Successful plantation establishment (planting) is critical to profitable forestry. During the 1999-2000 drought plantings (La Niña), there were high death and disease rates. Losses were large and are reflected in the poor quality of those stands today.
In contrast, 1998 rainy-pattern (El Niño) plantings were well established. However, under El Niño conditions plantings in very low lands could be avoided to minimize losses, since excessive rains might drown seedlings.
Climate conditions also affect the harvesting and thinning of forests. Harvest operations typically require moving heavy machinery into forest areas. Typical wet El Niño seasons make for boggy, muddy conditions. With a reasonable probability of an El Niño season, harvest dates can either be pushed forward or delayed to avoid extra difficult work.
This decision to advance or postpone should be made in conjunction with price outlooks, and offers the potential to greatly reduce risk and loss associated with high (~$300/acre) costs of planting and difficulty of establishment.