Planned restoration of bottomland hardwoods is important to adequately address negative consequences resulting from the severe loss and fragmentation of forested wetlands in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Reforestation efforts have been promoted through government initiatives of state and federal agencies (e.g. Wetland Reserve Program) and private conservation groups. To clarify discussions of forested wetland restoration, we offer definitions of reforestation and restoration, review historic reforestation practices, identify additional needs, and propose a conceptual framework to assist in future reforestation efforts. Future reforestation efforts should include: (1) comprehensive planning among participating agencies, (2) standardized documentation of methods, and (3) short-term and long-term monitoring protocols that permit refinement of methodologies. Implementation of these concepts will promote cooperative planning among participants and facilitate research to evaluate bottomland hardwood restoration efforts.