Latest Entries »

As we continue to ease out of the doldrums from the recession, more good news for the forest products industry continues to flow.

This recent article is more proof that right now is a good time to be invested in forest products.

http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/wood/lumber-data-trends/Hardwood-Demand-Could-Drain-Supply-Drive-Prices-Up-181443411.html

Back in the pre-internet days, most aerial imagery came from actual physical photographs that had to be ordered through some state of federal agency.  There was no zoom function and nothing to pan.  Trying to make out details involved using either a steroscope or a magnifying glass.  Land cover types were delineated with a paper overlay and a pencil and acreages were determined using dot-grids. We’ve come a long way.

The age of digital imaging didn’t come about into the 2000s as storage devices became more efficient and as internet speeds increased.  Suddenly, those hard photographs became readily available online.  While this made things much easier, they still had issues in resolution.  Additionally by this time, they also showed landscape features that were sometimes no longer accurate due to development or other changes in land use.

Now days, more and more images are available, and are more up to date.

To contrast the differences, here are two images of a planted stand of loblolly pine.  The first being a color-infrared image from 1994, the other a color photo from 2006.  Both are at the same scale.

Image

Image

There’s a huge contrast in quality.  Better quality means better information.  Better information means better management.

Those older photographs aren’t totally valueless.  They serve as a bench mark, so to speak, of what the landscape was like prior to the newer images.  It’s a great way to show landowners just how quickly trees and timber can grow, either after a timber harvest or when fields are abandoned.  The two photos above also serves as an example in this regard.  It’s apparent that this particular landowner converted part of the loblolly stand back into a cleared agricultural field.

As technological gains continue, the practice of forestry will continue to produce information that is more accurate and information that allows for greater efficiency.  This means more profits, and less losses.

Nathan Green

Owner/Consulting Forester

N. R. Green Resource Consulting, LLC

Recent timber sales, as well as reports from timber market observers such as the one linked to below, continue to indicate that markets for timber, logs and lumber is holding strong.

http://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/wood/lumber-data-trends/Poplar-Orders-Strong-Millwork-Demands-More-Oak-171570871.html

With the capital gains tax rate scheduled to reset next year, this might make this quarter the best time for a landowner to sell timber.

Who we are and what we do

Local economies depend on logging.

Here’s an interested article from out west that is worthy of re-posting.

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2012/09/oregons_hard-hit_timber_counti.html

 

This highlights two things.  

First, it shows just how important the forest and timber industry is for local economies.  Second, it is also compelling evidence just how much of a mess central planners in government have made out of the timber industry in areas which rely on biomass harvested from government (public) land.

This is why much of the US timber production has relocated the southern and Appalachia regions of the country where stocks of timber are held privately, thus ensuring a resource that more stable and better managed. 

For the last eight or so months a common theme that I’ve noticed is that there is a lot of timber out there that should have been harvested a long time ago.

You’ve risked a lot in owning timberland to have your trees produce a product such as the one pictured above.

So what do you need to look for to prevent a timber sale from turning into a salvage operation?

The presence of dead, standing trees is a huge red flag.  Finding trees that once dominated the main canopy, like the one pictured below, should prompt the landowner that the stand may be heading into decline.

One tree throughout a whole property isn’t anything to worry about.  However, having one or several trees per acre throughout a stand should prompt action.  Old age, fungal rot, as well as gypsy moth can all contribute to such an occurrence.  Make sure that this is an isolated incident, not a regular event.

Trees, when past peak maturity, also tend to fall over.  It takes tremendous amounts of energy for the root system to support the trunk and it’s crown.  At some point, the roots start giving way, resulting in the tree uprooting and falling to the ground.

Don’t let your trees get too big.  There’s not one single person who doesn’t like seeing big timber.  However, bigger isn’t always better.  There comes a point where trees can get too big.  Large trees are harder for loggers to handle, and can even be even more difficult for those who saw them into lumber.

Most folks in the hardwood business are better at ease with logs that are 14-20 inches in diameter and many will not even take logs which are larger than 40 inches, and some will have even smaller size restrictions.

Finally, anyone with a stand of Virginia pine should go ahead and cut everything down.  Virginia pine, particularly in Virginia’s Piedmont region, can grow in dense stands.

However, it has been, and will always be one of the worst species to cultivate.   It produces low grade, knotty lumber, rarely puts on significant volume, and it’s prone to windthrow.  Keeping it standing only prolongs any gain in value that would be realized from the cultivation of another more valuable species.   Cut your losses and start growing something more beneficial.

Should you have forest land and would like more information on the services offered, give us a call today.

So you’ve decided that you are ready to sell timber.   You’ve done your research and realize that retaining the services of a forestry consultant will get you the most money for your timber and your land will be better managed.

Now what?

Like in every profession, not every consulting forester is equal.  While a lot of it comes down to who makes you feel the most comfortable, experience and method of business are equally important.

When I say experience, I don’t mean how long has that person been a “forester”. For example, some foresters have done nothing but work for government regulatory agencies and then after they retire, they move into the private sector.  These folks, while otherwise fine individuals, have limited experience of how to accurately assess timber volumes and values.  Bidders will always recognize this shortfall and their bids reflect it.

In many cases these folks may prescribe and prepare timber harvests that may be unrealistic and leave buyers and loggers unwilling to dedicate time, energy, and capital into the project.

When interviewing a consulting forester ask to see their most recent timber sale bid invitation.

Read it thoroughly!

One of the most important things in a bid invitation should be  how the forester derived his/her tree volumes.  This is important, as it is vital information  to those who are bidding and helps inform the buyer as to what specs the forester used to gauge the timber.

Does the forester even list timber volumes?  Believe it or not  some don’t! This forces buyers to spend precious time wondering just how much timber is out there.

Does the forester provide  accurate, comprehensive, and professional looking maps of the timber sale?  A forester who puts together a hand drawn map that looks as if it was done by a child isn’t one who is likely to put a lot of effort into an important project.

Other factors include how much time will the forester spend, and how intensive will he be as it relates to his timber cruise and how much time will he/she spend monitoring the timber harvest?

These are just a few things to look for when considering a consulting forester.

If you are interested in involving us in the management of your forest resources, do not hesitate to contact us.

540-998-4712                                                                                                                                            greenresourceconsulting@gmail.com

 

Respectfully,

Nathan Green

Owner/Consulting Forester

N. R. Green Resource Consulting, LLC

 

 

Fall is here

While  this page revolves around the services that are provided by N. R. Green Resource Consulting, LLC and information pertinent to the management of forest and wildlife resources, I thought I would make a quick post about the best time of the year to be outdoors, and that is The Fall.

In my mind, there is nothing more tranquil or relaxing than being outdoors as the leaves change and temperature falls.

In this day and age where we are tied to the hip with smart phones, and “i thingies” consider getting away from it all and get back in touch with nature.

 

An October afternoon along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, Virginia.

Timber Tax Basis Appraisals

Timber Tax Basis Appraisals

In the decade plus that I’ve been practicing forestry, I’ve found that landowners, much to their detriment, are unaware about what their actual tax liability is as it pertains to how much in taxes they must pay out of timber sale proceeds.

Disclaimer:  I am not an accountant or an expert in tax law.

Generally, what happens is that landowners will claim the gross proceeds from the sale of their timber as being subject to capital gains.  What’s unfortunate is that they need not report all of their gross proceeds.  Just as you only pay capital gains tax on the gain in value when you sell stock and make a profit, you are also only required to pay the taxes on the gain in value from when you acquired the timber asset.

While a licensed and qualified CPA can only be the professional who can determine what you must pay in taxes, a professional forester can determine what the timber was worth when you acquired it.  We can take growth ring measurements from either the stump or by examining tree cores, and then make the calculations needed to determine how much timber was on the property when it was purchased, and then use available records to determine what it was worth at that time.

This can save landowners thousands of dollars!

In some cases, landowners may claim a loss on the timber should it be damaged by fire, insect infestation or storm damage.  In stands of timber that are in decline due to old age, a loss in value from the time of purchase may also be taken into consideration.

Nathan Green

Consulting Forester

N R Green Resource Consulting, LLC

greenresourceconsulting@gmail.com

Wildfire and your timber

Nothing strikes more fear into a landowner than the threat of wildfire.   While statistics vary, on average about 6 million acres of forest burn each year in the United States.  While a huge chunk of this area is confined to wilderness and federal lands in the West, a good portion does occur in the East where forest land is owned by private individuals and companies.

I recently started a project on a property which was burned last year in a large wildfire.  I have no idea how the fire started, or how many acres it burned, but it is clear that in some areas it was an intense, and destructive fire.  But just how much damage to the timber did it do?

Here are some photographs.

This is a species of an upland oak commonly called chestnut oak.  While the butt of the tree exhibits burned up bark, the tree is remarkably unscathed.   Oaks are rather adept at handling wildfire.  If you look even more closely at the photo you can see the plethora of oak seedlings sprouting up.

You see in nature, forests must find a way to regenerate on their own.  In many cases, they use a natural disturbance such as a fire to achieve this goal.

However, as you are about to see, this isn’t a panacea.  Wildfire is potentially destructive.

Here is another chestnut oak.   This tree was not able to weather the fire like the one pictured above.  The fire was hot enough to penetrate the bark and damage the cambium layer (growth tissue).  You can now see where a fungus is growing on the outside of the bark and is most likely working on digesting a portion of the tree.

This tree will never recover from the damage.  While it will likely continue to live, it’s merchantable value has been substantially diminished as the rot will continue up into a good portion of the bole, destroying the valuable wood within.

The image above is the likely result of the rot which is occurring in image #2.  This represents an economic loss in at least 40% in the value of the tree as the most valuable wood is found in the first cut.  Additionally, the life span of this tree is drastically reduced as a damaged butt is much more susceptible to ice and wind damage than a tree which has one that is intact.

While its destructive properties are well documented, lets take a time out and look at a few positives of wildfire.  I’ve already mentioned that it helps some species reproduce, however it is also an important tool in managing wildlife habitat.

If you notice a common theme with all of the posted pictures, and in particular the picture directly above, you will notice all of the fresh, green vegetation sprouting up.  This is what good wildlife habitat is supposed to look like.  Fresh green browse for deer, brambles and berries for bear and grouse, escape habitat for turkey, I could go on but I think the point is clear.  Fire, while it can destructive, can also be used as a tool to enhance resources of a property.  I’m willing to bet, just by looking at this property that aside from a fall acorn crop, this property probably did not hold wildlife year round.  Now, thanks to this fire, wildlife can be seen year round.

If you have any questions about the condition of your property, give us a call and we can assess what might be best for you.

Nathan R. Green                                                                                                                    Consulting Forester                                                                                                                           N R Green Resource Consulting, LLC

greenresourceconsulting@gmail.com

540-998-4712

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.