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FLA Hosts Timber Talk in South Carolina – Planting the Future: From Seedlings to Success

On October 3, 2023, FLA conducted a Timber Talk that showcased the journey of longleaf pine from the seedling to the stands. The event included a half-day program and tour at the new IFCO nursery in Windsor, South Carolina, followed by a half-day tour of family landowner Ben Christensen’s longleaf pine straw operations.

At the nursery, attendees heard from the South Carolina Forestry Commission and IFCO professionals about forest product trends in the state, seedling markets, tree improvement and advancements in seedling genetics, and nursery operations at Windsor Nursery. IFCO staff demonstrated how the seeds are planted, placed in pivots, and cared for before they are sent to landowners across the Southeast.

That afternoon, FLA member and landowner Ben Christensen welcomed a small group onto his property to learn more about longleaf management and pine straw operations. The tour highlighted the importance of diverse market opportunities for landowners to keep their land in forest use, and the group discussed alternative management and raking methods to increase sustainability while still generating income. Other topics of discussion included the history of the property, common challenges of longleaf establishment and management, reforesting after natural disasters, and how Christensen’s property benefits the surrounding community.

The event was attended by IFCO customers and several of our longleaf partners, including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Longleaf Alliance, Clemson University, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Forestry Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and U.S. Forest Service.

Thank you to our co-hosts for this event – PRT/IFCO and Advance Land and Timber – as well as all the speakers who shared their immense knowledge on seedlings with the group. This event would not have been possible without the generosity of Mr. Ben Christensen allowing the FLA team and guests to tour his property and share his story.

Access a photo album from the event here.

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