Private woodland owners often wonder what their timber is worth. The notion that tree cutting is “bad” has become a culturally ingrained misconception. Whether or not to harvest trees is one of the tougher decisions a landowner has to make. Given the costs involved, it only makes sense for a sawmill to utilize every last part of each tree that comes through their doors (and that’s exactly what they’ll do). Timber harvesting, the more modern term for logging, is the act of cutting down trees, removing them from the forest, and eventually processing them into consumer or business products.Logging is one of the major industries on the planet, as trees are used in everything from construction, to paper, to clothing, to garden supplies. Forest management and timber harvest systems utilize a very deep reservoir of forest research and experience. Timber harvesting is an artificial disturbance that also affects the ecosystem. Failing to follow the guidelines could have an impact on the mixing of surface soils, erosion, compaction, rutting, and more. Timber Harvesting. Our timber price database is continually updated and contains comprehensive sales data from more than $6 billion in actual timber transactions across the entire region. This method of harvesting removes single trees or a few trees at a time from a forested area, leaving many behind. The most economically profitable and the historically most popular timber harvesting technique, clearcutting, has taken a lot of flack in recent years. Selective cutting, also called selective harvesting, is a timber-harvesting approach that’s less destructive than clear-cutting. [i] “Stumpage” is the term used for the purchase price of standing timber and the rights to harvest that timber. The art and science of tending a stand of trees based on ecological principles is called silviculture. What is my timber worth? It is based on the misconceptions that: small diameter trees must be younger than larger diameter trees of similar height, and; quality is mainly a function of size. Silviculture's goal is to establish forests while controlling stand structure. Following timber harvesting guidelines is essential to minimize superfluous, often unnecessary, activities on the site. Clearcutting Timber Harvesting Explained. Product changes, current market strength, and market trends influence economic decisions. Shelterwood Timber Harvesting Explained. The Selection Method - The selection harvest method is the removal of mature timber, usually the oldest or largest trees, either as single scattered individuals or in small groups. Shelterwood timber harvesting works extremely well for small farmers. Should I harvest my trees? The one consistent source of information on this subject is the Minnesota Public Stumpage Price Review and Price Index, published each year by DNR, Division of Forestry. Practices are well-grounded in the applied ecological sciences, despite how some might appear to the casual observer. Frequently, timber harvesting and other forest management decisions are based on economics. The process of harvesting timber, transporting it to a sawmill and turning it into the final product is an expensive undertaking! Not every timber harvest technique works well for both large and small forested areas. Under this concept, the removal of these trees should never allow a stand to revert back to an even-age. This common method of harvesting timber is a very poor choice for sustaining the benefits of Virginia’s forestland. One important economic consideration is the rate at which a tree or stand is growing in value. Below we answer some critical questions about harvesting, including how much your timber is worth, the types of harvests to embrace (and those to avoid), and most important: how a timber harvest can advance your values. 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