Whether you are considering your first timber sale or timberland purchase, or you have been involved with timberland for many years, there is one question that every landowner asks; “What is my timber worth?” The most truthful answer is, “It all depends!” For the landowner that wants to make good decisions and manage wisely, this creates a real dilemma.
Variables affecting the value of timber include property, local, regional, and national influences that ultimately determine timber product pricing and value.
Property factors affecting timber pricing include:
- the size of the property
- quality and quantity of timber
- access to the timber
Local factors may include:
- current competition levels
- mill inventory and product specifications
- haul distance to the mill
Regional and national influences may include:
- the number of competing mills
- demand for finished products
- income and estate taxes
- regulations pertaining to timberland ownership
Because there are so many variables that can affect the value of your timber, it is critically important for landowners to be informed and seek competent assistance from a professional forester that is representing your best interest.
Over the years we have heard numerous stories of landowners who decided to sell their timber “because my neighbor got a good price years ago” or someone made them an unsolicited offer on their timber “through the mail and it sounded like a lot of money.” For some landowners, a one-time timber sale will be all they will experience in a lifetime. With others, timberland ownership may be a means of periodic income for them and future generations. Whatever the situation, determining timber value is a crucial step towards making good decisions and avoiding big mistakes as you manage your timberland asset.
A reliable, current timber inventory is required in order to establish an accurate estimate of your timber’s value. The timber inventory provides a volume estimate by the various products (i.e., pulpwood, sawtimber, etc.), as well as different age classes on your property. Current market pricing by product is required as well. With technological changes in recent years, there has emerged an increasingly varied number of products and specifications, making it more difficult – even for experienced foresters – to confidently determine value. We are active in the market every day and understand the impacts of all these variables on timber value.
Contact us today and let one of FRC’s professional foresters help you accurately and appropriately value your timber assets.
With so many factors affecting timber values, it is more important than ever for you to have a good understanding of the value of your timber before making decisions.