Reforestation is Oregon law

It is a cornerstone of Oregon’s forest practices rules. Requiring landowners to promptly replant trees after a timber harvest means future Oregonians will enjoy the same forest resources we do today, including wood products, healthy watersheds, recreational opportunities, and thriving fish and wildlife habitat.

In a typical year, Oregon forest landowners plant about 40 million seedlings every year. And far more trees are planted each year than are harvested.

Forest Fact Break: Reforestation

This 90-second animated video explains how reforestation is Oregon law, ensuring sustainable forests for future generations. It is part of OFRI’s Forest Fact Breaks series, which uses bold animated graphics, sound effects and narration to teach about natural resource topics in a fun, easy-to-understand way.

Seedlings, seedlings and more seedlings


Landowners must complete replanting of harvested ground within two years.

Ensuring success.

Within six years of harvest, the young trees must be “free-to-grow.” That means they are vigorous and tall enough to out-compete grass and brush, and will grow into a new forest.

Trees per acre.

Depending on the site, the rules require that at least 100 to 200 trees per acre survive during reforestation, but landowners typically plant about 400 seedlings per acre.

Differences in eastern Oregon.

The law also requires successful reforestation in eastern Oregon; however, natural seeding reduces much of the need for hand planting.

Tree nurseries.

Nurseries, many of which are in Oregon, produce millions of healthy, high-quality seedlings, grown from seeds harvested from native tree species that match the planting area’s latitude and elevation.

A Day in the Woods: Reforestation

Join Mike Cloughesy and Nicole Strong as they explain why replanting is not only Oregon law, it’s the basis of all managed forests. Getting a new forest up and running as quickly as possible is the most important aspect of long-term forest sustainability.

Reforestation takes careful planning

Reforestation is an essential part of active forest management. Before harvest, foresters determine the best plan of action to ensure the regrowth of a healthy forest. Sometimes this means immediate replanting, while other times it means leaving trees as seed sources. Where appropriate, seedlings of several different tree species are planted to maintain diversity in a working forest.

Winter is tree planting season

Seedlings are planted while they are dormant, to take advantage of cool, wet weather conditions that promote good root development. This means seedlings are typically planted from winter into early spring by crews of reforestation workers who plant each new tree by hand.