowing competing grass and brush to become part of a vigorous, healthy forest. This makes it very important for landowners to plan for reforestation before harvesting begins. Good planning will minimize costs and ensure successful reforestation.

The reforestation rule “clock” starts when the operation is completed or 12 months after felling begins, whichever comes first. From that date landowners have: 12 months to start reforestation tasks such as site preparation and ordering seedlings; 24 months to complete planting; and 6 years in total to establish an adequately-stocked, free to grow stand. (Time extensions may be granted for circumstances beyond the landowner’s control.)