I recently attended a ‘Timberland Course’ with other land Brokers across the Southeast. The course was offered by the Georgia Chapter of the Realtors ® Land Insitute. The course was very informative and provided some helpful tips for timberland owners. Most landowners know anecdotally the best time to harvest but several visual aids were presented that may helps lay folks understand the importance in harvesting at the right time. Planted pine trees grow and transition from one product class to the next. The first class is generally pulpwood. The next product class is chip-n-saw which is a small sawtimber tree, these trees are generally 10-13 inches in diameter at breast height. The outer wood is simply chipped away and the chips are sent to a paper mill. The next product class is sawtimber, these trees are generally 14 inches and larger at breast height. Obviously different areas have different forest products but these describe the major classes.
The above picture shows the different classes and an average price per tree, prices vary by area.
The important take away is this, ‘know the best time to harvest’. If you own a tract of timber land that is made up of primarily 12-13 inch trees at breast height, you might be well advised to hold that tract for 3-5 years and let the trees grow to an average of 14 inches are larger. These trees have generally reached sawtimber size and will put lots of extra money in your pocket. You might experience a 40-50% increase in your timber harvest revenues. See the following picture.
Not everyone is an expert in the field of forestry so you might be advised to use the services of a Registered Forester or a Consulting Forester. They will know the markets in you area and can advise you on the best time to sell!
To see my listings, visit AllSouthLandandHomes.com. If you have questions on buying or selling LAND, contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at (706) 457-0090