Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Find     
Site Image
Forest Herbicides Facts
Why are herbicides used in Oregon's forests?
The Oregon Forest Practices Act requires planting tree seedlings within two years after a timber harvest.  Many forest landowners in Oregon -- both large industrial companies and small family forestland owners -- choose to use herbicides to control unwanted vegetation that could prevent tree seedlings from receiving adequate water, nutrients and sunlight.
 
Many industries and homeowners use various forms of pesticides including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and rodenticides. The forest sector predominantly uses herbicides.  The Oregon Department of Forestry tracks when, where, what, and how forest pesticides are applied through the Notification of Operation process. 
 
The Oregon Department of Forestry recognizes that forest management goals and methods may vary among landowners. Many landowners see herbicides as the most cost-effective means of achieving their reforestation goals following logging or fire, or for converting neglected brush land to forests. 
 
Other landowners believe that minimizing or eliminating the use of pesticides is a more preferable route to meeting their goals.  Other tools available to control unwanted vegetation include cutting of brush by hand or with power tools, grubbing grass sod from around individual trees, mowing, and placing mulch or mulch mats around individual trees.

Information Resources
 
Facts about herbicide use in Oregon's forests [PDF; 1 page; 54 kB]
Forest Facts - Herbicide Use [PDF; 1 pg; 91 kB]
 
Private Forests Program - Pesticide Use in Oregon's Forests
ODF Aerial Pesticide Application Monitoring Study
 
 

Public Information
 
Chemical applications on forestland are defined as a “forest operation” which requires the landowner to provide a Notification of Operation to the Department of Forestry at least 15 days prior to the planned operation.
 
Notification of Operation forms are maintained for seven years and these records may be examined on request, with copies of documents available according to ODF’s public records policy.
 
Anyone wishing to review public records should complete a written public records request form available in the Public Involvement area of the ODF web site
 
Some citizens are interested in knowing if and when their neighbors are going to be applying herbicides on forestlands. The Oregon Department of Forestry provides data from the agency’s FACTS data management system to the public upon request. 
 
To find out what forestland spray projects are planned in your area, call or visit your nearest Oregon Department of Forestry office (contact ODF in Salem at 503-945-7200 to find your regional office) to fill out an application for the FACTS subscription service and have your name added to a list of interested members of the public. There is an annual fee for this service. 
 
In the few instances each year where there are rule violations, ODF takes enforcement action by issuing citations, fines, and orders to repair damage done to natural resources.  Required repairs could include establishing new trees along a stream to replace any damaged trees that were supposed to have been protected.
 
Regardless of where the potential violation may have occurred, if natural resources or human health or property may have been damaged by a pesticide application, you can contact Oregon’s Pesticide Analytical and Response Center (PARC).  PARC is a coordinating group of state agencies that can initiate investigations, alert agencies that may have regulatory responsibility, provide cleanup information (for homes or cars, for example), and provide health care providers with diagnostic or treatment information.