Forestry Facts

Highlights

  • New York has more forests than any other state in the Northeast - 18.95 million acres. That's nearly an acre for each and every New Yorker!
  • New York's forests are growing over 3 times faster than they are being harvested, cleared for development or lost to insects and disease.
  • Are we running out of trees yet? Over 61 percent of the state is covered by forests, an increase of 24 percent since 1953.
  • Over 614,000 individuals and families own most (11.2 million acres) of New York's forests.
  • New York's forest industry contributes about $4.6 billion to the state's economy each year.
  • The forestry industry remains one of New York's top ten manufacturing sectors.
  • The forestry industry employs 53,833 New Yorkers, which comprises 4.5% of the manufacturing workforce, with an Annual payroll of $1.6 billion.
  • There are 1,428,000 registered hunters and 3,852,00 wildlife watchers who benefit from New York forestland.
Land Use In New York State
Land Use In New York State Acres in Millions
Forest Cover 18.95
Timberland 15.9
Forest Reserve 2.97
Urban Forestland 1.135
Farmland 7.2
Urban 3.42

Total 30,223.3
 
Forest Resources and Acres Under Certification

May 3, 2005

  • Area within State Boundary – 30.2 million acres
  • Forest Land – 18.95 million acres
  • Timber Land (Forest Land available for harvest) – 15.9 million acres
  • Forest Land Certified in Tree Farm Program – 564,257 acres (1,800 Tree Farms)
  • Forest Land in FSC Certification – 237,684* acres (5 landowners)
    *does not include 715,000 acres of State Forest Land
  • Forest Land in SFI Program – 475,700 acres (8 landowners)
  • Forest Land Certified ISO 14001 – 274,000 acres

 

NOTE: Due to some parcels being certified by multiple organizations, the total acres of Certified Forest in New York State is less than the total for all programs listed. For example, most private land certified under FSC is also certified by SFI and/or Tree Farm. It is estimated that at least 2.2 million acres is certified by at least one of the programs listed above.

Most Forested Counties
Rank County Total Acres of
  Forestland (1,000 acres)
1 St. Lawrence 1,274.2
2 Hamilton 1,079.1
3 Essex 1,033.8
4 Franklin 826.5
5 Herkimer 686.0
6 Delaware 669.2
7 Lewis 617.1
8 Ulster 582.8
9 Cattaraugus 572.1
10 Warren 533.5

 

Top Tree Species
Rank Species Percentage
1 Sugar Maple 18%
2 White Ash 14%
3 Other 13%
4 White Pine 13%
5 Northern Red Oak 12%
6 Red Maple 10%
7 Red Pine 10%
8 Black Cherry 7%
9 Hemlock 3%