Over 160 native or naturalized tree species can be found in Maryland. Oak and hickory are the dominant hardwoods, making up 60 percent of forested areas. Loblolly pine, the predominant forest tree on the Eastern Shore, is the most prevalent softwood, composing 15% of forests.
In 2019, forests constituted 2.46 million acres (40%) of Maryland's land surface, with lumber, pulpwood, and piling being the chief forest products. Some 1.87 million acres of forests, 76% of the total, belong to private landowners, while 24% belong to the public, including the State.
White pines, Gunpowder Falls State Park, south of Bradshaw, Baltimore County, Maryland, October 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
The fourth largest industry in the State, the forest industry has a value of about $4 billion. In western Maryland, the industry is the largest employer in Allegany and Garrett counties and on the Eastern Shore, it is the second largest. In 2018, the industry generated 5,196 forestry-related jobs, with a payroll of $286 million.
Production of lumber and building materials in Fiscal Year 2019 generated $418 million, and supplied 8.52% of Maryland's overall tax receipts.
Lumber truck, West Market St., Snow Hill, Maryland, June 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.
Maryland's Reforestation Law requires that any forests that are cleared for State-funded highway construction projects must be replaced (Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-101 through 5-103). Enacted in 1991, the Maryland Forest Conservation Act ensures that forests, particularly those near water, including wetlands, on steep terrain, and within large wildlife areas are identified and protected during land development (Chapter 255, Acts of 1991; Code Natural Resources Article, secs. 5-1601 through 5-1613).
Loblolly pine forest, Assateague Island National Park Seashore (Worcester County), May 2015. Photo by Sarah A. Hanks.
STATE FORESTS (by county)
Maryland has nine State forests. The Forest Service of the Department of Natural Resources oversees them along with the Chesapeake Forest Lands, five demonstration forests, one tree nursery, and sixteen fire towers totalling 224,140 acres. Demonstration forests show short- and long-term effects of sound forest and wildlife management practices.
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY
ST. MARY'S COUNTY
Source: Forest Service, Department of Natural Resources
Sales & Use Tax Summary Report, Comptroller of Maryland
© Copyright October 22, 2019 Maryland State Archives