Updated: Jul 3, 2019
In the fall of 2018, Bell Plantation was looking forward to celebrating its 150th anniversary by hosting our 5th Military and Police Appreciation Day. An extensive amount of work and planning had gone into making this the biggest and best event yet. It was scheduled for October 13th.
Then on October 10th, disaster struck. In a catastrophic event, Hurricane Michael swept across Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia, with 140+MPH winds that were unprecedented. Never in recorded history had a Category 4 hurricane carried such force so far inland. Unfortunately, Bell Plantation was right in the path of this cataclysm. The M&P Appreciation Day was canceled, and a long and difficult process of recovery began. Entire tracts of mature timber were wiped out, some of which were unsalvageable. Almost all the timber tracts on the property were impacted, most in a dramatic fashion. The work to clean up what Michael did in hours will take years to come.
In the reforestation after the storm, the Bell Plantation team is implementing the latest in forest genetics. Recent advances have made it possible to clone pine trees. This allows for tree seedlings to be mass produced from cell mitosis, rather than needing to be grown from seed. The result will be trees that will come to harvest many years sooner than what had been the case, even a few years ago. All this adds up to a quicker recovery from the disaster of Hurricane Michael.
Bell Plantation has been noted for its efforts and innovation in disaster recovery, including being featured in the July 2019 issue of Georgia Trend magazine. The process of salvage, clean-up, and reforestation is difficult and expensive. However, we are resilient and will improve the land. Our commitment to persistence is just the Bell way of doing things