South Carolina’s Forests


South Carolina has 13 million acres of forestland –67% of the state’s total land area.
Hardwood timber types occupy over 52% of the state’s forestland. Softwoods occupy 48%.
SC’s forestland acreage has averaged 12.6 million acres since 1968.
The 2012 forest inventory found there are 2.3 million more acres of forestland than there were in the first inventory in 1936.


Forestry is number one among manufacturing industries in jobs (90,320) and payroll ($4.48 Billion).
Total economic impact of SC’s forest industry is $18.6 billion annually.
SC exports $1.5 billion in forest procucts each year.
Timber is the state’s number one harvested crop at $759 million annually.


88% of SC’s forests are privately owned.
63% of private forests are family owned.
The average “family forest” is 80 acres. 56% of these owners live on the land.
Forest industries own 137,400 acres, down 93% since 2001 and continuing to decline.
Public agencies manage 12% of SC’s forests.


SC’s forests now contain 25 billion cubic feet of wood, more than at any time in the past century.
The state’s forests, both hardwood and softwood, are growing more wood than is being harvested.
Net annual softwood growth is double pre-Hurricane Hugo growth rates. The present annual growth of 935 million cubic feet per year is the highest recorded.
Net annual hardwood growth rates have steadily increased since Hurricane Hugo. The present annual growth of 321 million cubic feet per year is 39% above pre-Hugo levels.

Information provided by SC Forestry Commission and USDA Forest Service.