Should I sell timber now or wait ten years? Should I invest in crop tree management or leave that hardwood stand to grow? How do I maximize the potential of the land?
As forest landowners you have to make decisions about your forest. We often observe landowners making poor decisions because of a lack of good information concerning their forestland. Many of these decisions have long lasting effects on their forest and on their wallet. A complete forest management plan can help landowners make informed decisions.
What do you base your decisions on? As professional foresters, we suggest starting with an inventory of the forest. A forest inventory is the same as a physical for doctors. An inventory allows us to assess the current condition of the forest and gather baseline information so we can monitor change.
The basic information gathered should include forest types found on the property, timber volumes, tree quality and health, tree age and size, tree growth rates, and site quality. The inventory could involve gathering a wide range of additional data depending on your objectives.
Once the inventory is completed an appraisal can be done to provide you with timber values. Some forestry terms and concepts are difficult to understand, but we find everyone understands dollars. Providing good information about the forest allows landowners to make informed decisions.
A timber appraisal is done to provide the landowner with an estimate of what their timber is worth at the present time and present market conditions. An inventory must first be completed to determine the timber volumes on the tract.
After the inventory is completed we begin looking for comparable sales information. A “comparable sale” is a tract of timber recently sold that is similar in species composition, location, and size to the tract of timber that is being appraised. We use data from comparable past timber sales we have handled. Then these comparables are analyzed to determine which is the most similar to the tract being appraised. Prices of the most similar tract are applied to the volumes from the timber inventory.
All this data is accumulated to provide the land owner with a detailed report of our findings which includes a stand map delineating the different forest cover types on the property, the volumes of all the merchantable species and products on the property, and the values of each of the merchantable products on the property.
Our expertise and experience allows us to produce a highly accurate timber appraisal that helps the landowner see the true value of their property.
Click here to view a sample Timber Inventory and Valuation Report.