Housing’s Modest Improvement Pushing Big Tree Prices Higher

The slowly recovering home construction industry is resulting in long-awaited improvement in demand and prices for large pine logs across the southern pine belt, one of the nation’s largest forestry consulting firms reports.

Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, Inc. based in Albany, Ga., that provides management services to forest landowners in much of the nation’s commercial tree-growing regions, reports in his firm’s newsletter that prices for pine sawtimber used for manufacturing lumber have been up modestly for three consecutive years.

“For the last three years southern pine sawtimber stumpage prices (paid landowners) have increased at a steady rate of about $2 (per ton) per year—from $23/T in 2012 to $25/T in 2013/T and all the way to $27/T in 2014,” Thomas writes in the winter 2014-15 edition of the F&W Forestry Report. “While those aren’t the kinds of gains we saw in the 1990’s, they are steady and going in the right direction for the first time in a long time.”

Thomas says he expects the timber price gains to continue as new home continues to gather steam as most economists predict.

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